Monday, December 06, 2010


a picture of triumph


no, you're not missing anything. because it's a picture of nothing on the wall next to my desk! ie, this list is gone:

today the work on my fellowship grant is complete! i get to upload it, hit 'release' and let the NIH decide on whether it is worth giving me $$$ or not. i am really excited about this, and somewhat proud.

not because it's a masterpiece -- uhhh, because i know it's not. i've spent the last 4.5 years in clinical training, completely removed from the science world. i felt like a fish out of water writing about PCRs for genotyping and breeding of conditional knockouts.

but trepidations about the actual quality of my submission aside, i am just thrilled i managed to get it done at all. i have had trouble with procrastination in the past, and made a conscious decision NOT to go that route with this behemoth of a project.

i planned on both a monthly and daily scale . . .

a powerful motivator: the ability to actually see how much there is to do all in one space

and miraculously i managed to adhere to to my plans:

because a manageable daily 'assignment' is 80 million times more pleasant than a rushed panic in the end.

giving myself artificial deadlines -- such as, "submit X piece to Y person to look at" helped a lot to keep me on track.

a bunch of the required documents . . . quite the collection:

i mentioned previously that this was a great learning experience, and it was. i think i value the lessons in project/time management more than the science itself! i hope to use a similar strategy with the even larger projects that loom in my future, such as the experiments i proposed in this grant as well as the eventual writing (i hope) of a manuscript with the results. oh, and my book deal.

(not really about the book deal.)
((not yet, anyway!))

happy monday
just a few things to be happy about today . . .

two packages waiting for me in the apartment office (although i think they are gifts i ordered for others, still fun!)
breaking into the january issue of CE
sending the grant off!
signing OFF the pager at 5



workout: i did end up going for an early long run before rounding yesterday. in the snow! actually, the paths were not snowy, but the grass was and there were a few patches of hard-to-see ice. there were so many broken branches and others just buckled under the weight of the (1 inch of) snow . . . and it was quiet and peaceful and not even THAT cold (i think it was 30F).

distance: at least 10 miles (estimated), pace somewhere between 9-9:30

i topped this workout off with a 25-minute stretchy yoga for runners session.

roasting rules: because it is SO EASY! i made this real simple recipe for roasted cod, scallions, and spiced potatoes, plus i added some roasted broccoli for good measure.

somehow, this looks like way more work than it actually was.

it was a simple meal, but josh and i both liked it.

project report: i think i've said enough about this already!


  1. Congrats on finishing the grant three days early! Another plus to not procrastinating is not having to worry about the submission site being broken by everyone else trying to get their grants in at the last minute.

  2. Anonymous7:54 AM

    Congratulations! When do you expect a response? Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

  3. Yay, I am glad you are finished with it!

  4. Congratulations! I understand the triumph because I'm in the middle of the "rushed panic at the end"... a final paper due in class and a huge group project at work due around the same time. I don't have much control over the work schedule, but I *definitely* should have started the paper earlier -- ugh. Good luck with the grant!

  5. Congratulations Sarah! I have been MIA the last few weeks because I was in charge of coordinating a gala for 400 people... it was Friday night, it was wonderful and now I get my life back! I am definitely celebrating with you this morning!

  6. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!! As a science nerdy I really understand what an accomplishment and relief it is to have a grant submitted... Good job!!!

  7. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Congratulations! I appreciate you sharing your struggles. It's actually helpful to me in my life. Just a weird question though - Why do you ned to do a biological sketch of mentors (#8 on the checklist)? Is that a typo, or is it a science thing?

  8. thanks you all! i am excited too. i think we hear back in Jan or Feb? Honestly I haven't even thought about that part!

    anon: a bio sketch (CV) of both of my mentors had to be submitted as well, i guess to verify that they are qualified to supervise the project. they had to write that part though!

  9. well done on finishing the grant early!! (and beating procrastination!)

    I could never do research on animals though.

  10. atilla6:59 PM

    congrats, did my board recert today feel wasted

  11. Congrats on finishing your grant!! I plan on celebrating with the latest issue of CE too, tomorrow after my last exam:)

  12. hurray for the grant being done!! I have only applied for one grant (and I got it!), but I totally waited until the very end and was scrambling to get it in before the deadline. not. fun. never doing THAT again.

    hence, my December goal to make a dissertation-writing-timeline.

    Oh! And my new Space 24 planner started today. Bliss. I even thanked you in my blog post!


  13. Anonymous12:16 AM

    Hi, Sarah, Thanks for the answer - but I think you misunderstood my question - I was wondering whether a BIOLOGICAL (as in biology) sketch for a mentor was a special science thing (really, my question was sincere - was not intended to be a smartass way of saying you had a typo). I can infer from your answer already, though, that there is no such special science/medical thing as a "biological" sketch. Sorry this is really lame. Congratulations on the big finish - sincerely.

  14. Congratulations on being done! I just finished up a HUGE project myself, so I know how good it feels. I am now trying to enjoy "getting my life back" without feeling too guilty about not being on the go, go, go all the time anymore. It really takes time for the brain to de-stress! Do you have any rewards scheduled?

  15. anon: ohh!! you're so right, it's 'biographical' not biological. my error! and don't worry, your comment wasn't lame at all.

    jenny: no plans other than to celebrate josh's bday at a really nice dinner out tomorrow night - it will be a joint celebration.

  16. Congratulations Sarah! I just came across your blog today. I admire your organization and hand-writing! You could turn it into a computer font. Did you always write that way or did you deliberately develop it?

    I have a deadline on Jan.7 for my master's thesis. I set myself 'artificial deadlines' too, so I'm glad to see your post about yours. It can be tough to be isolated due to your work load. Thanks for posting photos of your planner - totally inspiring!