Monday, July 27, 2009

August Scientiae: Summer Days

This month's Scientiae is hosted by Abel Pharmboy - the first male to host the carnival! Here is his request for this month:
Summer days, driftin' away. . .

Consider how you balance the demands and pleasures of this season. Have you found ways to make progress on your must-dos while also taking time for your family, friends - and yourself - and being in the moment of this time of year? Or are July and August just another month for you?

Well, I've got to say that I've done pretty damn well on both fronts this summer. I managed to write, submit, and defend my PhD - all ahead of schedule (initially I was aiming to defend in September, but moved it up to July). The corrections are complete, all the forms are filled out. All I have to do now is take it over to grad studies, get them to approve it, and take it to the printers!

I've also worked hard to wrap up the loose ends and hand off my two outreach programs. I trained the new coordinators for the general science program, and it seems like they will do a great job. For the astronomy program, I gave everything over to the two TAs I had working with me last year, and they are already making some headway on some new, exciting things.

As for my personal life - well, I've always been good at giving myself plenty of time! I have rarely worked in the evenings or on the weekends; not just this summer, but since I started graduate school. My mantra is work to live, not live to work, and it has worked out very well for me. It helps that I have mad organizational and time management skills. If I didn't, I sure wouldn't have been able to finish my PhD in 4 years while running two outreach programs, and having a social life (and planning a wedding!) too!

This summer is going to be very successful personally though, as DH and I are going on (what we consider) a trip of a life time. We are taking three weeks and will be touring around South America (we leave August 1st). It works out nicely that I was able to finish up before we leave!

I'll admit though, this was probably my most productive summer work-wise. Usually I find it difficult to work full days during these months, but this year I had the thesis/defense to motivate me. It also helped that deciding when to move (and to start a family) depended on my finishing - even more motivation!

All in all, this summer has been one of the best since I started graduate school for work and personal time! Hopefully the level of productivity will continue!