Field of Science

Ask the professor: What do you do with yourself over the summer?

Yeah!  That just makes my morning!  What do us lazy professors do with our 3 month long summer vacation?  Well, let TPP offer a couple of answers.  First, we don't get paid.  Maybe you think we aren't working, but not to worry because we're not getting paid either.  That's an equation you can perhaps understand.  Certainly TV right now doesn't have much to offer.  Let's see both hockey and basketball are still playing and dominating the TV, and it's June, so how could anyone care?  Of course the locally favorite baseball team had already sunk to the basement of the league so we can't even be amused by their usual summer collapse.  So you know, you just sort of sit around doin' nuthin'.  Summer is when field biologists get to actually visit the field.  That's were this picture came from, and soon it will be time to revisit these plots, re-photograph them and collect some more data.  Hmm, actually haven't collected any data yet; still analyzing the images from the last time collection period.  Finished revising a journal manuscript because the author wanted us to cite a paper of his that is going to appear in the same volume so we had no way to knowing about it yet.  Bloody thanks for that bother.  Finished revising and re-formatting about 150 figures for a book manuscript, then checking all the chapters, figure captions, indexes, contents, keyword lists, and size/magnification spread sheets to make certain all the references to these figures were still all correct.  Even just assembling the entire thing (you'd think this would all be digital wouldn't you?) in hard copy (2) for submission took three days because you notice that not all of those things above were quite correct, so you fix everything on the fly.  A steady stream of recommendation requests, internship notifications, and other student-centered requests need to be done ASAP, and did TPP mention we don't get paid in the summer even though we continue to deliver the services students count on?  In his ample spare time TPP tries to keep entropy at bay with respect to his old house and his gardens.  Did a biological presentation, actually just a question and answer session, to explain to Unitarians how the biological world works (topics covered: biological magnification of heavy metal pollutants, phytoplankton productivity, bees and biodiversity, soy food products, antibiotics in food, coral reefs and global warming, nutrient cycling, and so on); received many thanks, many complements, no honorarium.  But rather than rant at him, told my dentist I was so bored with nothing to do that I was thinking of taking up golf (his game). 

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