Wednesday, September 29, 2010

i meant what i said, but ..

(originally written on 23 september 2010)

i just convinced one of the new postdocs in my department not to worry. (her work computer crashed and she's going to lose a few days' computing time.)

just earlier, she was going to cancel on her friends, who planned to go to a football game.

"work things happen all the time," i tell her.
"everyone will understand. you should go out and have fun."

she seems relieved to hear this. as far as i know, she'll go and have a good time.

here's the thing:

is it hypocritical of me to have said this,
if i wouldn't have taken my own advice?

(added today.)
i can see all the reasons why _she_ should take the advice:
it's her first week on the job,
she's learning a whole new field.

adequate downtime is a must.

if she can't take it easy now, then what about later,
when things suddenly become _really_ busy? [1]
what about when she starts teaching?
thinking about it, anyone's who survived a ph.d. program will know how to work like a maniac when the situation calls for it.

as for why _i_ should take the advice .. [thinks] ..
.. for every reason i think of,
i can think of a better reason against it.

besides: i already go out enough, see my friends often enough.
when i started out as a postdoc, there was no older postdoc to tell me to relax, to choose which battles to fight and when. i wonder if things would have turned out differently.

[1] call me a pessimist (everyone does anyway) but things always get busier as the semester/term progresses.

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