Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Just think a happy thought...

There are a lot of people chiming in on this article in Science encouraging postdocs to "think happy thoughts": Happy Thoughts May Help Postdocs Handle Stress by Rachel Bernstein.

The hashtag to follow on twitter is, #postdochappythoughts. Really, go check it out.

Certainly there is something to be said for trying to be optimistic, and realistic about the challenges in academia. It is useful to realize that we may, regardless of status, often feel like impostors. But that doesn't mean that there aren't real problems with the academic machine that need to be addressed. There just so many things that you can't "happy thought" your way out of in academia, during graduate school, postdoctoral work, or even as a PI.

Just a few:










I'm at a transition point now. I am finishing my postdoc, and will be starting a tenure track position this Fall (yes, I realize how very lucky I am to be in this position). As I'm preparing for my position as a PI, I'm working to recruit postdoctoral researchers to work with me. I've already talked about making expectations and responsibilities clear for all parties involved in my lab, starting with a clear set of expectations on my web site.

But, there's another aspect that that I am surprised to have run into. Talking with several PIs about recruiting postdocs, I have received this advice (paraphrased):
"Don't offer to pay your postdocs too much. I'd suggest going with the bare minimum. You want to make sure you save money for other projects and other people."
Yikes.

Just.

Wow.

I think this is exactly what @27andaphd is talking about here:
So, what do I think about it?

As a PI, I either have enough funding to pay a fair salary to my lab members, or I don't have enough funding to hire them.

This includes paying for health, dental, and vision insurance. It also includes budgeting money for moving expenses. Why would I want to hire someone, who I view as both a trainee and a colleague, and not care about their well-being?

That brings up a bigger question, though, "What is a fair salary?" Partly what constitutes a fair salary is dependent on location. I think a good rule of thumb, and what I plan to do, is to, at a minimum, follow the NIH salary guidelines. In an area like Berkeley, however, the NIH salary guidelines would still be too low.

No, happy thoughts cannot make postdoc life better. PI's and administrations who give a damn about quality of life will make postdoc life better.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pretty. Already.

"I want Matt* to think I'm pretty."



I was temporarily stunned into silence when I heard those words from my daughter.

Because she's three years old.

Three.

So it begins
What?! Already? Is this how it begins? So soon? Why does she care whether he thinks she is pretty? Most importantly: How have I contributed to this? And, what can I do to combat it?

The first answer is "No", this is not how it begins. It begins so much earlier. It begins when she was born. I begins with how we talk to our kids. This video shows pretty clearly some of the common pitfalls in the way we talk to girls.



Have I contributed to this? 
Probably. I tell her she's beautiful. I also tell her she is wonderful, funny, smart.

How can I combat it? 
I can be more aware of the language I use, and how I respond to her behavior.

Ever since she was born, we try to make sure she has an assortment of toys to play with, not just stereotypical girl toys. We also encourage her to take things apart, and encourage her to try again when she wants to give up (girls tend to give up faster than boys and doubt their abilities more).

We also want to help her to be independent and responsible. We try to give her the freedom to make decisions about her life (within reason, I mean, she is three). That said, there are a lot of ways a three-year-old can be involved. She helps chose books we'll read, and the activities we'll do. She also helps with chores around the house and cleaning up her own messes.

She also helps choose her clothes. It would be an understatement to say my daughter loves pink and frilly dresses. As her parents, we let her wear what she wants, making a mental note that we would do the same with any child (although we do try to sneak some other colors and styles in). We also try to encourage her to get dirty, to explore, to investigate, and to question. The dresses will wash. And what's wrong with a few stains anyway? The experiences are worth so much more.

So, what did I respond with? I told her that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of her. She is pretty and she should wear whatever she likes to wear, because she likes it.

And then we went and played in the dirt.

Mud is exponentially more fun than dirt.

*Names changed

Friday, June 20, 2014

New academic lab thoughts, recruiting, goals

I am starting my lab in the School of Life Sciences (housed in the Biodesign Institute) at Arizona State University and recruiting all levels: undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and a programmer/computational lab manager.

I am thinking through how I want my lab to run, and what kind of advisor I want to be. I think having a clear list of expectations and responsibilities will help. So, I'll start it here, put a copy on my lab website, and update as needed. Please share your thoughts and comments, especially what has worked for you (as an undergraduate, grad student, postdoc, or advisor).

Postdocs
The ad for postdocs is here. Appointments for postdocs are one year, and renewable for up to three years. I'm looking for postdocs who will be excellent colleagues and mentors to the other members of the lab.

My responsibilities to my postdocs:
  • Assist with identifying and writing postdoctoral fellowships
  • Develop project ideas, including independent projects that can be taken with the postdoc
  • Interpret results
  • Proof-read manuscripts
  • Discuss future career goals (e.g., do you want to teach, go into academia, continue in research?), and plan ways to facilitate these goals
  • Support travel to at least one meeting per year
  • Meet regularly to discuss progress & pitfalls
Expectations of my postdocs:
  • Participate in weekly lab meetings
  • Prepare for our regular progress/pitfalls meetings and a follow up email of progress and goals 
  • Maintain a set of lab notes, including directories of data, annotated codes & versions, detailed methods. These need to sufficient to reproduce results without additional instructions.
  • Attend departmental seminars
  • Participate in general lab responsibilities (servers, maintain common areas, taking turns hosting visitors)
  • Be available in the lab/office for a minimum pre-arranged set of hours to facilitate interactions
  • Optional, but preferred: Mentor at least one undergraduate student

Graduate Students
I missed the graduate student recruitment, but I can still bring in a graduate student this year, working together with the department, if there is mutual interest. I am also happy to discuss plans with juniors and seniors in college, who are interested in graduate school.

My responsibilities to my graduate students: 
  • Assist with identifying and writing graduate student fellowships (before and during PhD)
  • Develop project ideas
  • Interpret results
  • Proof-read and contribute to writing of manuscripts
  • Discuss future career goals (e.g., do you want to teach, go into academia, continue in research?), and plan ways to facilitate these goals
  • Support travel to at least one meeting per year
  • Meet weekly to discuss progress and pitfalls

Expectations of my graduate students:
  • Participate in weekly lab meetings
  • Prepare for our regular progress/pitfalls meetings and a follow up email of progress and goals 
  • Maintain a set of lab notes, including directories of data, annotated codes & versions, detailed methods. These need to sufficient to reproduce results without additional instructions.
  • Write and submit a pre-doctoral fellowship proposal
  • Proof-read manuscripts from other lab members
  • Regularly attend departmental seminars
  • Present a poster or talk of research progress at conference at least once a year.
  • Participate in general lab responsibilities (servers, maintain common areas, taking turns hosting visitors)
  • Be available in the lab/office for a minimum pre-arranged set of hours to facilitate interactions
  • Optional, but preferred: Mentor at least one undergraduate student

Undergraduates

I really enjoy working with undergraduate research students (see my past students here). There are many projects in bioinformatics and computational biology for undergraduate students. If you are an undergraduate interested in working in my lab, please read through the kinds of research we do, and the following expectations and responsibilities, then email me 1) your resume, and 2) one page or less describing your research interests and course background.

My responsibilities to my undergraduate students: 
  • Preparing a structured project
  • Analyzing and interpreting results
  • Proof-read and contribute substantially to writing results
  • Discuss future career goals (e.g., do you want to teach, go into academia, continue in research?), and plan ways to facilitate these goals
  • Meet weekly to discuss progress and pitfalls

Expectations of my undergraduate students:
  • Participate in weekly lab meetings
  • Prepare for our regular progress/pitfalls meetings and a follow up email of progress and goals 
  • Maintain a set of lab notes, including directories of data, annotated codes & versions, detailed methods. These need to sufficient to reproduce results without additional instructions.
  • Present a short talk or poster of research results to the lab once a year.
  • Be available in the lab/office for a minimum pre-arranged set of hours to facilitate interactions


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Some postdoctoral fellowships in Biology

When I was looking I had a heck of a time finding a summary of postdoctoral fellowships to apply for, so thought my compilation might assist others. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it’s a start. I’m happy to update this post with other suggestions (and links and descriptions). I especially tried to include whether the fellowships are available to international students or not. I’ve ordered them by approximate submission date, but as submission dates change every year, please don’t rely on these. Similarly, the links were active at the time of this posting. If they aren’t working, you can probably find the fellowship with a simple google search.

Lists Compiled by other people:

UC Berkeley: Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Biological Sciences
Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellowship 
- Due ~October
- LSRF awards fellowships across the spectrum of the life sciences: biochemistry; cell, developmental, molecular, plant, structural, organismic population and evolutionary biology; endocrinology; immunology; microbiology; neurobiology; physiology; virology.- Similar structure as NSF postdoc- Only one LSRF fellow allowed in a lab at any given time- U.S. citizens are eligible to work in any geographic location while holding an LSRF fellowship. Non-U.S. citizens must work in a U.S. laboratory to be eligible for an LSRF fellowship. 
NSF postdoctoral fellowship 
- Due ~October 
- The focus this year is, “Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences“.- applicants must be U.S. citizens (or nationals) or permanent residents of the United States (i.e., have a “green card”) at deadline. 
NIH postdoctoral fellowship (using form SF424) 
- Due ~December 
- Applicants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence.
L’Oreal Fellowships for Women in Science 
- Due ~December 
- Has both US and International options 
Graduate Women in Science Grants/Fellowships 
- Due ~January 
- All women scientists that are conducting research in the natural sciences regardless of nationality are eligible for application for any of the SDE/GWIS Fellowships.
Branco Weiss fellowship 
- Due ~March 
Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship 
- Due ~July 
- Fellowships may be awarded to US citizens planning to work in laboratories either in the US, Canada, or abroad and also to foreign citizens for research in laboratories in the US only.
EMBO Fellowships 
- Due 15th August and 15th February 
- The EMBO Long-Term Fellowships are awarded for a period of up to two years and support post-doctoral research visits to laboratories throughout Europe and the world. International exchange is a key feature in the application process. All fellowships must involve movement between countries and one of those countries must be an EMBC Member State. 
Human Frontier Science Program 
- Due August 
- Long-Term Fellowships (LTF) are reserved for applicants with a Ph.D. in a biological discipline to embark on a new project in a different field of the life sciences. Preference is given to applicants who propose an original study in biology that marks a departure from their previous Ph.D. or postdoctoral work so as to learn new methods or change study system. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

My time as a real scientist (@realscientists)

I was very lucky to participate in a wonderful science outreach and education endeavor by tweeting for @realscientists.

What is Real Scientists? From their "about" page:
RealScientists (@realscientists) is a rotational twitter account featuring real scientists, science writers, communicators and policy makers talking about their lives and their work. Tweeters from different fields of science and science-related fields (you can also follow them on Facebook).  
My welcome from Real Scientists: Why Y? Evolutionary biologist Dr Melissa Wilson Sayres joins RealScientists

Throughout the week the tweets were collected together. The picture changes with each account user, so just keep in mind, wherever it says, @realscientists, it's me talking, whoever is shown in the picture.

Storify #1:
Please welcome Dr Melissa Wilson Sayres of UC Berkeley! Melissa’s research uses bioinformatics and genomics to study the evolutionary dynamics of sex chromosome evolution, male mutation bias, and pregnancy. Twitter pretty much exploded with excitement when Melissa started. Part 1 is Sunday/Monday.

Storify #2:
Melissa continued her fabulous form through Tuesday and Wednesday. She talked job applications, collaborations, courtroom science (ie uncertainty and reasonable doubt), science funding and more. And she posted a photo of leggings with genes on them. Could we call them geggings, do you think?

Storify #3:
During her week of tweeting for RealScientists, Melissa was also involved in several panels at the Conference of World Affairs (#CWA2014). Tweets from Thursday and Friday picked up on one of these sessions: sex and gender. Do yourself a favour, and read on….

Storify #4:
That's a wrap for Melissa. Over the course of the week she talked research, job applications, collaborations, courtroom science, science funding, why or why not to do a PhD, how to become a bioinformaticist (+/- coding), the role and importance of academic outreach. Here are days Fri, Sat and Sun.

My farewell from Real Scientists: Y leaving so soon? Farewell and thanks, Dr Melissa Wilson Sayres

Monday, April 14, 2014

56 Different Points on the Gender Spectrum

I was on several panels at the Conference on World Affairs (#CWA2014). One of them (which I was both most excited for, and most nervous for) was also video-recorded:
Panel 3712
56 Different Points on the Gender Spectrum
3:00-4:20 on Wednesday April 9, 2014
UMC Center Ballroom 
Panelists:
Margot Adler
Joel Gallant
Judithe Registre
Melissa Wilson Sayres
Moderator: Mindy Pantiel




I'm not sure how long this will be online, but I have ordered this video-recording, as well as the audio recording from the other panels I was on, and am inquiring about sharing them.

Update:
I forgot the awesomeness of the way this panel ended. The 56 refers to the different gender identities allowed in facebook at the time. I have transcribed it here for you.
Mindy: We have time for one more very brief question and this person has been very patient. 
Audience member: The question will be, just how many stories can people be expected to learn? The context is, I don't believe you can accept somebody unless you understand them, and I don't think you understand them until you know their story. 56 genders, 56 stories. It impresses me as a huge burden to learn 56 stories. Just how big a burden can people be expected to take on? How many stories can people be expected to learn? 
Joel Gallant: Well let's not take the 56 too literally. This is a facebook invention. I mean, it's not an invention, these come from somewhere, but the 56 comes from facebook as far as I know. And remember, that if you look at the categories in the facebook list, which I did last night, y'know, there's lots of overlap, these are not biological categories. The stories... there's many more than 56 stories. There's a story for every person, and what you want to know is not their facebook classification, but what's their personal story? And when you find that out, it won't really matter what they call themselves, 'cause you'll know that person as a human being, and that's the story you want to learn. 
Melissa Wilson Sayres: I'll say. According to the world population counter there are currently: seven billion, two hundred twenty-five million, three hundred eighty two thousand, eight hundred and fourty... nine, stories. 
Judithe Registre: I'm just going to add though there's one story. The story is that you feel pain, I feel pain, we hunger, there is one human story. Seven million people and one thing I've been fascinated by, whether I move across different countries around the world, that people have the same desire: to be respected, to live with human dignity. That is one story. And if we can remember that one story, the 56 stories become meaningful. If we can't remember that one story, the 56 stories is meaningless.
Boom. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Academic startup: What is negotiable?

Okay, so you've been on your job interview (tips here for preparing for that), and now you have an offer. Yay! It's time to negotiate. Oh... 

If you're like me, you've been told over and over that we should negotiate, but not how to negotiate, or what to ask for

So, I asked twitter for advice on what to request in negotiations and startup packages. The #startupwishlist tweets were Storified here, and summarized below. In addition, the book, At the Helm: Leading Your Laboratory was recommended for new PIs, which also has a chapter on job applications.

NOTE: Keep in mind that many of these suggestions come from people at research-heavy institutions. Resources will differ from institution to institution, and especially between institutions with different missions. You will need to prioritize what you need to be successful, and balance that with the resources/facilities of the institution. That said, at least this list can give you some ideas of things that are negotiable.

Be informed when negotiating salary.
"Day in the Life: Lunch Money" by marya via Wikimedia Commons
Appointment/Salary
  • Confirm whether 9-month or 12-month appointment.
  • Ask for summer salary for 2-3 years.
  • X years of guaranteed salary, and any salary that is covered by outside grants to convert to unrestricted funds.
  • When is the start date? Can you start early, or push it back?
  • 10% increase in salary, unless you have better information from inside the department (Can check the web for salaries for public institutions. University library reference might also have this info).

Make sure you have the equipment you need to succeed.
Space/Equipment
  • Confirm availability of any major equipment and space modifications you need.
  • Ask whether space renovations are included in or separate from startup budget.
  • Negotiate access to equipment that is shared, or in another person's labspace.
  • Negotiate ongoing service contracts for equipment, and non-expiration of these accounts.
  • Computational resources - desktops/laptops, node buy-in, annual HPC fees
  • Software
  • Sofa, table, chairs, coffee maker, fridge

Experiments are run by people.
Personnel 
  • Ask about University rates for overhead for students/postdocs/techs/staff.
  • $$ for 2 graduate students 
  • Access to administrative staff for grants
  • Does the department have a regular source of TAships for students?
  • $$ for postdocs
  • $$ for tech/lab manager

Time limits on spending startup?
Startup
  • Know if there are time limits for spending the money (also if $$ able to roll-over).
  • Request some startup to go to an unrestricted account (versus only to personnel or equipment).
  • Is the startup a lump sum or a set amount each year? 
  • What restrictions are there on Startup spending, and are there reporting requirements?
  • Flexibility for how to spend, versus what was requested.
  • Ask for 2-5 years to spend start-up

You need to travel to share your results and network.
Photo by Douglas Paul Perkins, via Wikimedia Commons
Travel
  • $$ for travel for you and lab members for first 2-3 years.
  • An annual professional allowance each year (for conference travel, journals, professional membership).

How many new courses will you need to develop in the first 5 years?

Teaching/Service

  • Protected time (preferably >1year), including teaching reduction and protection from service - get it in writing.
  • Ask for written out %FTE expected of teaching vs research.
  • Ask what %FTE is covered by department versus needing to get grants to fund yourself (mostly for medical schools).
  • Can time off teaching be held and used after the first year?
  • What courses you will teach over the first 4-5 years.

"Almost done" by Lisa Risager via Wikimedia Commons
Personal
  • Extension the deadline for you to make your decision.
  • A parking lot near your building
  • Housing/relocation allowance (sometimes you can request a month's extra salary if moving expenses aren't explicitly covered).
  • Slot in the University affiliated daycare/preschool
  • A semester of teaching/service relief for parental leave/dependent care

In summary:

What is negotiable? Everything.

April: I'll be around

It turns out that April is going to be a big travel month for me. If you'll be at any of these events, I'd be very happy to meet up!

_______________________________________________________


Wednesday April 2, 2014 - CEHG Seminar at Stanford

I will be traveling to the South Bay, and will be available to meet with people 10am-3pm. See the announcement and abstract here.

Seminar on Computational, Evolutionary and Human Genetics
Stanford University
1:00pm Lunch; 1:15 Seminar
Clark Center S360
_______________________________________________________

April 6-12, 2014 - tweeting for @realscientists

I will be tweeting for @realscientists!! I'm preparing a series of topics to cover, focusing on sex chromosome and sex-biased evolution.

If you have specific questions about my research, sex chromosomes, sex-determination, or the related, leave them below, and I'll address them during this week.

_______________________________________________________

April 7-11, 2014 - Conference on World Affairs panelist

I am thrilled to have been invited to participate in the 66th Annual Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado Boulder. Here's my profile for the conference

I'll be serving as a panelist on seven different panels
1716 I F-ing Love Theoretical Research!
    3:00-4:20 on Monday April 7, 2014
    Visual Arts Complex 1B20

1864 Gentrification, Homelessness and the American City
    4:30-5:50 on Monday April 7, 2014
    UMC East Ballroom

2464 Young Scientists Making Their Mark
    12:30-1:50 on Tuesday April 8, 2014
    UMC West Ballroom

3316 Science Ain’t What It Used to Be
    11:00-12:20 on Wednesday April 9, 2014
    UMC West Ballroom

3712 56 Different Points on the Gender Spectrum
    3:00-4:20 on Wednesday April 9, 2014
    UMC Center Ballroom

4611 Controversies Inside Science
    2:00-3:20 on Thursday April 10, 2014
    UMC 235

5262 Into the Future of Science and Technology
    10:30-11:50 on Friday April 11, 2014
    UMC 235
_______________________________________________________

April 17-18, 2014 - RCN Network for Integrating Bioinformatics into Life Sciences Education

As a computational biologist I am a huge advocate for increasing students' understanding of mathematics and computational approaches. So, I jumped at the opportunity to participate in the Research Coordination Network (RCN), Network for Integrating Bioinformatics into Life Sciences Education (NIBLSE). As it happens, the RCN NIBLSE is organizing a conference in Omaha, Nebraska this April, so I'll be making a whirlwind trip there this month as well. I'll be sure to share what I learn here. 
_______________________________________________________

Other than this, I'll be in Berkeley, getting work done. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Template rejection letters are better than no letter at all.

It is the academic job season, and as offers are made, we receive rejection letters, sometimes. But more often than not, applicants don't hear anything. For someone whose life is built on data and observations I absolutely prefer to receive a rejection letter. At least then I know where I stand. But, today I laughed out loud a the rejection letter I received. I've changed the names of the people and University to italics, but nothing else, including the salutation: 
Dear Dr. $[LastName], 
Thank you for your application for the faculty position in the UniversityDepartment of Biology. 
While we were impressed with your background and research goals, uponcareful review of your application materials we have identified othercandidates who are a better match for our faculty development plans inthe department. This is the result of our need to complement existingfaculty research programs. 
Thank you again for your interest in the University Department of Biology. Wewish you the best of luck in your career endeavors. 
Dr. Forgot to Check the Template and the entire search committee
I know that these are form letters, and I am definitely guilty of making these kinds of silly spelling/grammar/typing errors, but sometimes it is nice to see that I'm not the only one who could use an extra cup of coffee some mornings. :)

And, at least they sent a letter. Knowledge is power, even if it is disappointing knowledge. 

_______________________________

Update: An apology was emailed out this afternoon. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tips for job interviews

I have completed my academic job interviews for this season. I am cautiously optimistic. In the meantime, while it is fresh in my mind, I'd like to write out some of my suggestions. For a more light-hearted and graphical overview of the interview process, check out Hope Jahren's, "How to get a faculty job" comic **(see my addendum below). Also, see this list from Matt Might that focuses on the whole academic application process.

Before the interview
  • Prepare presentations. You will need to prepare at least one presentation that features your past and current research. You may also need to prepare a chalk talk, or a teaching talk. 
  • Practice. Practice your research presentation, and your chalk talk and/or teaching talk, to several different audiences if you can. Practicing saying things out loud is useful, even if it is just to an empty room. 
  • Prepare questions. The campus interview is a two-way street, for the department to get to know you, and for you to get to know the department. Think about what is important for you to know before going somewhere (e.g., research facilities, teaching responsibilities, support for students, tenure expectations, etc. For more ideas see this list from Dartmouth.). 
  • Look up scientific backgrounds of each of the people you will be meeting with. Save either as an electronic document or print out for reading on the plane. I've heard some people suggest reading a paper from each person you are going to meet with, but I think this is not reasonable. Some departments are vast, and you will not have the scientific expertise to internalize 16 new disciplines. That said, you should have a general sense of what each person does, how you might potentially collaborate, and prepare one or two notes or questions about their research, to facilitate conversation. 
  • Consider questions they might ask you, especially the ones they aren't supposed to ask, but might anyway: see here for questions you should never be asked on a job interview.
Traveling - Before
  • Pack light, so you don't need to check luggage, and risk having your bag not arrive when you do. Make sure you still have professional clothes and layers. Layers are important.
  • Keep all important items in your carryon (especially **laptop, backup presentation, adaptors, and power chargers**).
  • Pack two snacks. Likely your flights will be delayed or the layover too short, and it will be nice to feel like you don't really need to pay $7 for that bag of almond M&Ms.
  • Bring headphones and non-electronic reading material. The flights can get long.
Daytime
  • Keep dental floss in your bag, and make a bathroom check after lunch, for your peace of mind.
  • Bring a water bottle or a reusable coffee mug (works for hot or cold) to stay hydrated.
  • Choose mints over gum. Less distracting. Cough drops are also nice to have, just in case.
  • Bring pens and paper so you can take any important notes for following up.
  • Don't over-caffinate. Be careful not to drink too much coffee/tea, it seems to flow non-stop.
Nighttime
  • Decompress for 30 minutes (use the gym, take a bath, listen to music, watch youTube).
  • Don't obsess. If you have a second talk (chalk talk or teaching presentation), go over it one more time, update with potential collaborations after what you've learned on your first day, but then let it go.
  • Get some rest. The first day is so exciting with all the new people and places. You need to be just as enthusiastic the second day.
Traveling - After
  • Thank you notes can be started on the plane ride home, when the visit is fresh in your mind. Just save in a text file and then you can proof and send them out when you return.
  • Stretch. The combo of nerves during the interview and the not-so-comfy airline seats can hurt your neck/back, so take care of yourself.
After the Interview
  • Enjoy your time at home!
  • Catch up on emails, lab work, writing, family and friends.
  • Do not obsess. You've done all you can do. Now, patience, and distraction, are your friends.
  • Good luck!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
**My addendum to Hope's comic:

#5: Just ask for a bathroom break when you need it.
#15: I found that ordering an alcoholic drink was an easy way to avoid the "might she be pregnant?" unasked, but burning, question.  
#18: Even if you feel sure that you're a great fit, you still might not get the job. And that really stinks.