Weekly Status Update #6: Facials

A weekly status update? Bet you didn’t see that one coming 😉 This week featuring evaluations, focusing, group trips, critical social activity levels and more vegetable garden stuff:

  • Last Wednesday I had my first real yearly evaluation, because I recently started my third year of the PhD. After the first year, we have the Go/No Go meeting, which features an external committee that will help decide if you can continue your PhD or not. After the second year though, there is just an evaluation with your supervisor and promoter. Actually, I shouldn’t write ‘just’, it was really amazing! I am blessed to have a supervisory team that is so keenly aware of not only my strengths and weaknesses at work, but also my personality characteristics. It was a great meeting and I am more motivated than I have been in a very long time to step it up in my third year.
  • One of the points of improvements that came out of the yearly evaluation is to improve my focus on scientific output. I far too easily get caught up in others’ urgent but not so important tasks, while delaying my own important but not urgent tasks. From now on I will try to reserve my mornings to really work only on tasks in the latter category and take the afternoon to deal with the rest. I will try it out starting next Monday and update next week on how it went. Coincidentally I also read an article this week on the importance of doing the most important thing first each day. Though I don’t think it’s the only productivity tip I’ll ever need, thank you very much, I like my productivity tips by the boatload! One quote really stuck with me from the article, because I often find myself trying to do the opposite unfortunately:

Being productive is about maintaining a steady, average speed on a few things, not maximum speed on everything – James Clear

  • On Thursday, we (the CGV group) went on a little trip together to Leiden. First we visited the Corpus museum, then there was a picnic to be had in the park, followed up by a boat trip and finishing with drinks in a sidewalk cafe near the river. Good times all around! I know the Corpus museum is probably aimed at children, but it was really rife with scientific inaccuracies: it prominently featured tongue maps and outdated left brain/right brain differences. I also can’t believe we now apparently live in an era where the human eye is explained in terms of pixels and the human brain in terms of databases. On the other hand, it is not all that often that you get to see sperm projected on the faces of your co-workers (in my line of work at least), so that was pretty awesome!
  • I’ve always kind of self-identified myself as an introvert, because given the choice of spending my free time with other people or spending my free time alone (with some awesome games), the second option typically wins. Sometimes though, it’s good to get out there and hang out with others of the human species, no matter how tempting the other option is. I do have a clear upper limit on how much time I can comfortably spend on social activities and omg, definitely a hull breach on deck nine this week with our CGV group trip, a birthday/post-phd defense party and visiting friends today.  So far, so good, but I really have a hard time going to a party where I only know the hosts. I read a related post this week: ‘An Introvert’s Guide to Surviving a Weekend with Strangers’ and I now know where my desire to help out with the dishes at parties stems from 🙂
  • On a lighter and less navel-gazy note, my urban vegetable garden on the balcony is doing great! I’ve made some pictures because we’ve had amazing sunny weather this week. I ate my first harvest of some radishes and rucola and they were delicious ^^. Some pictures:

Whew, that was a long post. Time to get ready for the next and last social activity of the week and after that, sweet gaming! Have a great week!


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