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15. Rewards for doing the work you agreed to do January 24, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Motivation.
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So I’m in grant reviewing hell.  Preparing for that meeting on the left.   I could do a quick crappy job, or do the right thing.  Perhaps, unfortunately for my weekend, I tend to do the right thing.

I’ve written grants myself, and I know how hard it is to develop a good plan, good hypotheses, and then explain exactly what you’re going to do if you get the money.  It’s not like the government hands over $3M for a fishing expedition – a research term for “we’re gonna look at a lot of different stuff that we haven’t identified yet and hope we figure out something useful.”  Those types of proposals don’t (usually) make it too far.

Other proposals are a joy to read!  Heavy scientific terms broken down into descriptive language that can teach a non-expert while simultaneously describing the work.  Flow is logical, the ideas are neat.  And if the grant writers do their jobs well, I can get really excited about the proposed project!  Clarity + readability + neat project = GOOD SCORE = $$$$$$.

You’d think they’d figure that out.

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Mini-Point: The Shifting Sands of Life and Work January 12, 2010

Posted by Lisa in Assessments, Mini-Point.
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Good article reflecting on lessons learned traveling across the Sahara, and how they can apply to work and life.

We live and work in a mountain-climbing culture.

We want to see the peak, map out a route, and follow it to the top-our metaphors for goal-setting and goal-getting our way through our lives and careers.

Real life, however, often defies this approach. That’s because most of our experiences actually resemble a desert. We get lost or stuck, and even chase the occasional mirage. From raising kids to plotting our careers, we find few clear routes or identifiable peaks.

From Lessons Learned in the Desert by Steve Donahue.

3. Sowing the seeds – recommending somone else January 6, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Networking.
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Today I wrote a recommendation for a student who took a class I taught a few years ago.   He’s applying to a PhD program in Computer Architecture and Embedded Systems and wants to use me as a reference.  Turns out he got interested in Embedded Systems after taking my graduate class at New Jersey Institute of Technology, and he decided to focus his research in this area.

Cool.  🙂

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