Unleashing Scientiae

It’s late summer, and the harvest is bountiful, and so with the contributions to Scientiae. Thanks to all of you who submitted such fabulous posts. Some of you even wrote two posts! It must be that back-to-school enthusiasm.
As you know, this month’s theme for Scientiae is “Unleashed”, chosen by moi. I wrote about furious women the other day, which will tell you a little about where “unleashed” came from (and just how long it’s been fermenting in my brain). But I have to give a hat tip to Karmen at Chaotic Utopia for inspiring me to make it the theme of the carnival, in the course of some email conversations we had.
So, now, on to the carnival!

First up is Lab Cat, unleashed by music. Yes, indeedy, there’s “nothing like a good loud ‘London Calling’ by the Clash to let out frustration.” But, Cat notes, “[m]usic [also] releases thoughts.”
Maybe Lab Cat should get together with Rosa at Fairer Science to listen to the Clash for awhile. Rosa’s got a good bit of scorn to unleash on the media coverage surrounding that boys like blue, girls like pink, it’s in our genes crap I complained about the other day.
Addy N. anticipates the freedom that tenure promises, when she’ll “no longer be fearful of pissing people off”. She’s also somewhat surprised to find that the first week of teaching has left her with “some positive things to unleash about.”
Here’s a surprising bit of unleashing: Auntie Em has discovered a longing to unleash her incompetence, not so easy to do when you feel you’re representing All Of Womankind. “I forever miss the moment because I’ve rehearsed it so many times, in order not to get it wrong. If I could unleash my incompetence, how liberating would it feel?”
Jokerine and Mrs. Whatsit both have Inner Writers they’re longing to unleash, and they want to make some serious changes in the way things are done – if only that doggone doctorate did not need finishing. Jokerine longs to be both an artist and a teacher, and to take on the whole system of science education (which is not just for children anymore…) Mrs. Whatsit notes that pondering all this makes one weary, perhaps causing one to “[unleash] your Inner Heavy Sigh…[Let] loose the Beast From Within Who Really Just Wants To Take a Nap”. Zuska sighs along with her, and sympathizes, and remembers her own sense of anger, powerlessness, and frustrated Inner Writer when she was a graduate student, a hundred years ago. All that can be recommended is to pace one’s self and get that PhD done, which is of course no consolation to the young and energetic. Though when Mrs. Whatsit is ready to march on NASA, she should give Zuska a call. (You have to read the post to understand).
Alexis meditates upon the connections between silence and learning. She asks us to leash the noise, in order to unleash the mind.
Several Carnivalians describe the sensation of feeling leashed by others or by circumstances:
Jane gives us a snapshot of what’s on her mind lately, and we find that she’s feeling leashed by the need for letters of recommendation. Amelie recounts a short but harrowing tale in which the behavior of men at a conference leashes women participants. It’s a real shoe-puker, my friends. Amelie, may the courage of all the women scientists in the blogosphere go with you to the next conference.
On a happier note, Jenny F. Scientist reports an historic meeting with her advisor wherein his Inner Advisor makes more than a cameo appearance. She notes that her “inner science-lover would be a happy, productive researcher, and…my three-year-long-headache only a bad dream, if the Inner Advisor were let loose more often.”
The Mad Hatter ponders the million-dollar question, and compares academic research to “a pair of really cool shoes that are half-a-size too small”. She’d like to be able to go barefoot now and then. Skookumchick would like to scream, but she can barely get the words out. “The first week of faculty life sucks. So, I am now finding, does the second.” Everybody go visit and give her nice words of encouragement and good advice if you have any. Elli at Peanut Butter Cabal wants to be unleashed from her grad school bindings – and specifically that looming qualifying exam – so that she can finally be a Real Scientist.
What happens when you do unleash the self?
Rebecca at Adventures in Applied Math acknowledges that “positive things come about when I don’t hold myself back. I should do it more often!” Zuska concurs! Similarly, Jane notes that sometimes it pays to stop being a good girl and just unleash her Inner Bitch. (Zuska notes in passing that in men, the Inner Bitch may also be described as “assertive”. Well, except that they usually don’t need to stand up to sexual harassers. So you do need an Inner Bitch for that.)
Science Woman finds her brand-new faculty position, full of scary freedom, allows her to do the research she wants, unleashed! She’s thrilled, and Zuska rejoices for her. I just wish some of that exhilaration could be packaged and sent over to Skookumchick for Week 3 of faculty life, for she surely deserves it. Or failing that, maybe just package some file folders and a working office internet connection for Skookumchick.
FemaleCSGradStudent finds her femininity is demanding to be unleashed, after years of kicking ass in a man’s world. She notes, “Ideally, I’d live in a world where there aren’t ‘girl things’ and ‘guy things’. I would live where there are just ‘people things’ and people do whatever they like.” Zuska thinks her topaz mascara kicks ass.
Finally, Kate delivers what she calls a list and what I call a manifesto for The Unleashed Female Scientist, who is “ALWAYS completely pleased with herself at all times, no matter what.” She also “allows herself to be human. She will make mistakes, she will rage…she will remember that she can recover from anything.” That includes you, Skookumchick.
And that wraps it up for this month’s Scientiae. I thank you all for the immense pleasure of reading your contributions. Together you paint a portrait of the constraints we labor under; the possibilities that exist when we can shake them off; and the creativity roiling inside us all, begging to be…unleashed. Print out Kate’s list/manifesto and paste it by your desk or workspace. For the world needs you, unfettered, kicking ass, topaz mascara and all.

  1. September 2, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    Great carnival. I am really enjoying everyones’ posts.
    Links to Mrs. Whatsit seem to be missing though.
    Hope the migraines are staying away.

  2. September 2, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    Great Scientiae, Zuska! Thanks for putting it together!

  3. September 2, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    Just wanted to add my thanks to the others for taking the time to do this!

  4. September 3, 2007 at 3:59 am

    Thanks Zuska for putting it together. Great edition.

  5. September 3, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Thank you Zuska for putting together the carnival! The link to my post is here.

  6. September 3, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    Damn! I am so sorry, Mrs. Whatsit! I fixed the links. Or, rather, got them put in. Don’t know what happened there. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

  7. September 4, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks, Zuska, both for the great carnival and the encouragement!

  8. September 4, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    Thanks for the great carnival, Zuska! I can’t wait to read all of the submissions!

  9. September 11, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    Thanks Zuska for the pass of the baton! I feel badly that I didn’t make this month’s but hopefully I will make up for it by hosting 🙂 Good job & Thanks!

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