Happy Anniversary!

Published January 25, 2013 by PinkEnergizerBunny
~This just nearly made me cry but nevertheless made my day. Love note from the host site:
Happy Anniversary!

You registered on WordPress.com 1 years ago!

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!


T minus 60 days- How to Write Your Dissertation in 60 Days

Published January 25, 2013 by PinkEnergizerBunny

After speaking at Dissertation House- Winter 2013 as an alum this afternoon, I have decided to post the advice I gave the new crop of dissertation writers:


T minus 60 days: How to Write your Dissertation in 60 days
By: Margaret Dabek, Ph.D.

1. Consult the Graduate School Website for Key Dates and Deadlines for the semester you would like to graduate in

2. Let your advisor know the date you have selected

3. Set a defense date with your committee members

4. Count backwards to set dates (with a reasonable amount of “fudge time”) for:
a. Submitting your final version to the graduate school (keep in mind technical difficulties!)
b. Getting necessary paperwork signed before deadlines
c. Making changes after your defense
d. Making edits before your defense
e. Submitting to your committee and hearing back from them
f. Submitting to your readers and hearing back from them
g. Submitting to your advisor and hearing back from him/her
h. Deadlines for specific chapters or sections (if desired)

5. Start a Blog!!! (wordpress.com works great!) An example:drdabekmay2012.wordpress.com

6. Tell your family and friends about your 60-day plan and their involvement

7. Make a list of things you need to do in order to (add these to your blog):
a. Organize your data (I recommend excel sheets for tabulating information from journal articles and references)
b. Write your dissertation
c. Prepare for your defense

8. Blog daily about your goals for the NEXT day and strike-through any goals you have met (I recommend a daily list as well as a comprehensive list)

9. Remember dissertation writing SOS:
a. Schedule : Set up a schedule for the next 60 days- 10-day blocks are easiest!
b. Out-Source: Ask your family and friends to help with any tasks that they can help with!
c. Sacrifice: Make that announcement, be accountable, stick to your plan and have CONSEQUENCES!

10. Defense day tidbits:
a. Prepare your clothes ahead of time and any necessary materials
b. Put together a “Defense Day Binder” with the final version of your dissertation and any pertinent information for last      minute review prior to your defense

It is NEVER too late! Start NOW and in 60 days you can be done writing!


Still can’t believe I was here just one year ago. <happy tears! 😀 > So grateful to all that DH and Dr. CV have done for me!


Check out my countdown…

Published April 26, 2012 by PinkEnergizerBunny

I have done it. Dr. Dabek officially reporting in tonight!

The day started off rocky because of the torrential downpour which had me soaked by the time I got to the chem building in HEELS. I neverrrr style my hair (ever!) and this morning I did- the “good luck shower” I got on my way down to my presentation undid that. Who cares though? Used my fingercomb and fixed it. LOL 😉 Trying to be more positive!!! (it’s working!)

Then I went to starbucks and tried to use a “free drink coupon” I received in the mail for my special day. They said they are NO LONGER TAKING THEM AT THIS LOCATION! wtf what omg no! I BEGGED. literally. i said “but can you just once more?? pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaase? It’s my defense day, it’s raining, I’m a mess and don’t want to cry. PLEAAAAAASE?” They succumbed 😀

So I had my traditional grande iced americano and pb sandwich (did not finish it due to nerves LOL), which helped me calm down. This was 8:45am and I chugged the caffeine so that it would kick in on time- like 5 mins flat. 😛

Minutes before the presentation I just could not believe it was about to start. During the introduction from my adviser my head was spinning. When it was my turn to talk, all eyes were on me and I just could not believe my moment was HERE. Unbelievable. Somehow I was able to get through it without toooo many stumbles. When I did stumble, I just stopped, smiled and started over. woohoo!

Overall, the presentation went superbly well (according to those in attendance- I was quite shaky for 1/2 of it!). As always, the background was the hardest part to get through for me but once I got to the “Rationale” and “Results” sections I was calm and normal, even cracking jokes. LOL My presentation luck continues- my worst practices make for the best “opening nights” after all …. 😉

According to Margaret G’s timer, my talk went on for 36 minutes. My goal was 35, so score!!! Following the talk, I got 4 great questions. 1 from Margaret G, 1 from a faculty member, and 2 each from my PharmD, PhD mentors. I answered them all confidently 🙂

The private session was over quicker than we had all anticipated. I am still shocked about this. The whole day was a blur and I do not recognize myself at this moment. What an out-of-body experience!

They asked me questions, I NAILED them. One of my committee members actually did his PhD work on similar compounds (Thio-Michael addition)- something I found out after I answered the question correctly. OMG. 🙂

Several other questions were confidence testers, but I literally answered with full confidence and had no issues. One of my readers said that I was missing data for one compound and I said “I anticipated this problem. I did it just recently,” and then proceeded to hand out the hard copy “hot off the press” handout. They were SHOCKED, AMAZED and I think this deterred more probing questions. 🙂 Anywho, I was completely done at 11:30am, which is shocking because I had anticipated an hour more. It is just such an incredible feeling to be done!!!!

Party was FANTABULOUS afterwards, as was the dinner. I really am lucky to have such an amazing friend like Margaret G in my life. You were a superstar friend today- THANK YOU!!! thank you does not cover it, nor is it enough for the amount of help and work you put into making my party a success! Not to mention the personal cheerleading role!

Thank you also to Carlos et al (DARLING CUTEST KIDS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!)- you are my buddy!


Also, when I got home, this is the first thing I saw: my igoogle homepage.

Check out the COUNTDOWN: expired!

Let this be inspiration to all those working…THERE IS AN END! KEEP GOING!!! 😀

T minus 12 HOURS until defense

Published April 25, 2012 by PinkEnergizerBunny
My IBS has been acting up all day and looking at the title of this post that I just wrote right now definitely sent my stomach on a loop-de-loop. This is unbelievable. CANNOT FREAKIN BELIEVE THE DAY IS ALMOST HERE.
Sweat is dripping off of my palms and running across the keyboard as I type now. Ewwww
I am going to hope for GOOD ADRENALINE to power me through my talk tomorrow.
About 6 yrs ago I presented in front of an audience full of esteemed scientists, including 2 Nobel laureates. I nearly $hat myself back then. But didn’t. I delivered. I think I can repeat that tomorrow. LET’S DO IT!!!!
I am going to post a review of my day just for continuity’s sake.
  1. Run-through: 10am-12pm
  2. deliver parking pass to faculty members downtown
  3. 2mi walk- need to clear my head :)  shorter walk downtown but that was enough
  4. Prepare clothes/shoes/nails/bag packed tissues too
  5. pack binder and thumb drive!!!
  6. tea & rest drank water instead
  7. deliver parking pass to friend  I contacted my outside member too concerning tomorrow i.e. one of my labmates picking him up from the garage
  8. read through dissertation so I remember my explanations of things
In other news I heard from my retired adviser who called me a few hours ago to wish me good luck and give some more of his wisdom and encouragement. I nearly teared up. He told me that the degree is GIVEN and I EARNED it and I will PASS!!!! Just hearing these words is such a relief, I don’t think I can describe it any other way. He even told me that one of my committee members spoke to him and said that I will do just fine based on reading my dissertation. Holy crap. Nearly crapped my pants again. Should invest in DEPENDS or maybe just Imodium. 😛 <pharmacy joke oh so necessary>
Next time I post it will be as Dr. Holy crap! The name of my blog is coming to fruition!
Awesome story of the day: I ran into a professor in the hallway today and he asked how I am doing. I said pretty well, considering… 😉
Then I told him that the FIRST thing I will do when I come upstairs after passing is change the name plate next to my lab door. I will add a “, Ph.D.” He shook my hand and laughed. No but seriously someone take  a picture of me doing this. 😉 LOL
Night! :)


Plan for Thursday, April 26th:

  1. Get paper  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-HHOiTZBH4

Motivational Quotes for Defense Day

Published April 25, 2012 by PinkEnergizerBunny

There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something. 

 -Henry Ford

You WILL pass. Your committee would not set a date if you will not pass.

-Dr. CV

It as much about execution as it is about preparation.


You just need to be confident. As long as you are confident, you can even sell poop.



T minus 1 day until defense

Published April 25, 2012 by PinkEnergizerBunny

eeeeeek!!!! aghhhhh!!!!! OMG!!!

Ok, had to get that out of my system. Those were the precise sentiments running through my head as I wrote the title of this blog post.

This morning and in fact all of today, I have been ridiculously nervous about Thursday. So much that people have been telling me I look incredibly scared.

All throughout the defense I sat through today (a girl from the lab next door defended today) I had terrible stomach knots and my palms were sweating so much they were dripping. yikes!

I am 😀 to report, however, that since then I have made a 180 degree revolution. Too bad my defense is not at 10pm, right?!

I have reaffirmed something that I have always known about myself: I am most calm when I am busy. Instead of “relaxing” which everyone keeps telling me to do (“get a massage, take a nap, etc”), I find comfort in occupying myself with SOMETHING. In fact, when I sit idly, I get MORE anxious because this runs through my head:

“I AM BEING LAZYYYY!!! I’m doing nothing. I’m getting older every second and I have nothing to show for it!”

I am just a plain ole garden variety busy body.

So after an afternoon ridden with anxiety and panic (up until 6pm when I left lab), I went home and started working on my presentation notes/transitions/points that must be covered. This has calmed me down 80% which is saying A LOT because my heart rate was through the roof! I have found at least 20 different places where I can expand on in my talk to make it longer, more clearer, and more “fun” (ha!) to listen to. I have also boosted my confidence in doing so. BOOM!

I have a run-through (alone) tomorrow morning and I plan to run through the slides WITHOUT LOOKING AT THESE NOTES and see if I can do it to my satisfaction. A part of me wants to fill the room with stuffed animals as my audience…LOL 😛

If I go through my slides alone I do not want to call it a “practice” per se because if it goes too well I will be scared that I won’t be able to repeat it the following morning….A run-through is just a lighting/costume fitting in my book  😉 If I do well I CAN repeat it Thursday and if it goes less than well, that’s ok because the adrenaline on Thursday will help me do better 🙂

Review of my day today:

  1. Extraction of reaction
  2. Coffeee date!!!!!!!!! :-D not gonna strike-through this smiley! 
  3. defense-1pm
  4. Read review binder…. I have now read these notes 5x over!!!
  5. after-party (no more than 1hr)
  6. buy champagne
  7. deliver parking pass to friend 
  8. read through dissertation so I remember my explanations of things… still working on this…
Tomorrow is prettyfication day. Get my clothes ready, stuff, mind ready, and just prepare for Thursday which will then be hours away.
I am compiling a motivational list of quotes for Thursday to keep my confidence level high. Will post soon.
Night! 🙂


Plan for Wednesday, April 25th:

  1. Run-through: 10am-12pm
  2. deliver parking pass to faculty members downtown
  3. 2mi walk- need to clear my head 🙂
  4. Prepare clothes/shoes/nails/bag
  5. pack binder and thumb drive!!!
  6. tea & rest
  7. deliver parking pass to friend
  8. read through dissertation so I remember my explanations of things…