Saturday, March 12, 2011

Yeah me!

I've started and stopped this post about 5 times so now I've decided to post and not say much about my job situation until my official last day which is this upcoming Tuesday (and because the internet is FAR from "private").

My first NCI interview went quite well and I have a second up one day next week. After the interview, I went to talk with one of my mentors, who was one of the first Black women in the US to earn an MD/PhD just to get her up to date because I realized I hadn't spoken to her in a very long time! During our conversation, I learned that an absolute superstar MD/PhD specialist had NOT been given tenure and the grapevine was full of stories about how politically motivated the decision not to give him tenure was,. And when I say superstar, I mean as in he discovered a new genetic syndrome as a post-doc, had tons of publications and seemed easy to work/get along with (at least I thought so). And all I could think about were the things that had happened in my own research career, the ideas that had been "stolen", the papers my name had been "omitted" from despite having done substantial work, and on and on. I was also once again reminded of just how difficult it can be for a URM to succeed in a research career, which I know should have been obvious over the years by the infinitesimally small numbers you see in academia or with the feds.

So now as I contemplate going back to cancer research, I do so with a much more trepidation that I've felt career wise in a long time because now I have an example of someone I know personally who busted their ass and was STILL not be rewarded for it. And it scares me. I also thinking of ways I can one day in the not too distant future, take what I know how to do and essentially "fire my boss" one day. Of course, this doesn't change the plan as far as med school is concerned, but now I'm approaching my career from more of a business model point of view and given the economy, maybe this is what we should ALL be doing right now.

Moving on, my MCAT study is coming right along and some may have expected, I've amended the study schedule as follows:

Monday - Do 1st 1/2 of the odd numbered questions corresponding to chapter X from EK 1001 questions (abbreviated as 1st/2nd 1/2 of even/odd EK1001).

Tuesday - Read 1st 1/2 of Chapter X, complete first 1/3 of passages.

Wednesday - Read 2nd 1/2 of Chapter X , do 2nd 1/2 odd EK 1001

Thursday - Review Chapter X, complete second 1/3 of TBR passages

Friday - Review Chapter X, do 1st 1/2 even EK 1001

Sunday - Review Chapter X, complete second 1/3 of TBR passages, do 2nd 1/2 even EK 1001

I'll start this schedule on Monday, after trying the schedule I posted previously and realizing I needed to try a different approach. Since I know a lot of this stuff pretty well (being tested on it is a different story), it's better for me to start with reviewing questions first so I can see up front which areas I need to focus more attention on. For example, where as I was stuck with the 1st part of gen chem, I'm breezing through the first orgo book.

About, my java programming course, now that I'm using IDE and NOT trying to do things in DOS (which no one does anyway), my life is a LOT better! Of course, I still have to know if for quizzes/exams, but that's ok!

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