Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's 2011

The last week of 2010 was pretty awful. First, the news about my mother moving to hospice care threw me. Then after the snow cleared and I returned to work, I found out that my VA grant was not renewed (more on this later). This means I will be out of work by the end of July. And if these two blows weren't enough, my Pap test came back with cellular atypia. That's a type of abnormality sometimes considered pre-cancerous, sometimes not. Because I had borderline melanoma ten years ago, any cellular abnormality is a big deal finding. Do I need all of this? Does anyone?

As for the VA grant, normally, I'd take the critique to heart, revise the proposal, and resubmit. Not this time. The comments I received were nasty, spiteful, and mostly the kind that can't be answered. What do you say to a critique that basically trashes the journals you've published in-- when you published in the major ones for your subfield? The reviewer called one journal barely acceptable and the other unmentionable. Are we in middle school again? Shock is too mild a word for what I feel. And that's one of the "nicer" comments on the critique.

So my new job in the interim is finding a new job. I just got off the phone with a technical recruiter who told me how my research experience works against me; I should eliminate or downplay it on my resumé. Fine, I'll revise and resubmit that.

On the knitting front, Friday is dear SiL's birthday. I'm knitting him a scarf out of a Louisa Harding wool/cashmere/microfiber blend I picked up on sale at the LYS:
DNA scarf
As of last night it was more than 75% done. Yep, that's a DNA helix you see winding its way up the scarf. Fun knit. Free pattern, in case you've a mind to knit yourself a double helix too.


Renee Anne said...

Wow. I don't even know where to begin...that all sucks and hopefully the new year will be better.

Is there any way you can talk to someone else about the VA Grant? I don't really know anything about them but it seems as if the person that looked at the proposal is a spiteful child who doesn't know their posterior region from a hole in the ground. It seems rude that they would tell you that your publications aren't worth the paper they're printed on. You're published. I'm not. Well, not exactly. That's not the point. You've done something, you've been acknowledged for it (via publication), why should they poopoo on you for it? I'd look for someone else higher up to discuss the grant with, if that's possible.

fleegle said...

Oh dear. I am so, so sorry to hear about your first week. Each one is a devastating blow--all three together are a catastrophe. Please try to hold it together--I am thinking of you--often.

Experimental Knitter said...

@Renee Anne, I spoke with folks at my VA station (the VA station got trashed too). They want me to resubmit and will try to make it right. I won't hold my breath but at least they'll try to do something for me.Thanks for writing, it means a lot.
@Fleegle, Thanks so much for your thoughts. It helps, really it does.

sapphireblue said...

Gosh! I hope the pap turns out to just be a scare. Good luck with the job. I can't believe they were such d**cks about it. I'm hoping you will find a much better job.

Experimental Knitter said...

@SapphireBlue, Thanks for the encouragement and your good wishes.