I just got back from a depressing lunch with a prospective faculty candidate. This guy is pretty sharp with some very interesting research ideas. One would think he’d have no problem finding an academic position. So just to get an idea of what I have to look forward to, I asked how many interviews he’s been on and how many he’s applied for. This is his fifth and final interview, and he’s applied to 115 universities. And I thought medical schools had low acceptance rates.

Last week was the first week of lab. How fun. As a welcome back treat to the students there is no formal lab report for this experiment, but they do have to turn in a few graphs. This is the easiest assignment they’ve had all year. I’ve already gotten a dozen emails from students with subjects ranging from “I have no idea what to do,” to “I’m not going to be able to make it to lab,” to “Here’s my lab report, can you proofread it for me?” Has no one told these people how to interact with their academic supervisors? The response of “read your manual” pretty much covered most of the situations. Other responses such as “No.” and “I couldn’t care less,” covered the remaining few.

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