Birthdays, Weddings, and Publications, oh my!

Your device, please.

Yeah, I’ve been slacking on posting again. Which kind of makes my considerations of late to start a running-only blog somewhat premature. It’s difficult to say, though; occasionally I purposely don’t post here because I want to post about something other than running first, as this blog’s explicit purpose is not any one particular topic. Thoughts?

Incessant ramblings aside, the more immediate reason behind my unnoticed absence has been a recent spike in traveling and a continuing spike (perhaps a more appropriate metaphor would be “plateau”?) in research. To wit:


The Lady and I spent a wonderful weekend in Scottsdale, AZ, at this little motel:

How the other half lives.

How the other half lives.

The purpose was to celebrate her dad’s birthday, and the entire family was present. It was an awesome weekend, filled with more congratulations on our engagement, cooing over the grandchildren (who are friggin adorable), and a whole lot of roasting. The Lady and I even ventured out for a run one morning to take advantage of the warmer, sunnier weather before returning to the Great White North.

I’d never been to a 5-star hotel before. Even more significantly, I’d never had everything paid for by someone else before, either. And I mean everything: her grandparents (fabulous people) argued with us when we tried to pay for our cab fare from the airport to the hotel, never mind the pool-side beverage service.


The return to Pittsburgh was a double-whammy: snow had set in during our absence, along with sub-zero wind chills. Needless to say, we moved our workouts indoors for the week. Furthermore, the first draft of a paper we’re trying desperately to rid ourselves of publish came back from our co-authors with edits that can best be summed up as: “This won’t work.”

Clear, cogent, and concise.

Clear, cogent, and concise.

Over the phone she laid out specifics: the structure of the document was entirely too procedural for the journal we’re gunning for. The journal expects a much more dynamic, results-oriented submission than the methods paper I’d drafted. The content itself wasn’t wrong; in fact, she had only one minor content edit. The structure simply needed to be turned on its head, and some details removed: it’s supposed to appeal to a very broad [scientific] audience, so I need to “explain how to drive a car without showing how to build the engine”.

Simple enough, right? Except I’ve been working on it for the entire week and only now have a viable second draft that my advisor and I are still tweaking before we send it to her again. As exciting as it would be to have this paper published at the journal we have in mind (reaaaaaally exciting!), this is weighing on me, as classes have already begun and the assignments have started rolling in. I’m trying to strike a delicate balance between giving this paper the attention it needs and deserves, and expediting the process as much as is plausible.


MOAR TRAVELING!!1 And more wintery weather. Ugh.

This time, the Lady and I journeyed to Cleveland for the weekend to do some wedding planning (as in, ours): we looked at a couple of potential venues, met with a potential photographer, and she and her mom scouted out some wedding dresses for ideas (while I was comfortably situated at a nearby Starbucks).

It was awfully beautiful.

Beautiful? To say the least.

We didn’t nail anything down, but we did significantly narrow the search parameters. In other words, we should be able to say we have a date and a venue within the next 2-3 weeks. Hopefully a photographer shortly thereafter. After that, we can start filling in the gaps: flowers, centerpieces, decorations, guest lists, dresses, tuxedos, travel plans, invitations, etc etc…….

Pensive bear is pensive.

Pensive bear is pensive.

It’ll be a busy 2013, that’s for sure.

After this paper goes out, I intend to take at least a couple days off from research. Once we have a date and venue nailed down, hopefully we won’t need to travel quite as much. And in the meantime, we have the Pittsburgh half marathon in May, the Air Force half marathon in September, and potentially the Marine Corps marathon in October…WOOOOOOOOOOOO



About Shannon Quinn

Oh hai!
This entry was posted in Academics, Blogging, Graduate School, lolcat, Real Life, Running, The Lady, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Birthdays, Weddings, and Publications, oh my!

  1. eksith says:

    “The journal expects a much more dynamic, results-oriented submission than the methods paper I’d drafted.”

    Read: Skim-friendly. This is pretty typical of journal formats since they’re trying to aim for the broadest audience fo that publication. This is just adding to the pressure since the class assignments are coming in, but any spare time you can spare for the paper won’t be wasted. That may be the priority at the moment since it will get your name out there. Future career boost and all that.

    As for the wedding, make sure your photographer can provide extensive references. And please do contact them too, because you never know if they were really happy.

    • magsol says:

      That’s good advice. It’s difficult to keep in mind, but that’s pretty much how I read academic papers as well, particularly if there’s something specific in it I’m looking for. This latest draft, I think, adheres to that principle reasonably well; I suppose we’ll find out when my coauthors get back to me later this weekend.

      The photographer we met with came at the recommendation of a mutual friend who had done a ton of photographer research prior to her own wedding, and was extremely satisfied with this guy. We had a great discussion, but I’m certainly willing to concede that he’s just a great people person. His photos, though, are also excellent. And given the testimony of this individual, I’m feeling pretty good about it. Though again, the references idea is excellent advice.

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