It's war time again

Dec 10, 2009

The past 2 weeks had been hectic. I had my progress report on the 30th of November where I was crushed and bombarded with questions and telling me 'which part of your research is new?' Ouch!

Fine. To top that, on the same morning, my prof sent me an e-mail saying that the paper which I submitted (to a journal of 10+ impact factor) was rejected. That was another bomb. After my progress report which was like for ages... he called and asked me what I want to do with this paper and how we should improvise the manuscript. I told him to give me some time to digest the reviewers point and I would e-mail him as soon as possible. How soon? He asked. I just laughed and said maybe tomorrow. Why tomorrow, well...because I would have to practice my oral presentation (for a conference) like 2 hours later at 3pm...which during that 2 hours, was my lunch time and practice time.

So, I practiced in front of him at 3, and as expected, he asked for another revision at 6pm. So there I was practicing for another 2 hours and refined the points where he thought I should.
For your information, we were going to have our yearly Bounenkai (忘年会) at 7.30pm the same day (Bounenkai is a Japanese way to celebrate this year and to welcome the new year). I must make sure I could finish before 7pm as that was the time we asked for taxi. Some pressure there.

The practice at 6pm surprisingly went well. What a surprise! The party was a success too and we enjoyed it immensely. Maybe my choice of a seat was good (clearly I was not sitting with him), hahaha...

Then it was the conference. It went quite well. He actually came to me and said I did well in both the presentation and question time. It was at that point I realized, this huge man in front of me was indeed a great scientist and an excellent educationist. How can I ever hate him? The remaining days of the conference were stress free and enjoyable.

This month, my prof will be busy and will be outstation for most of the time. He will come back for just a day for some errand and go outstation again. To think that he is not around does not mean there is no pressure. There is less pressure especially when we do not have to listen to his 'anything new?' question. He would e-mail when he wants something. Ahh...good technologies don't always bring good news. He e-mailed me 2 days ago, telling me 'Hi, I expect receiving your comments to individual points that the reviewers made.'.His exact words. Yup...I have not sent him the comments. Not that I did not try, it was just impossible to digest all the reviewers points when we had a conference to attend. If he knew I actually printed out the comments and tried to digest that during the conference, sigh. To cut the story short, I have sent him my comments on what the reviewers commented and sent him some constructive thoughts with experimental designs... the day before yesterday. He replied yesterday and agreed to my experimental designs and asked me to do them as soon as possible so that we could submit it at the soonest. think that during the writing of that paper was a war. It has just struck me that the war had merely started and would be on for a long long time.


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