Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Crazy week in academic land.

So yesterday morning the hard drive on my work computer crashed and died out of the blue. Like seriously "it will cost you $2500 to possibly retreive anything because the disk isn't spinning anymore" died.

I lost years worth of computer code, but fortunately have most of my actual dissertation (except, um, well the raw data and the 3 years worth of coding that allowed me to actually use that data..it's reproducable but will take months to reproduce). I also lost the raw data outputs for an entire chapter of my dissertation (fortunately I have the more polished tables in the actual chapter), and all but 9 graphs for a presentation I'm supposed to give next week (which means my presentation is going to be a lot less awesome than it was supposed to be). I also lost electronic copies of all the lesson plans for the one class I had prepped- fortunately I never throw anything out so I have hard copies of all the lesson plans. But now I get to type them up again at some point, oh joy. :) BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER RIGHT NOW PEOPLES.

As I was walking (running) down the stairs to the computer support people, minutes after my computer first crashed, I got a call from *elite university* asking to set up a phone interview for a 2 year postdoc with *elite university* for tomorrow morning. They will let me know whether I got this postdoc or not this Friday. *Good but not elite university in the mouth* offering me an assistant professorship position wants to know whether or not I will accept their offer by this Friday.

I also got offered another postdoc at *less elite university in very rural area* last week and someone is supposed to call me in about 40 minutes to talk about that. Tomorrow after my phone interview with *elite university* I have phone appointments with two of my mentors (who live in other areas) to give me advice.

Thursday I have a negotiating phone call appointment with *good but not elite university in the mouth* to try to negotiate for a better offer than the one they intially gave me (especially now that I have alternatives).

Also, just now, I sent drafts of all three of my main dissertation chapters to my dissertation chair, asking if I can combine the stuff I was able to salvage for what should have been a 4th chapter with my proposal to be the introduction to the dissertation and if what I already have equals a dissertation. If he approves my plan, that means I'm just an introduction and conclusion (and probably editing some drafts) away from a completed dissertation! If not I may not actually be able to walk at that graduation I invited my parents too (where they might meet B)...so I'm hoping he will be ok with this.

Then next week I got:
Monday: Cousin's wedding (going without B- 2.5 hour drive each way, plus "coming out" to my entire family about being married)
Wednesday: Long lost best friend stopping by for the night on her way somewhere else
All day Friday- Saturday: Quick trip to that conference I lost most of my data for.


  1. Try putting the hard drive in a freezer...sometimes it gets it "unstuck". Seriously, the ball bearings freeze up. Hook it up to another computer, and copy over any info if it looks like it is working.

  2. the computer tech people are currently working their magic...they say there may be some hope at getting some stuff back (fortunately my school has an awesome computer tech department for work computers that I don't have to pay for).

  3. "Monday: Cousin's wedding (going without B- 2.5 hour drive each way, plus "coming out" to my entire family about being married)"

    Give a 'klop' on the beemah before :-)

  4. mozy online backup: https://mozy.com/?gclid=CJPCxM6vraACFYoU4wodXCwTqw&mcr=1&ref=0811cfe9

    5 dollars a month and you have all of your stuff anywhere in the world.

  5. Hi, it's Katrina with some fun academic advice. I would advise you NOT to turn down a tenure-track job, even for a post-doc at an elite university, unless you REALLY don't want to live in the area where the tenure-track job is, or you think the teaching load is actually impossible. And maybe not even then, in this academic economy. The purpose of a post-doc is to get you a tenure-track job, and if you are an assistant professor next year, you can always go on the market for a job at a more elite university next year. But you will have a better shot if you are coming from a tenure-track job.

  6. hey Katrina- that's pretty much what I've decided...I have a negotiating phone call with the T-T job in a couple of hours, wish me luck! :)

  7. Hate to be a smartass. Macs are the way to go. Really sucks that you could have lost that.

  8. macs are like twice as expensive and not good at the stuff I need them for.

  9. They are expensive- agreed. However, they last five years, free upgrades. Completely warrantied for 4 years. No viruses, no anti virus software, no firewall, no Norton, no spyware, etc.... And, you can get Windows for them if you insist, although I would never see why one want to do that.

  10. I've never gotten a virus on my work PC...anyways, that's besides the point- the program I need to do my research, SAS, does not run on OSX, that's why I need windows, and it's just not cost effective for me to get a Mac given that I have budget constrictions. :)

  11. What is SAS? Yes, budget restrictions. I understand. At work, we use PC's. They set them up, etc. Then, of course they break. They end up costing more because of the expense in supporting a house of cards network. But, you are right, the trick is to get business software dependent on Windows to keep the monopoly alive.

  12. SAS is a computer program that allows you to work with large datasets and crunch numbers basically, so I use it to crunch all the numbers for my research... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAS_%28software%29


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