A proposal is like a house

We are in the final stages of writing a major proposal to the National Science Foundation. It involves lots of people and lots of money, and we have no idea whether it will get funded.

Even less than a week ago, much of the proposal was a mystery to me. But since then I have gotten familiar with every nook and cranny.

You know that feeling the first time you walk into a large house? There are many rooms, and you aren’t sure where everything is. This corridor leads to the kitchen, that door opens to the garage. Somewhere upstairs there may be two bathrooms.

But after you’ve been in that house for a while, it all starts to make sense. You know where everything is, and how to get from one place to another.

That’s what has happened to me with this proposal. But it’s like we’re building the house and getting to know it all at the same time.

As I get familiar with the garage, the basement, the living room, I’m also refurnishing them, making some rooms bigger and others smaller. I’m sort of hanging around in the house while I’m building it

In another few months we will know whether this proposal will be funded, and then we will really be able to move into our new house. I just hope the roof doesn’t leak.

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