Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
I just got my daily email from The Scientist.com with the top story about researchers and rockers. Seems GQ gussied up a bunch of scientists and posed them with rock stars for a spread in the current issue.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
My son, Tim, plays many roles. The photo shows his debut at third base last Friday. He did field the ground ball and made the out at first.
He will be old enough to vote in July, but he still seems comfortable and happy. And he is still my favorite patient!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
After just 5 retweets by 6pm, it had been directed to the eyeballs of 997 followers.
Not all of those followers are unique, nor will all of them follow the link.
But I sure could not have emailed that link to almost 1000 people during that period.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
I bring this up because there has been some discussion about attempts to "out" one of my favorite bloggers, Isis, over at ScienceBlogs. This woman has kept her real identity a secret and has some very good rules for pseudonymous bloggers. She is trying to keep her online life separate from that as a scientist and her wife/mother roles.
I came down on the other side of this issue, in part I believe, because of my "advanced age" when I started this blog. About the time I hit 40 I realized that no one could really do that much to hurt me in life. I shouldn't be evil because then I would deserve retribution, but I could generally state my mind in most professional situations with little fear of the consequences. It takes a lot of energy to maintain separate identities, and I didn't see much advantage for me to do that.
I had my first identity issue when I got married. The question was whether or not to change my last name. I had not yet published anything but an abstract in a local proceedings in an unrelated field. Part of me was violently opposed to the patriarchal supposition that I would take my husband's surname. However, I started talking with those who had already walked the path. First there was the "keep your maiden name group" who found this choice was really awkward when the kidlets came along. Did mom want to be the only one in the family with a different last name? The teachers were confused, and most women were "Mrs. Daddy's Name" when the school called, just to keep everyone from thinking they were divorced. Kids taking mom's name alone is pretty rare still, and I could not bring myself to dump a hyphenated name on my offspring. What about hyphenating my own name? One friend pointed out the difficulty that presents with forms and other documents. I had other friends who used their given name professionally and their married names personally. Talk about confusion! I have been introduced to women at parties where it took 20 minutes to figure out we shared patients! In medicine and academia, the personal and professional lives overlap substantially.
In the end, I took my husband's last name. Of course, I couldn't do anything easy. See, my birth name was Ann Pascale Hammond, but no one had ever called me Ann. Compared to a hyphenated last name, using your middle name is pure hell in this country. It is not your legally recognized name! I ended up dropping the "Ann" and becoming Pascale Hammond Lane. It was the right mix for me, even though I had to jump through a bunch of hoops for a common usage name change. I like that my family has the same last name, even though it wasn't the one I was born with.
I suspect my daughter will not change her name, but you never know. Just as I had to debate myself for a few months, Jen will have to make her own decisions. We all have to make our own decisions about who we want to be and how we will balance roles as professionals, partners, and parents.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Earlier I wrote about childbearing. One commenter asked about the effect our kids had on my husband's career (Jim is sitting on the deck of the USS Missouri during our January vacation in Oahu).
We were married 6 months before he graduated from medical school. My final year we lived in different cities. It was difficult, but I did several electives in Chicago, where he was, and we got through it. He then had to do a year after residency to allow me to "catch up" so we could start our fellowships in Minnesota together. He was a research fellow with his endocrine section. He got a paper out of the year and had no call for the first 9 months of our daughter's life. This worked out well since I was still overnight in the hospital at least every fourth day.
Then we were in our fellowships with home call, but with a child with recurrent otitis media, AKA ear infections. I can still remember awakening at 4:30am to see if she had a fever. If she did, we could give the Tylenol and get it low enough to drop her off at daycare. By the time it went up again, one of us would have seen enough patients to go get her. We often did parking ramp hand-offs. Needless to say, the first 6 months of non-stop clinical service were brutal for us. We had a home daycare provider who we are friends with to this day, and she was often the saving grace for our sanity.
Time crunches were a bit less problematic once our research endeavors started, at least for me. I usually had something I could work on at home if Jen got sick, and her ear infections began to let up a bit. I found the lab wonderful, like Dorothy stepping into the colorful world of Oz after that dusty, B&W Kansas. My husband ended up in a molecular biology lab whose taskmaster demanded meetings first thing Monday morning and on Friday afternoons. At 5pm. Jim lost his desire to do basic science quickly.
When the end of our training approached, I found a faculty position and he went into private practice. It was during this period that we had our son. Jim's hospital had on-site daycare with extended hours to support nurses on 12 hour shifts. He often got to lunch with the kids. On the other hand, my daughter got really good at photocopying articles in the library on snow days. Her school had before and after school programs on site. We could usually drop her off and pick her up without much difficulty between the two of us.
After 7 years, we were invited to University of Nebraska. My husband is in academia again, doing clinical research. I have continued doing lab work as well as patient care, teaching, and administrative work. My schedule has remained flexible enough that a nanny who had to leave early every Wednesday or a school day starting at 8:30 could be accomodated. I was also older - old enough to realize that no one was going to fire me because I had to leave by 4:15 every Wednesday! That was the way it was. I got work done and produced papers and everyone else could just deal with it! Having half of your group get up and leave because they have to pick up the kids sends a clear message to those in charge. It also helps that I am in pediatrics; our annual meeting has long had sponsored childcare and lactation support services because we are "kid-friendly."
Did children delay my husband's career? It is hard to know what his accomplishments would have been without the kids, and the impact of the 7 years of private practice is bigger than anything we could probably attribute to the offspring.
I guess the bottom line is that you have to be flexible when you have kids. This is true whether you are in academia or a stay-at-home parent, whether you are male or female. Children are separate beings who will not necessarily repect your own plans! When it comes to career paths, we each make our own. In the end, having a fulfilling life on all fronts is what matters.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009