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07 August 2009



Oh my, Pam! I will sure miss Katherine's poems during this transition...and keep you all in my thoughts. The science must go on - whether the good ol' boys like it or not. It's times like this I miss Ohio...


I wish you the best Pam. Can't imagine the uncertainty.


Thanks Pat. I can't write about much of it - but it's a combination of being in a program deemed 'not relevant' during wartime (aka a budget crisis) as well as one of those situations involving a person that send's one to a bookstore looking for books with 'how to deal with difficult people' in the title... Nonetheless, Katherine has a nice 'temporary' landing space (with benefits and a decent salary) and she will still be reading us poems! We've decided to have Thursday happy hours for awhile, and she'll read us a poem there instead!

Thank you Janet. There's risk involved and it's definitely uncertain - but my hope is that in the long run this will land us all in a better situation. The previous situation needed to end! Stay tuned...

Addison Ingle

I nearly dropped my coffee as I read your words a few moments ago. I'm so sorry! I'll save my expressions of outrage and concern for a more private medium....


Oh, I've enjoyed hearing your labstories and meeting all the people! I hate academia. I'm so sick of it. I hope I will never have to rely on it again. Don't get either of us started, right?

anna maria

Whenever I get bored with the fact that there are no major changes in my life lately, I catch myself and remember that change can be exciting, but very stressful as well.

Your post was a reminder of this. I'm sure all will go well, and I look forward to your telling us about it in ways that always make for good reading. Do you ever contribute articles to magazines (besides research sort of things)? Or do you even have time to?


Oh how awful.
OK, now I got that out of my system...yeah, it's all about change. Change is good...after the fact. During the fact it is hard and nerve wracking and sleep depriving.
I wish you the best in this see saw existance.
The air stream is such a perfect place to be now, as long as you can get though the door and not have to use the windows.
You know, I am very envious of your new living situation. I spent some of my formitive years (2-5) living and traveling with my parents in a classic 1950's Air Stream trailer. Mmmmm. I still remember the wood panneling.
Best of everything to ya,


Ad, thank you for your outrage... (and concern) - fortunately I've worked through alot of my anger, and now I'm mostly about 'what's next'.

Benjamin, I could complain about my particular institution for days and days... but I've never seen a place that is so resistant to real change. Unfortunately I am one of those people that loves - simply loves - academic research and graduate student mentoring - and I'm hoping that I can re-build a situation that will be more positive and supportive. In the meantime - the Microbial Lab still lives, as does it's wonderful spirit - the 'people' are still dedicated and with me (Katherine will still be reading us poems or sending them our way) - for which I'm beyond grateful. I have the same lab space for a bit, so we're keeping our heads low and we're all writing and working into the night. The science is great right now - even if the support is lacking.

Anna Maria, there are definitely elements of this that are really exciting. Things have needed to change for some time - and I think that whatever results, it will be better than the situation I was in. There will just have to be alot of sacrifice I'm afraid in the meantime. As for writing articles...the answer is mostly no - but just a month or so ago I was asked by Fine Gardening magazine to write a 500 word piece. I was thrilled! I'm not sure when it's coming out - maybe in early fall. I wouldn't mind doing that more often - it was alot of fun.

Gavriella - thanks so much, and thanks for the positive Airstream vibes. When my friends asked 'what can we do?' - I mostly say they can just look at the positive. Quite frankly, I'm loving the Airstream thing so far. I'm not at all completely set-up yet, but I'm making progress and I love the relative ease and compactness of it all - and I love looking out my 'bedroom' window at night into the trees. And yep - I've got that same wood paneling! Mine is a 1973 Overlander.


I am hoping for the best for you and yours. Nothing stays the same.

jodi (bloomingwriter)

Pam, I'm sorry for the upheaval, but encouraged by your positive attitude. I'll tell you something i've alluded to in my blog. I took a job for the first time in 15 years, back in the winter, thinking a salary and 'benefits' were advantages not to be ignored. I've since left that job and returned to freelancing because I discovered that the socalled advantages came with a bullying office manager, an owner resistant to change, and huge challenges to my health and family situation. Nothing is more important than family and health, and so I leapt out without a safety net. There's an adage that says 'Leap and the net will appear', and I believe that. Things will be all right for me and my family.

They will for you and yours, too. You're a smart and talented scientist and writer, and this sessional position will open other doors for you too. Sending you hugs and warm thoughts across the miles (and the borders).


Oh, I hate to hear this news. I've been through this kind of thing before and it is horrible for morale. Everyone is on edge all the time not knowing what is going to happen. Positive thoughts and love coming your way.


Layanee - thank you, and you're definitely right: change is one of life's main constants!

Jodi, thanks so much - for the good wishes and for sharing your own story (a bullying office manager sounds too familiar...). Best wishes to you too - and I'm happy to hear that you are finding a net too.

Joan, thank you! It's been a pretty tough few years - culminating yesterday - but I think that things will be better in the long run. There's a sense of relief in ending such a difficult situation - and I've known for a long time that I deserve to be treated better. Yes, it's tough on morale - but fortunately my research group has been just wonderful throughout all of this. And thanks for the positive thoughts!

Christopher C NC

Not fun I am sure, but at least you saw this coming and prepared yourself. Best wishes for your rearranging.

Blackswampgirl Kim

Pam, I do not have any profound words of insight, or wisdom... or even balm. But I wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you, and wish you well--good luck with your new life in "wartime," and may it be a short and victorious war!

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