I’m so happy about this that I want to tell everyone:
MY abstract was ACCEPTED!!
I’m in grad school. I’ve been in grad school forever, or so it seems. I’ve had a lot of problems during the years I’ve been here, from a car accident and broken back to my sister’s death and beyond into things that I just don’t like talking about. I also met and married my wonderful husband Cervaise. Needless to say, my productivity and motivation have suffered.
Last fall, I joined a group (read: got a job as a graduate research assistant) that I thought I would have nothing in common with. They do cancer, I’m interested in social factors related to health. We’re talking very different worlds here. At least it was a job, and I needed one.
These have been the most amazing people to work with. They have supported me, and encouraged me, and praised my writing abilities, and have kicked me in the ass when I needed it, but never in a way that made me feel bad or inadequate or like a lesser person. This has not been true for other groups I’ve worked with.
So, when it came time to submit abstracts for the Society of Epidemiological Research annual meeting, they encouraged me to write one, combining some social factors with some cancer stuff. The first analysis I tried to do didn’t work, we had some missing data issues and no time to resolve them before the deadline. So I was encouraged to modify my idea and submit an analysis that could be done, even though it wasn’t my first choice. And I did it, although to be honest it’s not really the best analysis ever done.
And I just found out today that it has been accepted, I’ll be in a poster session at the conference, and my abstract will be published in the June 1, 2002 supplement of the American Journal of Epidemiology. It’s been 7 years since really I published anything (my first was an abstract for the American Public Health Association, on my Master’s thesis project).
I feel so good about this in so many ways: I tried something that I was nervous about, and it paid off in a big way. I didn’t know anything about cancer, and I did a valid analysis anyway. The people at work encouraged me, and I did good. I was feeling like a pretender, and know I have concrete feedback that I really can be a scientist, and my work is really worth something.
I’m taking my General Exam (the 2-week written take-home portion) in ten days, I have 2 papers - no, 3 papers - that I want to write, and I’m working on a grant application for a idea of my own that will probably be submitted in August. Unless it’s so good that it can be a real grant, rather than a small grant, in which case it will go in in June. We’ll see about that, it also depends on how much I can learn about genetic polymorphisms and whether there are any that are relevant to my question.
Anyway, for those who took the time to read this far, thanks for celebrating with me.