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Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Why I love my lab

Reason 1: I come walk into my office every morning, graced by this beautiful drawing on my whiteboard:

Reason 2: Alex comes into the office, completely drenched from head to toe from the rain.
Me: “Honey, why don’t you just use an umbrella??”
Alex: “I don’t like umbrellas. They invert!”
Me: “Matrices invert and you still like them…”

NERD SLAPPED

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Minority report

It’s hard being a woman. We want babies while maintaining a successful career. Yet we still end up doing most of the housework. And we have to suffer from monthly emotional roller coasters. Whine.

(I was going to write about this on my NSF personal statement until I realized that, well, it’s a pretty stupid thing to write about. Which is why I’m writing about it on my blog! YAY.)

So far, one of the biggest disadvantage about being a woman I’ve faced is the advantages for being a woman. You know, Affirmative Action. After I got into MIT, the number of times I heard “well, you only got in for being a girl” is innumerable. It really hurt after a while because I felt like all of my hard work was dismissed by my gender. The inferior one that “requires a little help or push” to succeed. By the time I graduated high school, I figured all of this demeaning talk would be over. Wrong. Recently, when I mention that I’m applying for NSF graduate fellowship, people keep telling me “oh you’ll get it easily — you’re a girl!” Maybe they’re meant to be words of comfort, to destress me, but I don’t take it that way. I find it insulting.

There are two scenarios in these situations. I either achieve what I was working towards (undergrad or grad school acceptances, or NSF funding) and feel like I didn’t really deserve it as much as the males on the same level, or I fail to achieve my goals, and it hits my self-esteem even harder. If it was so much easier for me to get the awards, how bad must I be to not get it? See, it’s like catching the number 22. Perhaps 22 catches. OF FAIL IN ALL SITUATIONS.

The summer after high school ended I found a shirt that resonated with my frustrations (most of you probably are familiar with that shirt.) “Wish I Were a Boy,” it announces in large, bold letters. I truly did wish I were a boy for a while and to take out gender of all my equations. But now, as a full-fledged feminist (who enjoys knitting, cooking, and cleaning…), I won’t stand up for this shit. It’s just not fair for me to feel BAD about being rewarded for my hard work. Let’s just cancel out that variable and pretend it never existed.

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Nobel Prizes

I made the mistake of going on facebook today.

It was a mistake because I have a problem set that was due yesterday, and I should have been working on that. It was also a mistake because I read a “friend’s” status attacking the Nobel Prize committee for giving their Peace prize to Obama. Now I’m highly annoyed and I’ve been unable to focus on work. So let me write this quick rant so I can get back to being productive.

Leave the scientific Nobel Prizes out of this. Stop discrediting an entire foundation primarily based on rewarding great scientific achievements just because you don’t agree with Obama winning the Peace Prize. I always sort of found the Peace Prize to be sort of bogus, anyways. Please leave us scientists out of your political disagreements.

Thank you for reading.

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