Showing posts from September, 2011

A Day in a Life of a Scientist (the naive version)

To be honest, when I was in high school, applying to engineering schools, I did not give much thought to what a day in a life of a scientist or an engineer might look like. There are lots of things that I did not give much thought to (like why I was applying to engineering schools in the first place), but if I were to come up with what my naive brain would have thought back then, a typical day in a life of a scientist would sound something like this. You get in to work early and pour yourself a second cup of tea (because you already had your first one with breakfast at home) while quickly checking email. You glance at the To-Do list lying on your desk and smile with anticipation of an exciting day ahead of you. Because every day in your life is exciting! How could it not be, if your job is to do meaningful research in a state-of-the-art lab? You are developing a cutting edge device that will be invaluable for treatment of cancer. Your work is contributing greatly to the world, and y

Kicking butt into gear

Two days ago, I came home after work, popped in a workout DVD, and exercised for thirty minutes. Let me explain how huge of an accomplishment that is. When it comes to exercise, I could be best described as a lazy, lethargic sloth. No matter how many resolutions I make to incorporate exercise of any form into my life on a regular basis, I inevitably fall off the wagon, every time. As a result, I've had years of practice of coming up with perfectly reasonable excuses to keep my butt firmly planted on the couch. Here is a sample: "Morning workout? No way that's happening. I am not a morning person. In fact, I'm not even functional until about one p.m." "Lunch-time exercise? And what am I going to do after that, stink for the rest of the day? Besides, lunch time is for eating!" "After work, before dinner workout? Hmm, well that would be nice, except that I get ravenously hungry around four p.m., and by the time I get home, all I can think about is

Science vs/and Writing

Mathematics and engineering have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up with two mathematics teachers and two engineers, I was surrounded by it. So, naturally, when it came time to make choices about my future career, I leaned toward the technical fields. Perhaps "choices" is not the right word to use, though, as options outside of engineering (or at least medicine) were not really presented to me as viable ways of making a living. Or at least, not a decent living with a steady paycheck and a guaranteed job. (Which, by the way, ha! Like any job can be guaranteed in this market.) On some level, I can understand this logic. If you are an engineer or a doctor, and you work hard, you will earn a steady paycheck (at least, this was the case when I was making all these choices). On the other hand, you can work your ass off till you have no ass left, but you might still not earn much if you are say, a writer. Sure, you can be a successful and money-making wri