Thursday, August 1, 2013

My life as a whole person: Sometimes it isn't about picking your battles

Regardless of how you spend your days, some are just so much busier than others! Today has been one of those days.

This morning I woke up to wonderful news: A paper describing a new algorithm and analysis of the human X chromosome was accepted with minor revisions at Genome Biology and Evolution! I'm co-first author, and although I'm not listed first, for a variety of reasons, I'll be staying up tonight to work on updating the manuscript and figures tonight. In the next couple of weeks I'll write up an accessible research blog post about it to share with you all!

I got into work and met with my undergraduates. One student and I sat down for an hour debugging code. It was really fantastic, actually, to sit and do some of the detective work together. There were a few small errors in the code, but the root problem turned out to be a faulty assumption about the format of the input files. I was so happy to figure it out, but it was especially gratifying to work through it with my student. I couldn't have come up with a better lesson about coding if I had tried!

Then, I sat back down and read an email from Science writer Tia Ghose, asking me to comment on a Y chromosome paper that's being published tomorrow. She's the one who interviewed me last Fall on my work studying diversity across all compartments of the human genome. Of course I was thrilled to talk to her again!

Afterwards I ate lunch with my husband, also a postdoc at Berkeley. I spent the rest of the afternoon working on revisions from the paper from this morning, responding to emails, including working with a collaborator on a grant resubmission, and trying to prioritize my to-do list, which seems to have grown exponentially since last week.

Then, I got an email that the this manuscript was rejected, with the possibility of resubmitting... again. I have two months to complete the suggested revisions, but should probably take a day or two to thoroughly read the comments. It is nice, then, that I have a few other immediate distractions.

One daily distraction is something I let consume my mind, and that is Little Bear. This morning we noshed on Cheerios together, and read books before Scott took her to daycare. This afternoon I jogged to daycare (yay for one mile!), then played with the Little Bear at the Willard Park playground. We met up for a family dinner out at Kiraku (a Japanese tapas restaurant, which none of us are yearning to go back to), then all walked home together. At home we enjoyed Little Bear's antics, she got a bath, then we read books, and tried to get her to bed. Then she got up to pee on the potty. Then back to bed. Then up again to pee on the potty. Then back to bed. Then up once more to pee on the potty (really, how much urine can one toddler have?!). Then, back to bed, and asleep within a few minutes.

Here is the wisdom from Little Bear (2.5yrs old) tonight:

Sometimes it isn't about picking your battles. Sometimes it's just time to laugh. 
I was singing to her tonight - always songs of her request. Tonight she asked for "Baa Baa Black Sheep". If you don't know the song, the first line is:

"Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?"

Well, Little Bear interrupted me to tell me, "It isn't 'wool' mommy, it's 'woof'." She proceeded to sing the first line "correctly" for me:

"Baa baa black sheep, have you any woof?"

Then she laughed hysterically. I think it was her first attempt at making a  new joke. As infectious as her laughter is, it was pretty funny.

I sang the original version. She corrected me again, then laughed like an evil genius. She knew it was wrong, and I knew it was wrong, so there was no use arguing about it. It wasn't about being right or wrong, it was about taking the time to laugh about something silly, and enjoy the moment.

Today was a series of wonderful moments, and one frustrating moment, but even that has already passed. I'm not saying I wasn't upset about the rejection (I really was), but I felt it, let it consume the time it deserved, and now I'm ready for the next moment. Woof.


Anonymous said...

Max sings "Blah blah black sheep, have you any wools?"

BTW, you noshed *on* Cheerios (according to the Brooklyn Manual of Style).

mathbionerd said...

Lol, thanks for that. Duly noted, and updated. :)

Unknown said...

Glad my toddler isn't the only one who can budget his pee to make 4-5 potty trips before he goes to sleep! How DO they do that?!

mathbionerd said...

It is really quite amazing. I worry while she holds it for hours, then... the floodgates open, lol.

strangetruther said...

Some wool can be woof. When weaving, the straight fibres are the weft and the long fibres are the woof, I believe.

strangetruther said...

Actually I wasn't quite right there - the woof is the material, i.e. choice of fibre, used for the weft.
But the fact remains that your child appears to have instinctive access to an interesting source of knowledge!