Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Third year

I've received the email that reminds me that it is the beginning of my third year as an assistant professor, which means (here) that I need to prepare my packed of my third-year evaluation.

This evaluation is all the content I'd submit for a tenure review, and goes through the same review process, except that the University doesn't ask for external evaluation letters at this point.

Technically I'm on a three-year contract, so at the end of this year, ASU can decide not to renew me for another three years. While that possibility looms, I feel like I've been doing my best in the three areas I've been hired to work in - Research, Teaching, Service - and there isn't more that I could have done up until this point.

I still consider myself a #newPI, still learning about grant-writing, how to be a better educator, and learning about University goings-on. But, I feel more comfortable.

How are things? 
The lab is set up, and I'm really fortunate that my lab is filled with wonderful people who chose to work with me: I really love teaching Evolution every Spring, and this semester I'm teaching three one-credit courses (two of which are new as of this semester, about coding topics, which I'm *super* excited about). I have some really wonderful colleagues, and this year I get to sit on a search committee to choose two more!

Quiet around here
Well, quiet on the blog. I haven't been blogging around here, but I have been doing a lot of writing:

  • Blogged for CEM: How Rare is a Rare Disease?
  • I've responded to a lot of questions from K-12 students for Ask a Biologist.
  • Since I started in August 2014, I've written, or contributed to writing, seven publications that have been accepted, four that are in revision, and another five that are in various stages of preparation/review (as in, I could get you a draft if you wanted). 
  • Umpteen grant applications

And the thing is, I have so many things to tell you all! We've been doing so much good science and fun outreach. I just need to make time to write about them. Partially, in the last several months, I've traded blogging time for working-out time. I needed it. And as much as I miss writing, I need the exercise more.

So, it's all rainbows?
Well, no, of course not. There are plenty of things to nit-pick and complain about. And, get me alone over coffee, or after a poster session, and I'm sure I'll complain with you. But, taking a step back, I can say this:

I have my dream job. 

Being a professor, teaching, doing research, service... this is what I've wanted to do before I even know what to call it. I get to science, and I wouldn't want anything else.

Where we're going 
I'm going to make a goal of getting up one blog post a week, updating on the projects in the lab, and my thoughts about science/lab/life.

One a week.

I can do that.