Well, I submitted a proposal for a fellowship. At last. After wrestling with the boss.
Boss – “Your experiments are not testing a central idea”
Me – “well one way I could have tested a central idea was by proposing that [blah][blah][blah], but I didn’t want to propose that. The reason I didn’t want to propose that…”
Boss – “Say that again”
Me – “I didn’t want to propose that…”
Boss – “Propose WHAT?”
Me – [blink][blink] “one way I could have tested a central idea was by proposing that [blah][blah][blah], but I didn’t want to propose that. The reason I didn’t want to propose that was because I had data to show that [blah] [blah] isn’t a valid hypothesis since [blah][blah]”
I lost and ended up testing that idea in the proposal. Then, the next day…
Boss – “I don’t understand this experiment. What do you mean by this?”
Me – “I’m saying that [blah][blah][blah] and so we will test that hypothesis with this experiment”
Boss – “That doesn’t come out in your proposal… and it still doesn’t make sense to me”
Me – [Blank look]
Boss – [Confused, semi-irritated look]
Me – [Look down and stare at shoes]
Boss – “Did you mean to say [blah][blah][blah]? Was that at the back of your mind?”
Me – “I was thinking of that, but …”
Boss – “…I mean you have to mention things in a way that doesn’t leave people scratching their head”
Me – [scratching my head]
five minutes of drawing models out on a piece of scrap paper…. me saying something about surface area….surface area? what do I know about surface area?
Boss – “I still don’t get it. Anyway, I have to read the rest of it”
End of conversation.
Ten minutes later he leaves for home. It was Valentine’s Day. I had to leave also. Had dinner reservations…. fiancee waiting… we were gonna get late. But I had to check my email to see if he finished reading the rest of the proposal and sent his corrections. Hopefully, not a whole lot of re-thinking to do.
Checked my email. Boss had sent in his corrections. No complaints with the rest of the proposal except for one itsy-bitsy inconvenience in the ‘Conclusions’ section that made him remark “that sounds too far-fetched”.
[Palm, meet face]
We made it on time for dinner. Had dinner (food wasn’t shabby at all, can’t say the same about the waiter). Went back to our homes. Had a good night’s sleep after a tiring day.
Next morning was the deadline.
Me – “I’m getting rid of that experiment and I’ll send you my CV (for recommendation letter) I have to update it”
Boss – “OK, it’s getting late right?”
CV sent. 1 hr later…
Boss – “Send me the whole proposal and I will attach my stuff and send it out”
Me – “I’ll send it out…”
Boss – “No, I’ll send it out, that’s what I just said”
2 hrs later…
Boss – “On second thought, you send it out. I can’t wait for [both of] you guys” (There was another person from our lab applying for the same fellowship… my competition)
2hrs of fidgeting around with word to pdf conversion later…
YIPPEE! Sent it out!
I’m done! Yes, I’m done!
… and it’s 2.30pm and I can finally have lunch… 2.30… friday… wait…I had something at 2pm on friday… OH CRAP!
I missed my physical therapy appointment. That’s a $10 fee for breaking the appointment.
Well, I guess in a way I paid $10 to submit my application. But it’s done.