Whatever, I do it again, not a big deal. What is a big deal is that I also met with my boss this week, and for the first time we out-loud acknowledged what we've been ignoring for a while now: there is no definite funding for my project after the summer. This means that there's no funding for me unless I want to switch to working on the lab's main project, which is significantly different from what I've been doing so far. Now, not only do I not want to be on that project, but I don't think it would be a good move, career-wise. This is the time I'm supposed to be defining myself, doing work that's explicitly my own; on this project I'd literally be just a set of hands.
So there's that! You might say I've got some shit to figure out. Do I look for a new lab that's doing things more in sync with my interests? Suck it up and help out with my current lab's big project for a bit while I apply for grants of my own (many thanks to Drug Monkey's Twitter advice and link re: R vs K awards)? Give up completely?
Whenever people in the movies reach that pivotal point at which they go from feeling beat-down to getting their act together to accomplish their Big Goal, there's a montage to demonstrate the person's journey from beat-down-ness to awesomeness. A particularly on-point commentary on this phenomenon can be found in the near-classic film Team America: World Police
I feel like I need a montage. In my montage, you'll see me alternately: having thoughtful sciencey discussions with potential future collaborators in downtown cafes; pipetting; typing late at night (to demonstrate lateness, you'll see J come over to me at my desk, kiss me on the forehead, and stumble sleepily off to bed, shaking his head in disbelief at how hard I'm working); looking at beautiful fluorescent things in a microscope; hitting "submit manuscript" with a satisfied and accomplished look on my face; etc!
Oh and also there'll be a shot of me teaching as students look on, totally engaged and totally not checking facebook. Today I gave my first bona fide lecture that I put together myself completely from scratch, and even though I was very stressed out when I was making it last night at 2 am (this is the way you professors do things, yes?), I think it went very well. The professor in charge of the class seemed really happy with my decisions on what to include, and when I was up there talking I remember thinking at one point, "Wow! People are actually writing down the things that I'm saying!" I mean, obviously this happens at meetings or whatever all the time, but for some reason this felt different. I was molding young minds!
ANYway...yeah. To conclude, montages are totally motivational and I really need to get pumped up here. It's going to be an interesting couple of months...