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Life, the universe and everything else...

Rachelle J. Bienstock rachelle at picard.niehs.nih.gov
Mon Aug 8 15:02:16 EST 1994


Keywords: 

I have been following the discussion about children, and outside
interests and time limitations.  I have also noticed that many
of the woman posting are postdocs.  I am no sage, but I have 
learned in life that few people get everything they want and
most people must learn to compromise, both men and women.  It
is extremely difficult to take care of children, be a gourmet
cook, paint and have other interesting hobbies and spend 60
hours a week in the lab.  When babies are small they need to
be fed frequently, are up many times in the night, and aren't
conducive to permitting a 10 hour day of work the next day...
It IS possible to have an interesting career in science and
still have a family and outside interests...you will just have 
to move to the beat of a slower drummer...you work will progress
at a slower pace, you will give fewer presentations, you will
go to fewer meetings, you will have more difficulty concentrating
if you are thinking about your baby in day care, or your 
infertility problem...This is life!  Regardless of your profession!
Some women manage to do it all...Mary Good was President of ACS,
VP of Allied Signal Corp, a PhD in Physics (I believe) and was
also happily married and had children...Rosalyn Yalow (Nobel
Prize in Medicine) also had children and was happily married...
Some women manage to have it all...but, I'm sure even these
women have had to compromise on certain things and sacrifice
certain things...There are only so many hours in the day, and
we are all only human...

Many companies offer part-time work arrangements now even for
PhD scientists...I had a friend at DuPont who had this type of
arrangement...Every person must learn what is best for them, and
when they feel they are ready to handle more complications in their
life...When I was in graduate school, I never even thought of having
children!  Now of course, I wish I had made very different decisions...
Every woman must chart her own course..And my feeling is also it is
not the number of hours a week you spend it the lab., but the quality
of your work...so what if your work moves at a slower pace- it is not
a race as long as what you do is fulfilling to you, don't look at what
others are doing!  Perhaps they don't have the same responsibilities
or outside interests which you do!



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