a different kind of summer

Less of this...
& more of this...
(ok, well, I'll be drinking rootbeer)

As it turns out, I am still waiting to hear about the big grant that I applied for last Nov. The one that I had hoped would fund my last field season this summer. Data collection for what would potentially be my final chapter.

In the world of federal grants for scientific research, No News is not really Good News, and it is probably either Bad News or On The Fence news. On the fence meaning that maybe the panel is still trying to find some last scraps of money to fund it, so it hasn't been kicked to the curb yet, but things aren't looking good.

At first I was getting pretty bummed out about this, as I had submitted what I felt was a killer proposal that fit the guidelines to a T. But, you never know who the reviewers are going to be, and the topic I'm dealing with can be a little... well, not controversial, but it makes some people a little bit touchy. Going against dogma makes reviewers nervous. Especially when you are a graduate student.

By now I've wrapped my head around the fact that it's probably not going to happen this year. I'm in the good position of only needing one more summer of fieldwork, but I have two more summers to go, so I can always reapply for next year and get a ton of work done analyzing and writing my other chapters in the mean time. And that whole growing a baby thing. That too.

In a weird twist of fate I am also not scheduled for any summer fieldwork for my Research Assistantship either.

So this all leaves me in the incredible position of having NO FIELDWORK all summer, for probably the first summer since college. It is a bitter pill, really, as fieldwork is my favorite part of this job. But the side benefit of all of it is that I will be around home the whole summer! My garden might actually make it all the way through! I might get to actually participate in fun summertime activities! No leaving Adam to attend bbq's and festivals alone! I might have a chance to actually get out of the city once and a while and go exploring. And I will have time for all of the baby-relating nesting that is coming down the pike (painting, making, buying, fussing).

Oh, and also-- not being alone in the desert in June while 5 months pregnant is a probably a nice thing too. It probably would have taken me twice as long to collect all of my samples...

Point being: if I am going to make this whole plan to reapply next year and still graduate on schedule work, then I am going to have to keep my nose to the grindstone this summer. I have two manuscripts in the hopper, and data from last summer that I haven't even looked at since last fall. And an overdue grant report too!


An in between all that work???



alyse. said...

I can totally relate to the bittersweet feelings that come with limited funding and reduced fieldwork. I love the fieldwork, but time at home is much appreciated! I am personally very glad that you will be around the neighborhood this summer!

LAURA!!! said...

Well it sounds like you are in a good place with it all - working out as it should.
and 5 mo preggers and alone in the desert sounds uncomfortable.

ps - i love that red picnic blanket. How come you and Sarah ended up with all the COOl stuff from mom and dad? ---insert sister jealousy here----

About Rosemary Hagan said...

You are tending "inner" fieldwork this year.

Karina said...

My two summers are similar! No field work for me, and a lot more lounging and beer drinking! I'm so excited to be here this summer. Are you going to bring your child to the field with you when you go back?

I just got a grant rejection today :-( I don't know how I'm funding my next field season, which is supposed to happen this fall.