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Author Topic: Somewhat Flakey with Excellent Research: Which Matters More?  (Read 10159 times)
notsure326
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« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2012, 10:38:59 PM »

But tenderness is not such a bad thing.  How do you balance being human with being an academic? How do you balance being a beautifully vulnerable person, with being a scholar producing to someone else's timetable?

I don't understand your last paragraph.

Academicians are humans. I am a beautiful vulnerable person who produces scholarship to my own timetable and other's timetables, when necessary. Bring productive doesn't mean one gives up beauty or vulnerability, surely.

These things are not mutually exclusive. Life is not linear. People do not have to be divided into dichotomous categories.

Being productive, making deadlines, etc. does not make you less creative or less emotional or less passionate.  Trust me on this.


When a deadline is looming, and a major emotional issue comes up - if your mind can only concentrate on one - which do you choose to spend time processing/dealing with? In the past I was able to focus fully on the emotional one until I had moved past it, processed it, decided exactly how I felt and what I wanted to do. Then, I could switch focus completely to my deadline, and get it done on time. Perhaps the emotional issues just became too large and long-lasting for this method to work. I don't know any other way - but I'm seeking one.
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octoprof
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« Reply #46 on: May 02, 2012, 10:43:12 PM »

But tenderness is not such a bad thing.  How do you balance being human with being an academic? How do you balance being a beautifully vulnerable person, with being a scholar producing to someone else's timetable?

I don't understand your last paragraph.

Academicians are humans. I am a beautiful vulnerable person who produces scholarship to my own timetable and other's timetables, when necessary. Bring productive doesn't mean one gives up beauty or vulnerability, surely.

These things are not mutually exclusive. Life is not linear. People do not have to be divided into dichotomous categories.

Being productive, making deadlines, etc. does not make you less creative or less emotional or less passionate.  Trust me on this.


When a deadline is looming, and a major emotional issue comes up - if your mind can only concentrate on one - which do you choose to spend time processing/dealing with? In the past I was able to focus fully on the emotional one until I had moved past it, processed it, decided exactly how I felt and what I wanted to do. Then, I could switch focus completely to my deadline, and get it done on time. Perhaps the emotional issues just became too large and long-lasting for this method to work. I don't know any other way - but I'm seeking one.

I keep doing the job at hand and process the emotions at the same time. We are not designed to be one-track-thinkers. I'm a very emotional person but that doesn't stop me from being a productive scholar. In fact, it probably is a net positive, overall.

Life is not linear.  We often need to process more than one thing/emotion/whatever.  That doesn't mean it is easy, but it probably is very necessary.
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notsure326
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« Reply #47 on: May 02, 2012, 11:13:48 PM »


I keep doing the job at hand and process the emotions at the same time. We are not designed to be one-track-thinkers. I'm a very emotional person but that doesn't stop me from being a productive scholar. In fact, it probably is a net positive, overall.


I'm glad to hear this. Most academics I know seem to put up a front of emotionless-ness. Maybe it's just my field. Strictly the facts, ma'am - no passion, here.

I will think more about this two-track mind thing. I do it all the time with different simultaneous research tracks. Now that you mention it, I don't see why I couldn't do the exact same thing with research and emotions or other people-related things. I have produced some large things in the last few years, in the midst of emotional turmoil, so clearly I am capable of it. I will think more about what made it possible. Thanks!
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notsure326
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« Reply #48 on: May 02, 2012, 11:19:16 PM »

Your research isn't excellent until it's been peer-reviewed and published; until then you just show promise for excellent research.

Bottom line: if what you need is to get real--to have a sense of how the real world works, so you can get into synch with that and understand the genuine demands--submit something for publication. Quit fooling around with "almost ready to have in review" and actually get stuff out there, then deal with the real-life schedule for revision and publication (hopefully--fingers crossed for you!).

I think you may be right. I can't wait to submit something. Perhaps then the stakes of deadlines will feel higher. Thanks!
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octoprof
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« Reply #49 on: May 02, 2012, 11:21:20 PM »


I keep doing the job at hand and process the emotions at the same time. We are not designed to be one-track-thinkers. I'm a very emotional person but that doesn't stop me from being a productive scholar. In fact, it probably is a net positive, overall.


I'm glad to hear this. Most academics I know seem to put up a front of emotionless-ness. Maybe it's just my field. Strictly the facts, ma'am - no passion, here.

I'm an accounting professor. I know plenty of passionate accountants! How much more so may folks be in some other fields. :o)

You don't have to be like those academics you know. You can dare to be different (but get your work done by the deadlines!).
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heynonnynonnymouse
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« Reply #50 on: May 03, 2012, 2:01:32 AM »

Gotta say, as a grad student in the same boat as the OP in many ways, I've found this thread to be a remarkable source of information and inspiration. Thanks to everyone who has been commenting.
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polly_mer
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« Reply #51 on: May 03, 2012, 8:18:38 AM »


I keep doing the job at hand and process the emotions at the same time. We are not designed to be one-track-thinkers. I'm a very emotional person but that doesn't stop me from being a productive scholar. In fact, it probably is a net positive, overall.


I'm glad to hear this. Most academics I know seem to put up a front of emotionless-ness. Maybe it's just my field. Strictly the facts, ma'am - no passion, here.

I'm a strictly facts gal, but I'm not passionless or emotionless.  Instead, the passion comes in getting up early so I can do work before play on "vacation" days.  I cannot remember a single holiday after my undergrad that I didn't do some work on a project.  I had great Christmas vacations where I spent the mornings at the office and the afternoons with friends and family.  Is that a lack of passion?  Nope.

I have cried over paper rejections and proposal rejections.  I didn't do it in public, but once that office door was closed, the tears flowed.  Is that a lack of emotion?  No, that's being a grown-up in public as I have been culturally raised to be.  The only time one is allowed to show that much emotion is for a death of a dear friend or family member.  Everything else is held inside until in private.  Don't think for a minute that I'm the only one doing this and that no one in your field does it.
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baleful_regards
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« Reply #52 on: May 03, 2012, 8:22:44 AM »

I find that when other psych issues are underlying ( as in depression etc) that my time management goes to hell. It is actually one of my real warning signs that a cycle may be beginning. Likewise, OP, when my sleep gets disrupted - in either direction. Too much, or too little.

I have been fortunate to have survived 1.5 major depressive cycles during PhD, mainly because I had an adviser who believed in the quality of my work - even when I wasn't producing.

As to emotion in academia, it is about balance ( as in all things).

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octoprof
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« Reply #53 on: May 03, 2012, 8:30:10 AM »


I keep doing the job at hand and process the emotions at the same time. We are not designed to be one-track-thinkers. I'm a very emotional person but that doesn't stop me from being a productive scholar. In fact, it probably is a net positive, overall.


I'm glad to hear this. Most academics I know seem to put up a front of emotionless-ness. Maybe it's just my field. Strictly the facts, ma'am - no passion, here.

I'm a strictly facts gal, but I'm not passionless or emotionless.  Instead, the passion comes in getting up early so I can do work before play on "vacation" days.  I cannot remember a single holiday after my undergrad that I didn't do some work on a project.  I had great Christmas vacations where I spent the mornings at the office and the afternoons with friends and family.  Is that a lack of passion?  Nope.

I have cried over paper rejections and proposal rejections.  I didn't do it in public, but once that office door was closed, the tears flowed.  Is that a lack of emotion?  No, that's being a grown-up in public as I have been culturally raised to be.  The only time one is allowed to show that much emotion is for a death of a dear friend or family member.  Everything else is held inside until in private.  Don't think for a minute that I'm the only one doing this and that no one in your field does it.

And, if you love what you are doing for work, sometimes (often!) work is more like "play."  Some of my less quantitative friends think I'm nut for enjoying statistical analysis but what I enjoy is finding out what the data are saying (or not saying). That's fun. Some of my more quantitative friends can't believe I enjoy survey and interview research, but what I enjoy is finding out what really drives decisions made by people.  For me, it's all (often) fun and I do get excited about it! Excitement is emotion, too.

Manuscript rejections, insane administrators, whining students? Not so much fun, but really that's not a huge proportion of my time in the overall scheme of things.
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bookishone
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« Reply #54 on: May 03, 2012, 1:26:39 PM »


I keep doing the job at hand and process the emotions at the same time. We are not designed to be one-track-thinkers. I'm a very emotional person but that doesn't stop me from being a productive scholar. In fact, it probably is a net positive, overall.


I'm glad to hear this. Most academics I know seem to put up a front of emotionless-ness. Maybe it's just my field. Strictly the facts, ma'am - no passion, here.

I'm a strictly facts gal, but I'm not passionless or emotionless.  Instead, the passion comes in getting up early so I can do work before play on "vacation" days.  I cannot remember a single holiday after my undergrad that I didn't do some work on a project.  I had great Christmas vacations where I spent the mornings at the office and the afternoons with friends and family.  Is that a lack of passion?  Nope.

I have cried over paper rejections and proposal rejections.  I didn't do it in public, but once that office door was closed, the tears flowed.  Is that a lack of emotion?  No, that's being a grown-up in public as I have been culturally raised to be.  The only time one is allowed to show that much emotion is for a death of a dear friend or family member.  Everything else is held inside until in private.  Don't think for a minute that I'm the only one doing this and that no one in your field does it.

And, if you love what you are doing for work, sometimes (often!) work is more like "play."  Some of my less quantitative friends think I'm nut for enjoying statistical analysis but what I enjoy is finding out what the data are saying (or not saying). That's fun. Some of my more quantitative friends can't believe I enjoy survey and interview research, but what I enjoy is finding out what really drives decisions made by people.  For me, it's all (often) fun and I do get excited about it! Excitement is emotion, too.

Manuscript rejections, insane administrators, whining students? Not so much fun, but really that's not a huge proportion of my time in the overall scheme of things.

Having made it through several crises involving the death of an immediate family member or the major critical illness of either myself or an immediate family member, I can add that work, hard work, can be very helpful. As long as you can find the time/place to do productive work, it gives you a satisfying separate set of fixable problems to concentrate on and a brief respite from the pain and worry of the "real world." Like hard exercise, you kind of "come to" afterwards and realize that you have had 20 minutes where Major Problem has been off the page. It's a tremendous relief. Teaching or time spent in deep writing/revision is best, but even grading student papers in the ICU will help.

I don't know if this works with deep-rooted psychological trauma, but for crisis in the moment and even chronic illness it certainly has helped me. The main problem for me is when a chronic illness in the family means that I am kept awake for most of the night, several nights in a row. I do find it hard to get good work done when I'm both worried and exhausted on a chronic basis, with no immediate prospect of resolution. But if I can manage to work, it still has that analgesic effect for me, a tremendous relief, even if only temporary.


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octoprof
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Love your loved ones while you can.


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« Reply #55 on: May 03, 2012, 2:10:16 PM »


I keep doing the job at hand and process the emotions at the same time. We are not designed to be one-track-thinkers. I'm a very emotional person but that doesn't stop me from being a productive scholar. In fact, it probably is a net positive, overall.


I'm glad to hear this. Most academics I know seem to put up a front of emotionless-ness. Maybe it's just my field. Strictly the facts, ma'am - no passion, here.

I'm a strictly facts gal, but I'm not passionless or emotionless.  Instead, the passion comes in getting up early so I can do work before play on "vacation" days.  I cannot remember a single holiday after my undergrad that I didn't do some work on a project.  I had great Christmas vacations where I spent the mornings at the office and the afternoons with friends and family.  Is that a lack of passion?  Nope.

I have cried over paper rejections and proposal rejections.  I didn't do it in public, but once that office door was closed, the tears flowed.  Is that a lack of emotion?  No, that's being a grown-up in public as I have been culturally raised to be.  The only time one is allowed to show that much emotion is for a death of a dear friend or family member.  Everything else is held inside until in private.  Don't think for a minute that I'm the only one doing this and that no one in your field does it.

And, if you love what you are doing for work, sometimes (often!) work is more like "play."  Some of my less quantitative friends think I'm nut for enjoying statistical analysis but what I enjoy is finding out what the data are saying (or not saying). That's fun. Some of my more quantitative friends can't believe I enjoy survey and interview research, but what I enjoy is finding out what really drives decisions made by people.  For me, it's all (often) fun and I do get excited about it! Excitement is emotion, too.

Manuscript rejections, insane administrators, whining students? Not so much fun, but really that's not a huge proportion of my time in the overall scheme of things.

Having made it through several crises involving the death of an immediate family member or the major critical illness of either myself or an immediate family member, I can add that work, hard work, can be very helpful. As long as you can find the time/place to do productive work, it gives you a satisfying separate set of fixable problems to concentrate on and a brief respite from the pain and worry of the "real world." Like hard exercise, you kind of "come to" afterwards and realize that you have had 20 minutes where Major Problem has been off the page. It's a tremendous relief. Teaching or time spent in deep writing/revision is best, but even grading student papers in the ICU will help.

I don't know if this works with deep-rooted psychological trauma, but for crisis in the moment and even chronic illness it certainly has helped me. The main problem for me is when a chronic illness in the family means that I am kept awake for most of the night, several nights in a row. I do find it hard to get good work done when I'm both worried and exhausted on a chronic basis, with no immediate prospect of resolution. But if I can manage to work, it still has that analgesic effect for me, a tremendous relief, even if only temporary.

Works that way for me, too. I did a heck of a lot of data analysis sitting by the bedside of my sleeping dying father. It helps to engage at least part of the brain with something else, preferably something productive.

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