It is a commonly acknowledged problem in academia that success often comes at the expense of having a life outside of work (or at least seems like it has to). As a result, there are many attempts to help academics improve their work/life balance. Unfortunately, these attempts often devolve into motivational platitudes and advice that most people have already heard. And understandably so – work/life balance is a tricky subject to confront! This difficulty results from the confluence of two major factors: Different people want different things out of their lives, so balance means different things to different people. These topics can be so personal that people often don’t feel comfortable discussing them in concrete terms.
Category: Work/Life Balance
We’re well into the season of prospective graduate students visiting graduate schools and trying to decide where to spend possibly the next five or more years of their lives working pretty darn hard doing something they hopefully love. There are a lot of things to consider when thinking about graduate schools and lists exist that are much more thorough than I could achieve, but one thing that many students probably don’t consider is health insurance (I know I didn’t).
Missed the beginning? Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Part 7 Scrooge awoke with a start. He was in his own bed. And seemingly alive! What a relief! He bounced out of bed and ran to his window. Looking down, he saw a student walking by on the street outside and called down to her “You there! What day is it?” “It’s Christmas day, sir!” the student called back, looking a bit perplexed.
Missed the beginning? Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Part 6 A final chime sounded. Steam poured from the radiator, swirling through the air until it congealed into a dark hooded figure: The Spirit of Christmas Future. As Scrooge stared at the figure in trepidation, it silently raised a robed arm and gestured forward. Scrooge followed its direction, and found himself in the faculty lounge of his department. A group of professors were chatting.
Missed the beginning? Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. Part 5 The scene before Scrooge and the Spirit of Christmas Present shifted. Now, they were in an ornately decorated room with lively music playing and a large Christmas dinner laid out on the table. The house belonged to Fred Hollowell, and was filled with his collaborators, friends, and all of their families. As Scrooge looked on, he was struck by vibrancy of the conversations and the diversity of people having them. The scientists in the room were not immediately identifiable by their appearance; men and women of a wide variety of ethnicities were represented, and conversation among groups seemed to zig-zag back and forth between seemingly unrelated topics, many of which seemed to have nothing to do with science at all.