David Thompson
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June 25, 2021

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Richard Cranium

I had enough savings to pay the rent and got lucky finding another job, back in research where I like to be, and somewhat separated from the academic bureaucracy.

I'm an old dog myself (Eisenhower was President when I came into this world), but have you thought about leveraging what you do know and like to do into something that you'd like to do somewhat less into something that pays more? (I can think of several reasons why you might not want to reply, ranging from "why would I reply to a dickhead who insulted me in an earlier thread?" to "even if people other than said dickhead could help me, I'll have to expose enough information to ensure that I won't have my current lilypad long enough to jump to the next one".

At the very least, please find someone that you trust who isn't in the academic bureaucracy and ask them what you might be able to do.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Via Orwell, For my son, those menopausal symptoms lasted only about a week.

Once that oestrogen tide goes out, that's when a short and sharp menopause can hit. Apart from that, the only side effect is potential bone brittleness from a loss of calcium...

Well, that, sterility, and a bunch of other long term effects, but as long as mom is proud, everything is jake.

Richard Cranium
[...]the only side effect is potential bone brittleness from a loss of calcium[...]

What a wonderfully caring mother; I guess she merely accelerated what would have happened to her XX child by a mere ~40 years. Of course, that means her XX child will experience the wonders of bone brittleness ~40 years earlier than otherwise.

She (the mother) hasn't lived through that yet. Perhaps her mother's genes were such that her mother didn't, oh, fall and break a collar bone that couldn't be set due to the spongy nature of her bones.

On the other hand...

But what I know about parenting is that I'm just the custodian to these children living in my home.
...tells me that her parents failed her in a fundamental way. She should think about the millions of years of evolution and natural selection (surely she believes in science) that resulted in a female that was willing to neuter her offspring. As far as I am concerned about her, I'm glad she succeeded. Her XX offspring may resent her success; if not, well, we have a win-win.

David

For my son, those menopausal symptoms lasted only about a week.

Because what the world needs is more people who are truly comfortable being themselves

Irony not included.

a different james

For my son, those menopausal symptoms lasted only about a week.

It's the unquestioning tone of the article, and similar articles in mainstream newspapers, that jars with me.

It is as if what is being described is no more unusual than someone's hair going prematurely grey.

Mick Hartley's website, although not devoted solely to this matter, covers how this pernicious trend has become so strong.

https://mickhartley.typepad.com/

WTP

It's the unquestioning tone of the article, and similar articles in mainstream newspapers, that jars with me.

Why not? That's what mainstream thinking is now. Deny it? Well don't deny it to me. Go out and deny it to these monsters and your friends, neighbors, and, should they bring it up, co-workers.

My mom has the coolest fridge.

Reminded me of a neighbor who has the coolest man cave.

ComputerLabRat

but have you thought about leveraging what you do know and like to do into something that you'd like to do somewhat less into something that pays more?

You insulted me in a previous thread? I must have missed that one - I'm pretty oblivious sometimes.

I'm a slighly less-old dog, Nixon being prez when I entered this world. I was trying to do your suggestion, sort of, when I left my first postdoc (temp) position to take that job in a bureaucracy - I was willing to deal with the tedium in trade for job stability. I just dropped myself right into the soup by doing that, and paid for my naivete 6 months later. So I'm back to another postdoc job, in which I get to do STEM-type research somewhat removed from most of the Clown Quarter insanity (although it does intrude via blast emails from HR and the Administration), but again, it's a temp job. I'm getting a bit old for postdocs, so it's heavy on my mind what comes next. I refuse to teach - that's a minefield nowadays, and is right smack dab in the middle of the Clown Quarter, no matter what subject you teach. So I've thought about getting out of research altogether - every time I drive by some big-box store warehouse advertising openings, I am tempted. Not sure they'd want to hire some nerdy middle-aged woman gone soft from desk jockeying, but it might be worth a try. At this point I don't particularly care what I do, as long I am able to learn the job, meet the standards, and it pays the bills.

Richard Cranium

@ComputerLabRat, I did post something that was not meant to be insulting, but certainly could have been construed as such; therefore, I wouldn't have been shocked if you had been insulted.

How much can you say about your STEM-type research? I'm a software weasel, but I've had a EE course or two (as well as a solid dynamics course and some physics). If you've written any type of code and/or have dealt with networking, you might be able to shimmy over into DevOps or some other infrastructure related field.

A colleague of mine had originally wanted to be a physicist. He realized that he would spend most of his life writing computer programs while getting little pay for doing so. He changed his focus in life shortly after that realization.

I'm on my 2nd career, but I started #2 in my late 30s.

ComputerLabRat

How much can you say about your STEM-type research?

That most people doing it have CE backgrounds, and therefore know how to code, whereas I have a science background that didn't require knowledge of coding. I did learn on the fly how to write some simple programs in MatLab - I was just getting some understanding of how to make things work using that tool when I graduated.

This is career #2 for me too - I was nearing 30 when I started college and the long slog through the degrees. The industry I was in before I went to school has been pretty decimated by the COVID response, so not sure I could pay the bills going back to it. I'll have to look into DevOps, see what is out there. I can't call myself a software weasel, but I am not unfamiliar with computers and how to make them do stuff like crunch numbers. When you and the other computer types here start posting on the topic I understand about a third of it and learn a lot from the rest of it. Heck - even the psych stuff some of the commenters get into is interesting, and I am not a people person. I think that's why I keep coming back to this blog - I learn something every time I do.

Steve E

I can't call myself a software weasel, but I am not unfamiliar with computers and how to make them do stuff like crunch numbers.

Do you know "R" at all? It's used primarily in statistical analysis--a very broad field of work is possible across multiple industries. So it's not necessarily in the STEM world or pure research but it can pay the bills. I was a sales and marketing executive in financial services before retiring. I didn't trust a lot of the garbage that outside firms were throwing at me, so I taught myself R and started asking for raw data instead of the packaged info they were pushing. I ended up creating a small department in my department to crunch numbers and the people I hired had strong database skills and a proficiency in R. Much of sales and marketing today is driven by big data that requires people who can manage the organization and analysis of data. If you have an understanding of MatLab and basic understanding of databases the learning curve isn't that steep and there's work--both full time and contract. Of course these same skills are required in STEM research as well. Just a thought. Best of luck with whatever you do.

ComputerLabRat

Do you know "R" at all?

I know what it is, have downloaded some code / packages in it to do some fancier statistics to finish out the last chapter of my thesis, and have been meaning to teach myself to code in it. Python, too, as it's the code driving ArcGIS (and the open source GIS software too, I think). Databases I know a little about, but can learn more. I've had no formal training in any of it, just learned what I needed to do whatever I was trying to do at the time.

Thank y'all - maybe this old dog can learn a few new tricks and parlay them into something that pays the bills. Data analysis is something I enjoy - I'd rather be buried under piles of data than be dealing with people.

Richard Cranium

@ComputerLabRat, if you enjoy data analysis, you should be advised that a lot of people hate attempting to figure out what is in a large dataset.

And when other people hate doing something that you love to do, it can be called "a match made in heaven". Depending upon what's going on, it could be called instead "a lucrative match made in heaven, for me".

One of the other buzzwords is "data analytics", please check that stuff out. It may be up your alley.

I'm a software weasel now, but I used to be a US Army officer; that experience taught me to not be surprised about being tossed into doing something weirdly new. (Hey, you! You know about tanks, right? Go be responsible for the operations of this mess hall. Don't fuck it up. What? You don't want to do that? I order you to do that. By the way, don't fuck it up.) That's a long winded way to tell you that the horizon you've been using to evaluate your skillset (current and potential) may not be wide enough to show you the lilypads that you could hop onto with little effort.

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