Thursday, July 28, 2011

Speculative Abstracts and Golden Children

... are the bane of my existence. Because my advisor wasn't willing to say no to an invited talk, in an area in which no one in my group is actively working, I now have major deadline convergence, between the Project That Won't Die (PTWD) and the Project My Thesis (proposal) is On (PMTpO). Combined with recent server downtime for maintenance, I'm alternating between panicked analysis/coding and thumb twiddling while I wait for something to run.

PTWD is producing the data for his invited talk, while PMTpO needs to have results for the annual funding review (we'll ignore that I'm a fellowship student). I think under normal circumstances, my advisor might have been sane enough to say no to the invited talk, but the invitation was from his perpetual Golden Child, who somehow remains the golden child, despite having left for a professorship position three years ago.

This isn't the first time my advisor submitting abstracts has resulting in non-thesis work for me, requiring generation of fairly substantial amounts of data in short times. However, I've been here for 2+ years now, and I can't recall this happening to other students in my group. I'm chalking it up to egocentric obliviousness, but my code is done for the moment, and it's time to switch from thumb-twiddling to panic.

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