Look, Ma, I found a squirrel!

Inspired by similar exercises from Small Pond Science and The Lab and Field, I present once more a few of the more interesting search terms by which Scientist Sees Squirrel has been found. I swear, I don’t make these up – I’m pretty sure I couldn’t. 

rejected assistant professor

Well, we’ve all been, many times, although it sounds a bit depressing when put so baldly. This finds my post Universities That Did Not Hire Me. Perhaps I can consider it a career success to have failed often enough to be the #5 Google search result for “rejected assistant professor”. Yes, let’s think about it that way.

i hate my department chair

Well, not everyone likes their department chair. But if you’re not sure yours is any great shakes: have you considered stepping up yourself? Because I can assure you, folks aren’t stampeding for the job. And it’s intriguing how often people pretend that their disinterest in doing academic service is an admirable trait rather than a character flaw…

how to politely word your teacher is shit

Kind of a theme developing here, isn’t there? I’m unable to reconstruct where on Scientist Sees Squirrel this search ends up. Which is a bit worrisome, because I was hoping it would be merely a weird coincidence. If it ends up here, I quit.

when your manuscript is really good

That’s better. What’s interesting here, though, is not so much the search term – it’s the fact that somebody felt compelled to Google what would happen if they wrote something really good. You know, as a hypothetical proposition that one wouldn’t know about from direct experience. Look: writing well is hard, but it isn’t impossible. You can write a really good manuscript! And when you do, you won’t need Google to tell you about it.  (Finds this post on when to stop revising.)

dough knowledge

If you needed any further evidence that I like to draw weird connections (and you probably didn’t), this leads rather quickly to a post on the problem of scientific authority.

is a university an organization

Gosh, I sure hope so. Although I have days when, fresh off completion of a 13-page travel claim form for a trip I couldn’t even take, when I wish it was a little bit less of one. This search leads to a post about what kind of organization a university might be, which I hope at least some folks would agree is a better question.

has anything bad ever happened on a thirteenth floor

I think it’s pretty safe to go with “yes” here – given the state of the world, it would seem quite miraculous otherwise. But I’d actually forgotten writing this post, so I’m glad someone thought to ask.

chasm of despair new job

Ouch. Usually we like to stay in a job for a few years before deciding that it’s horrible. All I can tell you is don’t stop writing there.

perfect syllabus for scientific course

I think I can retire now, because Scientist Sees Squirrel is the top Google search result for “perfect syllabus for scientific course”.  OK, OK, it gets there partly because, in offering to share the syllabus for my scientific writing course, I mentioned that it isn’t perfect. I’m going to ignore that part, and rest on my ill-begotten laurels.

© Stephen Heard  October 27, 2020

If you like this sort of thing, here’s the first installment, and here’s the second, here’s the third, and here’s the fourth. But most folks seem not to. This makes me, unaccountably, sad.

Image: © JKorpimies via Wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 4.0


4 thoughts on “Look, Ma, I found a squirrel!

  1. Gretchen

    Hi Stephen, I can’t remember what I searched on, but I found your blog originally when I was trying to justify my editorial role by using StyleWriter software to compare my organisation’s reports to papers identified as well-written, using a scoring system I’d invented. (There wasn’t much difference, and few authors got great scores for plain English.) That led me to your book, and since then I have led many staff through a series of seminars based on your syllabus. It makes my editing job easier because all I have to say is, “remember what we discussed in the seminar about your story?” and they get the point!

    Liked by 1 person


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