Monday, February 25, 2008

The Push

Whew! My goodness! What a night!

After all the worry, sweat, and tears, my first-author paper has been submitted! As in, off my desk for now. And you know what? I think that’s good enough for me.

And what a night it’s been! I’ve never actually been in the lab for thirteen hours straight. I’ve had a few ten-hour days and quite a few nine-hour days, but thirteen? That’s a record.

I spent most of the weekend cranking this bad boy out, writing, editing, revising, editing some more. I took breaks to grocery shop (fuel for the paper) and cook and sleep (a girl can’t read straight if she’s not getting any sleep), but honestly, this weekend I felt more focused than I have felt in a long, long time. And that felt good.

That’s not to say that today was a piece of cake. The difference is that I was prepared for today. I was ready for the marathon that would unfold in order to finish this paper. I can’t work thirteen-hour days all the time, but on occasion, when the stakes are high and things must be done, I’m there.

Today I even had my first vending machine eats! I skipped eating my beloved home-cooked dinner (not that I had much choice because dinner is at home and I am in lab), opting instead to eat vending machine fare at 9 PM: a package of peanuts and a “yogurt”-coated “granola” bar. Why do I put quotations around yogurt and granola? I think this bar is junk food masquerading as health food, trying to trick health-nuts like me into eating it during our moments of weakness (or hunger). You don’t fool me, bar! I won’t be eating the likes of you again any time soon! Although it quelled my hunger long enough to finish the paper, it was really really sweet. Too sweet, in my opinion. But the peanuts were good. They always are.

Writing a science paper is a highly collaborative process. Having now survived the submission and resubmission process with my graduate advisor, I just have one thing to say about Ravi: he is damn good at what he does. Some days he is my hero, other days he is my nemesis, but I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from him. Regardless of the path I follow after graduate school, truly I am not the same person I was when I started my program years ago. He has taught me much and continues to be a source of encouragement and critical feedback.

And now, I’m off to trudge to the train station in the snow, which has been falling falling falling all evening in the biggest, fattest flakes I’ve ever seen in my life.

Good-night and sweet dreams, all.


boston girlie said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I knew you could do it. You must be THRILLED to have accomplished such a huge project! I'm so proud of you! :)

Rosiecat said...

Why, thank you, boston girlie! You're a peach to leave such a nice comment. I am pretty thrilled. I'm also in a state of shock and disbelief; I can't believe it's done (for now). I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the next month until we hear back from the Journal of Neuroscience, but for now, I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy.

I could also use a nap right about now! :-)

Anonymous said...

1. Hooray for RA!!!!! What positively excellent news!

2. We had the lemon soup tonight . . . amazing!

Rosiecat said...

Hello, anonymous! Thanks for the cheers. And three cheers for lemon soup! It's SO good. I'm glad you liked it.