Saturday, October 18, 2008

We are still in search of a PhD student to help me unravel the mysteries of life cycle evolution in parasites. Our top candidate took a position somewhere else, so, a while back, I was forced to return to the original applications we received. Some were really bad. Just to demonstrate this, here are some real examples of stuff that was in CVs and cover letters:

I send you CV

The valuable keywords that inspire me to go ahead with my allotted task are “Determination, Dedication and Diligence”

For me 'Science is the Life time mission'.

Sir, working in the field of Molecular Evolution is my burning dream.

Inspiration is an instinct behind every successful effort and this can be achieved by functional objective of doing work, gain vital knowledge so as to make significant contribution to the field of biology.

I believe that if we believe on self, honest to time for work with full determination then surely this time also remain honest from its side and gives us uncountable strength in completion of that work.

i am hard working person and will do my work with enthusiastically. i shell be very thank full if u give me a chance to do work under your kind control and experienced environment. I believe studying and developing new and different strategies that help us in finding the logical answers to the hidden queries would be quite fascinating

As mentioned on the link I am sending my CV along with my CV I am also sending my all necessary certificates.

I am very interesting to your tapeworm parasitology position
Because of gene flow may limit the genetic differentiation and some genetic marker has deviation from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium. Only with DNA marker we may be hard to uncover the evolutionary parasitic mechanism through individual tapeworm and host based approaching.

I couldn’t write such nonsense if I tried. Who knows, maybe they just stuck their CV into Google translator and sent around whatever came out. In any case, this gibberish reinforces the lesson I’ve learned: it is bloody difficult to find a good PhD student.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Last weekend, I visited Ines. It was something of a special occasion because I had not seen her in a month and because it was a holiday weekend in Germany. We spent one day of the long weekend in Berlin visiting a friend of Ines’. Berlin is probably my favorite city in Germany, and as usual, I was not disappointed by this visit. The city is just so vibrant and alive. The cafes and bars are generally well-populated with young people (not like the retirement community that is Plön). Moreover, you can do all kinds of cool stuff. When I was in Berlin with Ines and friends in early September, we started the evening at a kitschy Arabic café where we smoked shisha, before having dinner at an Italian pizzeria (horse meat on my pizza!), and then ended up in club, frequented by Americans, in which a British electro duet was playing. You can’t do that in many other cities. The trip this past weekend was considerably more laid back. Ines met up with several friends from her school days, so there was a lot of reminiscing. Happily, beer, the ultimate foreign language enhancer and social lubricant, helped me converse in German. A 3 am currywurst completed that lovely evening in Berlin. Multi-culti restaurants, indie discos, greasy fast food joints that never close, kitschy cafes, laid-back and tolerant attitudes…these are some of the cool things that I associate with Berlin and with living in Germany in general. I think I would really miss this stuff if I move back to the U.S.