2008/08/30

The best and the worst of times

Not surprisingly, I find myself at the most exciting (it's a new field with so many challenging questions yet to be asked/answered!) AND the most frustrating (so what the hell am I doing exactly?) stage of a research project one month into my new postdoc position. One minute I thought that I know exactly what I am doing (and how important/innovative my research project is), the next minute one (or several) of the followings happens:

1. Yes, it is a good idea indeed. Unfortunately someone else has written a nice paper about it already.

2. Theoretically it is a good idea. Unfortunately the idea involves too many technical complications and does not appear to be solvable now.

3. Maybe it is doable (and somewhat important). However, the question is just not interesting enough for me to keep working on it.

4. I am an idiot and have not idea what I am doing.


All these feelings are quite familiar actually. After all, I have experienced these several times in all the long years that I spent in the graduate school. One thing the is notably different this time is that I seem to be getting better at the construction and destruction of research ideas. Things just happen at a much faster pace compare to only a year or two ago. Looks like years of training is starting to pay off now.
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