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The posting that noone will read!

Mr. W.Y. Chan wahchan at liverpool.ac.uk
Mon Jan 6 08:35:27 EST 1997


Jeanhee Chung (jc363 at pantheon.yale.edu) wrote:

: Since it's December 31st, this posting will last only twelve hours....but
: it took an hour to write! 

: I feel myself becoming a case history.

: Well, I've done it now... I'm going to take a leave of absence from my PhD
: program to take care of my father, who has leukemia. 

Ms Chung, I feel very sorry for and your father, hope things turns out
better for both of you. I dont think your decision is unwise.
: I have to do this, because I realize that it is worse to do half-hearted
: work on science and family duty, than to simply trim down the commitments
: and do one thing right.   For now, the study will have to go, because even
: if I become a successful scientist down the road, if I do not choose the
: sacrifice, I won't be able to stand the answer to the question:  What kind
: of person am I?

: This is a hard thing to do, especially as I'm not fresh out of college...
: At the age of 26 (admittedly not old, but four years behind my peers
: because I was working, having adventures, and travelling) I just went
: through hell to get INTO grad school.  Okay, so I dawdled on the way, my
: own decision, but I suddenly realized that I'm out of leeway-- I'm a goner
: academically if I marry my man and have the recombinant offspring that I
: ought to have to demonstrate my Darwinian fitness.  It's scary.  I'm
: scared.

: ****************************************

: Some scattered thoughts on this month's postings....
: I don't blame the deadwood tenured professors (in Anthropology we used to
: call them "silverbacks" or "thrombosis").  Hoo boy, if I neglect all
: aspects of my life for science, I will be looking forward to the time when
: I get tenure and can sit back, grow a paunch, and scare undergraduates
: with forty-year old lecture notes.  This is, I think, the traditional
: strategy for men and women in science today: pretend you are a manic
: genius and work yourself to the point of burnout. If you're lucky, burnout
: will occur AFTER you get tenure.  Then you can sag (unless you are indeed
: a manic genius). 

: Instead of having a madman work 90 hours a week for a short career, it
: would be nice if the strategy were: work hard, 30-50 flexible hours a
: week.  Then everybody goes home, does their errands, and has a nice dinner
: with friends and family. 8 lovely hours of sleep a night! No
: discrimination against capable scientists who take time out to have
: children or to write that book! Okay, I'm drifting into Utopia here, but
: it really seems that the distribution of working hours in science is like
: the arms race.  We're all afraid that the only way to beat out the crazy
: slob at the next bench, who has abandoned care of all bodily needs for the
: pursuit of science, is to become a crazier slob.  I guess it's more
: cost-effective though to give grants to a  few people who kill themselves 
: to do the same amount of work that more people could do, sanely.   
Often many scientist do compete against one another and take their interest
very seriosely like a hobby and spend virtually no time on social life.

: *****************************************************

: Here is a comment to Mr. Wah Chan:  I think most people here enjoy your
: comments, even the somewhat annoying ones, because you give
: us something to chew on.  However, I have to say:  in your responses to
: "Solidarity", and "men, women, and baking" and "SusanB" you evince a
: naive belief that women's groups want fairness and equality and lack of
: discrimination.  Yes, this may be so, but I think that the MEANS of
: achieving fairness, equality, and lack of discrimination may well have bo
: be unfair, unequal, and discriminating  in order to counter the real
: biological, socializing, and historical differences in the situations of
: men and women (or English-speakers and Chinese-speakers, or whites and
: blacks).    That's the point behind affirmative action.  I am not giving
: my opinion on whether I am overall for or against a. a. or "solidarity".  
Like fighting fire with fire? Two wrong does not make a right neither
does one wrong, if you want something you have to prove yourself to
convince others and not to be expected to be handed on a plate.
I am sorry you have not find my contribution "supportive" enough but
I am making somthing out of what "equality" really stands for and that is
to put oneself in other's position and see how it is like.

: 	To clarify further, here is an example.  Let's say that
: traditionally women have trouble saying "no" to the pressures to tidy up,
: to be "nice", or to undertake social responsibility.  Men may have trouble
: saying "no" to the pressures to succeed, to go away to work rather than
: working at home. Many women and men are unhappy being forced to fit into
: only one of these roles.  Nothing will change unless we offer incentives,
: rather than punishments, to give people the courage to do what
: they really want to do. To solve this, equal treatment from schools and
: hirers from cradle to grave may be good, but still won't CHANGE anything
: that is a result of societal prejudices.

: 	Another example, from one Asian-American to another:  would it
: make sense to teach Chinese immigrant students to America MORE Chinese?
: Or should we give both Chinese and native English speakers remedial
: classes in English?  Or might it not be better to give the Chinese
: students classes in English, and maybe give the English speakers classes
: in Chinese, or at least classes in understanding the problems that
: immigrants have in moving from one society and language to another.

: 	Finally, I have a big problem with fairness, when fairness
: isn't good. Like, we all die, which is as just as things get, but it still
: sucks.  


: 	Getting morbid here, so I'll sign off... Thanks for reading,
: everyone.




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