Saturday, February 16, 2013

Not Done Yet, Ready to Pursue Ph.D

Finally, I had finished my Masters. I was so tired, and I needed a long break. I told my professor and he said, “yes, you do.” “Take a break and wait until your paper is published. We could write another research proposal and get more research funding. You could use that for your Ph.D.” I said, “Oh, I don’t want to go through all that again. I am too old. I used to tell myself that I would stop studying as a student when I reached 30 years old. Suppose my paper was published, then we wrote a research proposal. We wouldn’t know for sure that it would be accepted and that the money would come. I will look for a job and wait for Anthony to finish his Ph.D. We will start a family because he will be finished soon. I will let you and the younger ones fight.” “Don’t say that, Ying, let’s talk about it after your break. It will not be as difficult as before plus you don’t need to go out to collect samples anymore. I will hire lab technicians and undergraduates to do all the difficult manual work for you. You and I will have a very good relationship.”
     My paper was published in “Plant Disease” in less than three months after my defense. Porter’s paper was also published in the same issue of the journal as “site descriptions” as my pathology professor put it. He implied that they would never publish it alone without my paper. He tried to publish in some other journal a year before but his paper was rejected. I joked with my professor that he had to wait for me after all. However, my former professor said that he would count how many people asked for which reprints, Porter’s paper or mine. I told them that I was finished, that I didn’t care. The last I heard, my paper out competed Porter’s in reprint requests.
     I did feel the rewards of my work from the high remarks from other professors in other universities. My professor told me one of them from Cornell even suggested highlighting my paper as the feature article of that issue. A couple of years later, they did receive funding for further research and Porter became a postdoctoral associate on the project. New graduate students told me that their professors asked them to read my paper and thesis first because it was the cornerstone of the project. My work was an important step for later research in that area.