I read somewhere that during the few months when Top Chef is filming, Padma Lakshmi gains around 15 lbs. It's totally understandable--I mean, she has to taste all that food, like, as her job. Now that the faculty interview season is upon us, I can see that I may be facing a similar fate, since it is now also a significant part of my job to eat a bunch of food. As the newest faculty member and the "hip" ex-New Yorker, I have been placed in charge of all restaurant reservations for our candidate visits, and let's just say I'm not getting us a booth at the local Ruby Tuesdays, understand? I have embraced this responsibility as if it were going in my tenure dossier, and honestly? It probably should.
But the one eensy weensy difference between me and Padma Lakshmi (and really, this is the ONLY distinction) is that Padma Lakshmi's job is also to be totally beautiful (and say "furnished by Hot Pockets" with a straight face), and so when the cameras stop rolling for the season, she has some world-class trainer waiting to whip her scallops-three-ways-ified ass back into shape. In contrast, the other part of my job is to sit in front of my computer all day writing grants, planning lectures, and juggling about a thousand other administrative minutiae that require a mostly sedentary arrangement. So I will have to add to my ever-growing to-do list, "Magically burn 1000 calories a day." I mean, it's not like that truffle mac & cheese is going to work itself off my thighs, am I right?
Oh, and PS, for those who were wondering--my first semester has been amazing. I have been working incredibly hard and multitasking like a mofo (submitted an R-mech grant in my first 6 weeks), but the lab is almost starting to feel like a bona fide lab. I have a tech and a grad student, and they are a power duo the likes of which NJU has never before witnessed. Their taste in music is highly refined. We have equipment that spins, shakes, and allows the viewing of impossibly small things. There is a glass plaque when you walk in the building that says, "135th floor: Dr Becca's Laboratory of Awesomeness and WIN." It is unreal.
Shit is about to get a whole lot realer, though, because next semester I'll be teaching a course that I'm designing from scratch, we'll have a veritable cadre of undergrad helpers in the lab, plus another month of this faculty search, meaning at least four more decadent meals like tonight's. Oh, and there's a new RFA with a March 13 deadline that I'd pretty much be crazy not to apply for. I may not be around here much, you guys, but I totally still <3 you and will pop in to say hi when I can! If a really long time goes by without a peep, though, you may want to get someone to check in on me--I've probably rolled under my desk, bloated from all the recruitment dinners, and am slowly being nibbled to death by carpet mites.