Being on campus was bittersweet. I had to leave the little one at home for the first time. We’ll call him Slimer. Slimer is quiet, but when he looks up at you with his hazel eyes it’s tough to not want to be around. I want to be one of those parents that’s okay with getting a sitter or leaving them with the gparents so I need to be okay with telling those hazel eyes goodbye for short period. I’m still so concerned about my career taking a tumble even though everyone says I’ll be fine. I may already be overcompensating by the amount of work I’ve been doing from home. I don’t think I’ve ever read and edited so many papers in my life in the span of a week.
On campus my students had a bunch of gifts waiting for me in my office. The other faculty didn’t really care or notice I was gone (welcome to the solitude that comes with the ivory tower). Like I anticipated, the proactive students had good progress and the less motivated students were behind. I’m mainly glad that no one went down a rabbit hole and wasted resources. The slow ones continued on good paths and made good decisions, they just didn’t work as much so they didn’t make much progress. I told them that I wanted to know what slowed them down and put in some hard deadlines for papers, results, conference submissions, etc. So we’ll see if that lights a fire. But overall it was really nice to be back on campus. I was working my ass off right until the last second so everything would be set for the semester (hence the lack of posts). I have a few meetings next week with collaborators (one from industry that provides me funding), so there’s some prep and data I’ll need from students.
Overall, I worried more than was necessary about my lab and Slimer. It’ll take some time to balance these new roles, but thank you to everyone for the reassuring words!