Thursday, February 09, 2006
There is a blog I read regularly (having become utterly addicted to RSS over the last year or so - how did I ever live without it?!) by a woman who, like me, is somewhere in the late beginning of a PhD program in the biological sciences. I enjoy reading her candid comments about prelims, depression (which I occasionally wonder if I also have), the agonies of feeling unmotivated and just plain not smart enough to be in school, etc. etc. Today, though, her post indicated that her department found out about the blog, and while she never names names and seemed the pinnacle of discretion, she perhaps said some things that another person took umbrage at, and now she's facing at best the displeasure of her department. Yikes.
Not that anyone actually reads this thing, but I have so many times wanted to rant about people and situations and classes and always have stopped myself for just this reason. Even comments made in very general terms, if their subject were to become aware of them, can be offensive or libelous (slanderous? never got those straight). Just when I think I should become more bold in my public opinions, I am once more reminded why I should just keep my opinions to myself, save them up until I get home and then regale my poor husband with them. I have no idea how so many bloggers (and other print-type-media people) strike a balance between tact and candidness and legality, but I think that balance is beyond my ability to strike. I will remain purposely vague and dull and safe because the last thing I need in my life is a situation that makes it even harder to pass my prelims.
Now I will go extract some DNA and hope that my students don't want to see me during office hours so I can go home early. Oh dear, can I get in trouble for saying that?