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The Theology Conference 
18th-May-2007 09:54 am
I should apparently be calling it a colloquium. I'm not sure what's the difference, but there you go.

The whole thing was rather mundane, but I'm glad to have gone.

Giving my paper was very nerve wracking, but I got good feedback. I know that I need to decide what other primary texts I will work on besides the Pentateuch. That suggestion I got from the head of the department...who also said that my paper was 'good'. I noticed he didn't say that to everyone. So, woohoo.

I'm kindof wishing now that I'd agreed to give my paper at the PG conference for the Scottish Universities at the end of June. Can't be helped at this point. I was so nervous that this paper would go badly that I didn't want to subject myself to two presentations. Next time, I'll know better.

I know that if the Doktor-Vater has anything to do with it, I'll be presenting every chance available now. I'm pretty sure he's trying to beat the timidity out of me. Good idea, I'm sure. :)

We stayed at a place called 'The Burn' near Edzell for the colloquium. It was very lovely. I believe that anyone with a connection to academia can go and stay there if they want a getaway. I would stay again. The food was good and actually interesting (which isn't always true with veggie food away from home).*

Now that I'm back, it's house tidying and catching up on email. And, putting dryad_wombat's package in the mail! Must not miss doing that again!

* I was the only veggie out of 28** people. A little unusual in my experience.
** Of the 28, there were 4 women. I can see that somewhere down the line I'll be hired because I'm a woman, not because of my ability...and that makes me overwhelmingly angry.
18th-May-2007 09:12 am (UTC)
I know what you mean about being the only veggie. On the Theology trip, I was the only one out of 23, and due to random occurrences, extra meat-laden spaghetti was made especially for me since I had been out making a run for a wine opener. Long story short, I ended up eating a wee bit of beef. I felt almost guilty, but didn't want to hurt the person's feelings. It was my first time being anywhere as the only veggie, where a vegetarian on premises was so far out of the purview that I got funny looks (more than normal) when I mentioned that I was one. Oh, and there were only three women on this trip. So, yes, you will most likely get a job at some point partially on account of being a woman, but that's not necessarily something to be angry about. As your paper presentation obviously shows, you are quite capable. So you're just stacking your capability with a little bit of umph! :) I say lucky you. -Jake
18th-May-2007 09:22 am (UTC)
Something about extra meat-laden made me giggle.

I didn't get any funny looks, but then again, I might have missed them. :)
18th-May-2007 01:23 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the presentation. I'm glad it went well.
18th-May-2007 01:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
18th-May-2007 01:51 pm (UTC)
Huzzah for the paper presentation going well!

And having an edge because you're a woman in an academic field that is male, well, I've had too many academic friends (of both major genders :-) stuck in (almost) neverending cycles of post-docs for me to regret anything that will help a friend get the kind of job they want :-)
18th-May-2007 03:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'll take the job. That's probably what makes the most angry...that I'd perpetuate that system. But, you're right. When the rubber meets the road, it's still better to have a job than be a post-doc forever.

I think the only way to beat this system is to drive myself to be so good that gender can't be used to make the decision. :)
18th-May-2007 02:05 pm (UTC)
I can see that somewhere down the line I'll be hired because I'm a woman, not because of my ability...and that makes me overwhelmingly angry.

Why, says the cynic in me? You'll have a job.

Seriously though: being a woman in a male-dominated field might give you an edge in the application process, but you won't get or keep a job based only on that. Being the best person for the job sometimes depends on the things that make you inherently "other" than the rest of the pool--like being a woman in the security field,it may have helped get my application on the table, but it isn't what got me hired or helps me do my job well--except that it's part of who I am and my unique set of skills. Not to be preachy, but if you really believe that your sex is the only reason you're going to get hired--or are hired in a certain job--you need to reassess why you're doing what you're doing. Since I know that you're (1) very smart, (2) good at what you do, (3) committed to doing the right things in your work and in life, it makes me suspect that you're hard on yourself (which I think I already knew). Unfortunately, there will always be people who blame the fact that you get a job (any job!) on your sex/gender/advisor/country of orgin/the fact that you have a manicure/whatever crap they can think of.

I say fergit 'em! Ok, I have trouble practicing what I preach, but keep working on that confidence thing. You're darn smart and I suspect that you're good to work with--which has do to with who you are--only part of which is being a woman.

(Hope this comes accross as encoruagement/)
18th-May-2007 03:27 pm (UTC)
I'd argue that there are, at least in my field...I can't speak for yours, where people are not only hired, but retained solely because they are women.

It hasn't happened in Aberdeen from what I can tell, but I know that it does.

I don't believe that my sex is the only reason I'll get hired and it has no bearing on the career I've chosen. All that comes with a big 'however'.
However, I do have to accept the fact that in a perfect world, the application process would be blind...but I don't live in a perfect world.

As I said in other comments...part of my acceptance of this will be driving myself to be so good in my field that my sex doesn't enter into any decision making.
18th-May-2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
I understand all that (sadly): but I think that any place where the first thing you said is true (where they get hired and retained based on being women) isn't somewhere were either of us will wind up working (or staying if we accidently get there). I could tell you some stories about places like that (that recruited me) that would curl your hair if it weren't already.
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