Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Scientiae Seven: How We Are Hungry

Growing up, it was the four food groups, swimming lessons, and playing outside.

My body at 30 has more complicated needs than when it was seven. Now it's alkaline body chemistry, weight-bearing exercises, calcium absorption, omega-3 fatty acids, iron-rich foods, target heart rate, LDL cholesterol levels, glycemic indices. And the food pyramid, though its look has changed a bit since I last saw it.



That thin slice of yellow? That's flan.

Pyramids have long been a way of expressing hierarchical relationships. There's the wellness pyramid, the $50,000 pyramid, the Maslow Hierarchy, the thin plot-lines of the Da Vinci Code, and wedding favors to keep those bridesmaids in their place. If the older generation computer scientists were more creative, the Networking Stack would have been a pyramid.

So it is with a pyramid that I express the hierarchical needs of our scientiae bloggers: how we are hungry.


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Maslow had it right. At the bottom of our pyramid are the necessities. (Rosa's Organic) food, sex, bathroom breaks. And sleep. Jane of See Jane Compute can certainly attest to the importance of sleep these days. Beautiful and Brave Baby Jane is keeping her up as newborns do, but Dr. Jane and Mr. Jane appear to be adjusting well. But Maslow forgot tea. As fundamental as a good number two, Jenny F. Scientist reminds us that a hot cup of tea is what lures her out of bed.

When basic needs are met, we hunger for more, for jobs that pay money. And at those jobs, we want to teach ourselves to work effectively. Kate is inching closer to a system in which she balances her four projects, and even leaves space for the mysterious "Sun Fun Time."

Between eating, sleeping, and working, we hunger for leisure time. Skookumchick details her reading wish list and Lab Cat laments the lame characters in "Size 12 is Not Fat." Zuska's leisure is the outdoor kind, and she points out using her garden of irises that the women's march towards contributing equally in science has not been a steady one. Rather, it's been like a game of Sorry; it starts and stops and sometimes has to begin all over again.

Still, to return from a leisurely lunch hour with a full tummy, a book tucked under the arm with a fistful of flowers, we are still left with an ache. Where are the engaged co-workers, the professional friendships? Where are the lively discussions about Kalman Filtering? Where are the collaborators who bring out our best work? Kat on a Wire describes her emotional isolation at work.

Most of all, though, our bellies growl angrily for recognition. Emma highlights her heroines demonstrating her hunger to see other women receive their deserved recognition. To recognize all people as potential contributors to science, Twice tenured discusses the delicate matter of single-sex events as she hungers for equality. Addy and Elli want to be recognized simply as REAL SCIENTISTS instead of graduate students, or secretaries, or "scientists-in-training."
But recognition is not just Turing Awards and social change. It can be a simple act, like Astrodyke's proud display of merit badges

At the very top of our pyramid? Good public relations and a functional and funky bag.

8 comments:

doc-in-training said...

FemaleCSGradStudent,

Thanks for including my post on this edition. I feel so honored. And I like how you've organized everything. It's great read. Thanks again.

Kate

Addy N. said...

Nice job- I love the pyramid! Very clever.

skookumchick said...

Wow, I love the organization and I liked the theme too. Thank so much for hosting and putting together a great carnival!! Now, to read...

Elli said...

i love the pyramid! thanks so much for organizing. I shall now happily click my way to an hour of sweet sweet procrastination...

Jane said...

Wow! Great carnival---looking forward to reading all of the posts! Thanks for putting it together (and I love the pyramid too!).

ScienceWoman said...

Cool pyramid. Maybe the basis for our long sought logo? It looks like you've done a great job putting this togehter. I'm off to read...

Jenny F. Scientist said...

How wonderful! I love the pyramid: tea and organic food are definitely at the base of all endeavours around here.

Thanks for putting this together!

AMIT said...

Nice work done and i will say this is good science post from you.

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