27 and a PhD

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Travelin’ and getting home at insane hours

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.

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After many hours waiting at the airport, and a couple of flights later I report that the BF and I are home … each at their parent’s house (we live apart when we’re back for the holidays).

As the day went on different ideas popped into my head regarding what I’d write about each funny, silly or over the top thing that happened. I decided to just write a little bullet list of some of the main happenings of the day:

  • Originally the BF and I were going to drive to the airport, but although my car tires are Ok, the BF had a tiny car accident which scared me enough not to want to drive if the weather got nasty. Although we have not seen too much snow (at most 3-5 inches which has quickly melted) I was a bit hesitant about packing up and paying tons of money on parking, so instead we called a local shuttle service which for about the same amount of money took us to the airport safely and without worries. The downside … since we made the reservations a few days before, the noon departing time was all full, so instead we got out of town 2 hours earlier, which put us at the airport ~6 hrs before the flight.
  • We had an easy time getting to the airport and luckily enough they let us check in then and there, which took care of not having to carry the bags around forever.
  • We had lunch at one of my fave spots at the airport, then settled down to a nice corner to talk, play video games, and watch a movie.
  • We waited, and waited, and waited …..
  • And kept on waiting.
  • Then about 1hr before the departure time and idiot kid decided he’ll look for signal for his crackberry right behind me. I have to say that we were sitting at a corner close to the fate and there were no seats behind us. The stupid idiot decides to just stay there while I’m playing games on the BF’s computer. I was like “hello, you idiot kid, I’ve been here forever and even though this is your gate too that doesn’t give you permission to just barge in, dump all your crap behind my back and have your music blaring at an insane volume.
  • The guy finally took a seat, and since we were close to a power thingie (to plug the laptop) he TOO decided to plug ALL his entertainment gear there … and sat right next to the BF’s seat. I mean, really, you have not learned to give people some space? Couldn’t you use another wall receptacle or something? I’m seriously thinking that I just happen to attract people, that or I’m completely transparent and no one can see me.
  • Anyways, out time to board flight #1 comes … and everything is on time. We board, but since I convinced the BF to get us the cheapest flight possible space is running out of the overhead bins way fast. It’s partly due to the fact that you have to pony up almost 20 USDs to check in your bag (online, in person is almost 30 buckaroos).
  • Everything is good, we go on our flight and a few hours later we get to our destination before home.
  • The second flight was delayed and the stupid airline gets the part of the airport that stinks the most. Seriously, I have a very sensitive nose, and where do we get dumped? In the part that smells like nasty feet and doggie pee.
  • We waited for ~2-3 hours when it’s time to board. Again we run out of over-head space, but since the BF and I are carrying small bags we managed to find a spot … though the flight attendant was a BITCH! Yeah, I get it, thousands of people traveling everyday is a nuisance, but do you have to have an attitude too?
  • After being at the stinky terminal and gate for a few hours now we have to wait some more, because 1/3 of the remaining passengers had a delayed flight at their previous destination and I imagine that the airline is too capitalist and greedy to give them a room for the night, so instead they make the passengers on board wait. Thank goodness we only waited for ~ 30 mins. It just gets nasty to have too many people on top of each other, breathing the same air and then waiting more than you had bargained (or planned for).
  • Finally we are airborne and about 2 hours later we’re home. We are home. Our families come to greet us and my mom and dad hug me and say “welcome Dr. 27 and a PhD” ….. wow, that feels awesome.
  • We drive home after saying goodbye for the night to my lovely honey and we finally get home. My daddy stopped at a local bakery to get me my fave kind of bread and I get home to a warm, clean place, full of Xmas decor, a nice (and twin sized bed, my bed from college) bed, and my diploma.
  • After seeing it I don’t think it’s that small. It says my name (my full name, perfectly spelled), and then it says doctor of philosophy with all the honors and things and stuff. A beautiful end to a crazy and crowded night.

Just this morning a friend phoned me, not knowing I was home already and asked me to join her and another friend for drinks or dinner. I have not decided since the BF and I wanted to go eat at WAY too many places, but I’m sure we’ll figure something out. For now, I bid farewell, and keep enjoying my daily dose of local (and crazy) TV. More to come as the weeks go by 🙂

PS. I forgot to mention, we spend all in all almost an entire day traveling, between shuttles, waiting, flights and delays. But I’m happy to be home once again.

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