Friday, December 5, 2008

JFOS day 1

They keep us pretty busy at this meeting. They bussed us over to the conference center at 8:30 this morning, and bussed us back after dinner at around 8pm. And there's some kind of informal interaction session going on right now, that I'm playing hookey from. Tomorrow, the busses come at 7:30am. Sheesh!

I estimate that there are about 80-90 participants at this meeting. Going through the participant roster, I counted 17 women. That sounds about par for the course. Apparently they did consider gender when inviting participants, at any rate.

All the literature seems to be going out of their way to emphasize how bright and promising we young scientists here at the meeting are. But instead of making me feel pleased with myself, it's making me feel disgruntled. If I'm so brilliant, why don't I have a faculty job yet? I've sent out a decent number of applications over the years, so what's up? Why won't anybody hire me? I tell people what I work on, and most of them say, ooh, that's a hot topic right now. But when I look at the job listings, I don't seem to fall neatly into any of the categories. It's as if I were a cat herder, and all anyone wants is cat groomers or sheep herders. I just can't win.

Bah. This unexpectedly turned into a rant. Sorry about that.

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