public service message

A heads up any of you who might be considering going back to school. A Lady Scientist had a good post about choosing an advisor, and I have to say it echoes my sentiments exactly. I made a bit of a compromise on location for grad school so that Adam & I could live in the same city (in the past our record had been 6 consecutive months in the same zip code. In 5 years). I wouldn't have thought it at the time, but now I think I actually lucked out, because the person I'm working with is shaping up to be a fantastic mentor. Totally accessible but completely hands-off, good feedback and editing (sometimes too good...), and a good role model for what I consider to be two crucial elements of graduate school: 1. critical thinking skills, and 2. learning how to read through reviewers' comments on your work completely unemotionally and weed out the useful from the junk.* 

I mean, we're biologists, so there is very much of all of the requisite social awkwardness involved in it all, but that comes with the territory.  

My greater point is that you should go and read her post because she hit the nail on the head. And I think it is something to consider for a lot of other types of endeavors as well, including job searches in other fields. We can all get so caught up in the shiny glitz of status that it can get in the way of what is best for our personal and professional well-being.  

* i won't go on & on about it, but learning to weed through criticism & take the good and ignore the bad is a skill that I still do not posses, but one that I really need to work on. You have to have a good anchor down in your own sense of the worth and direction of your work, otherwise every comment from a reviewer will send you (me) off into a tailspin of doubt.  

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