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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Stalled

It seems I've hit another brick wall. Everything seems to have just stalled on me and, I've got to say, I'm pretty bored right now! Hence the lack of posts lately.

My research is going very slowly. Right now I'm just running computer codes on sets of images, and it takes about 8 hours to do one set. I do analyze the results after it's done, but that takes only about 5-10 minutes. So, each morning I come in, start the code on a new image set, do the analysis on the set from the day before, and that's that. I do have another project where I'll be working on hardware for a weather station - but none of the parts have arrived yet. It's been hard to fill up an eight-hour day, and they sure have been dragging this week.

My job hunt has also stalled. I've applied to seven positions so far. Not exactly a lot, but it's tough when I'm geographically limited. I knew I was stretching with some of them, but a few others I thought for sure I'd at least get an interview. Nothing yet. I applied to two jobs recently, and their deadlines are coming up, so fingers crossed that I'll hear from them soon.

Another idea is to start a new outreach program using a larger telescope outside the city (I talked about this on my NN blog). I have the support of a few key faculty members, who all love the idea. The problem is funding. There isn't any. Well, that's not true - there's some, but not enough. We have applied for a couple grants already, but we won't know about those until April. Others have said they would look into funding options, but I think they are so busy that they forget about it unless I remind them. I have written up a business proposal and hope to talk to a few more people about it in the coming weeks.

All of this has just made me feel down about my career prospects. I have less than two months before my post-doc contract is up. I'd really like to find something for January 1st, but it seems less and less likely. I can see how people who are searching for a job for a long time get depressed. It's definitely not good for the ego.

There are a couple things that are going well, albeit at a snail's pace. My current knitting project (a blanket) is coming along nicely. I'm about half done, and I hope that I can finish it before the new year. Also, I started a book club with a few girlfriends, and we have decided on our first book: The Thirteenth Tale. I intend to start it this weekend, once I finish my current book.