27 and a PhD

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More like 28 and a PhD

Welcome to my blog!

Hello there, awesome reader. My name is Dr. 27. I'm older than that now, but I'm staying faithful to the origins of the blog.

This blog started 2 months before completing my PhD in a pretty southern university back in 2009. It was a way to practice my writing and take a break from all things thesis. My PhD is in a branch of structural biology where I studied some rather impressive stuff.

After completing the degree, I packed my life of 6 years in 3 days and moved to Canada to do a postdoc in a completely different field. Two years later, and after attending a lot of seminars, workshops and doing some much-needed soul-searching, I ended up getting out and looking for an alternative path to academia and industry.

The blog chronicles my mishaps, ideas, musings and tips on entering, staying and finishing grad school. It also talks about some (or a lot) of personal stuff. For a while, the blog became a place to talk about the frustrations of not knowing what to do after PhD. I wanted to explore alternatives to the traditional paths of research (academia, industry and goverment) whilst going back to my field of training (if at all possible). Eventually a job materialized. Follow my quest as I navigate the waters of being a staff scientist at a core facility.


June 2009
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Well, after having a really rough week, I was able to put my foot down and ask (and “warn”) my committee of 2 things : A) I’m ready to defend and I want to do it now and B) My job offer expires soon so get me out because I will hold you responsible for making me lose my future job.

I’ll explain. I usually never had too much trouble getting my committee members to meet. Sometimes only 3 or 4 would show up but when I asked for permission to defend back in Nov of 2008 they were all available and it was my PI who couldn’t meet because she was somewhere else.

After begging my boss to let me defend (all because she wanted to make sure that both the written document as well as the presentation were in a sort of final shape), it all happened last week, I was able to send possible defense dates to my committee. Two dates came out as the “best” for everyone, by mid-July. The final date is after my b-day, which means that I’ll be 28 by the time of my defense. As I’ve mentioned before, just as a vanity thing, I really wanted to defend prior to my b-day so I could say that I was 27 when I got my PhD. Since life likes to take its own course I ended up choosing the date after my b-day and struggling a bit with some committee members to agree to meet and let me go. I say it was a struggle since some of them said they were too busy and wanted me to move the date ’til almost September. I was outraged and super stressed. My poor boyfriend ended up consoling me and being 100% supportive and gently prodding me to tell them that I was ready now (though I don’t know if I’ll ever feel 100% ready) and with that I was able to send them a reminder that they are not the only ones who have a life and that I have a job waiting for me … don’t they realize that the moment I’m done I become one less “problem” or situation they have to deal with? Whatever.

The important thing is that I have a defense date ….. it may not be before my b-day, but at least for now it looks like it’s happening … so YEAH.


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