27 and a PhD

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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.


April 2010
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***** I wrote this post at the end of 2009. Today, April 8, 2010 I’m reviewing some of the projects and things I wanted to achieve before the clock strikes 12 on 12-31-10. So, check out how I’ve been doing.

Many years ago, back in high school our class was asked to write down resolutions for new years. It didn’t matter if we kept them, we just needed something written. Then we’d stand up, read them and such. I can’t remember the exact purpose of this task, but I went ahead and did it. I remember very distinctly writing about how much crap we want to accomplish, then Jan 1st rolls in and we do not accomplish a single thing. I was very … mmm, bitter? about writing resolutions.

Well …. I’m kinda tired of sucky projects, so I’m resolved to make some sort (or sorts) of changes this year. I hope that next december I can sit down look at it and cross over the stuff I did. Here are some of my ideas (all 20 of them).

  1. Use my cookbooks to make some food from scratch that’s good for me.
  2. Go on a nice summer vacay, even if it’s around Canada. This one is in the works!
  3. Go to Ottawa for Canada Day! Not happening, but it’s OK, especially due to #2.
  4. I’m ~186 lbs, I’d love to be ~150 lbs next Xmas.
  5. Get up earlier than 9am and start experiments like all the rest of the people in my lab. I’m currently starting my experiments after 10am. In the works!
  6. Grow my own veggies. I have a bit of a leg up on this one since I just bought green pepper seeds which the BF and I can start growing by the end of the spring, if not earlier. I’d love to try and plant some lavender.
  7. Visit the gym at school and hopefully find an activity, gym machine or something to keep me motivated and help in the losing the weight part. In the works. I have this friend in the lab who’s pushing me to join the gym, which I hope to do right after graduation.
  8. Buy a DSLR by the end of the year. Even though my point and shoot is still kicking ass, and I’ve taken some seriously awesome pics I’d still love to do more.
  9. Get a kick ass laptop.
  10. Pay off taxes without using a credit card (I’m saving for this, but it gets though especially when considering the need for a new battery or snow tires).
  11. Get my contract renewed.
  12. Attend a scientific conference and network.
  13. Pay off two of my 4 debts. I’m starting the year by dropping some serious cash on a debt that’s less than 1K. I know it should take me no time to reduce this one, but since the minimum payments for the credit cards is up, and I have to divide my money into the other debts too so my credit does not go to hell for missing a payment or sending in less than the minimum amount, it gets though to nail those debts as fast as I’d like.
  14. If I can’t get #9, I’d like to at least get a good monitor for my PC, which although is slow, it still works. I have not turned it on since before the defense. As of 01/11/2010 my PC is officially back in business. The BF and I got back a couple of days ago, and though I’ve spent most of my time sleeping … and catching on my sleep on Saturday we headed for dinner, when we saw it … in a pile of things that people donate/dump at our complex … a monitor of the same brand and dimensions as the one I had before relocating. It was bliss. Some people have left books, a vintage sewing machine (it’s sitting in the car trunk), a table, and random things. We’ll, we took the monitor with all its cables and things, went to dinner, took it out and the BF plugged it to the wall to see if it turned on … it did! Then a few hours later he begged me to get him the power cables for the computer. I took out a few (I was SO tired I didn’t want to deal with setting up the computer) … he tested it … and my old wallpaper was there … with all its colours and all the documents I had on my desktop. Our guess is that someone got a new monitor for Xmas and dumped that one. Today … the awesomest BF ever sent me a message saying he’d hooked up all the cables and things, moved the internet cables from his room to my room and had my computer up and running!!! I’m still a little tired (physically) and I’ve been worried about not having enough energy to start and finish my day’s work, so this little surprise comes as an awesome way of helping my life be a little easy. This means that I’ll be able to post more frequently while he’s preparing his lectures or while facebooking or talking to people. When I get home I’ll hook up the speakers and the surge protector … and hopefully things will be up and running for good until I get a laptop. Thus, out of the 20 items I wanted to cross off my list of achievements for this year, one is gone!!!! Hooray for donations and awesome boyfriends!!!!
    Visit my old school and attend my grad school graduation. In the works
  15. Learn to love my parents as they are, even if it means not agreeing with some of their beliefs. Always a work in progress, but getting better at it with each passing day, especially after my sis gave birth a few days ago (I’m editing this on May 9).
  16. Keep on going as strongly with the BF as we’ve had over the last few months. November and December were pretty good relationship-wise, and I’d love to keep on going in the same direction. We have this chemistry, this way of being funny and getting along that is even better than at the beginning, so I hope this keeps on happening. Who knows if this is Mr. Right for the future ;-). Going strong.
  17. Get a nice hair stylist that understands my hair, gets me the haircut and style I want and listens to how I want my hair to be dried (blow-dried, super slick … I’d hate to look like a lion when I get out of the salon).
  18. Be better at doing groceries and other activities that involve shopping, so I can be more conscientious and less wasteful. So far I’ve done good at home. I found a great deal on my walking/running shoes and I’ve gotten small things for the home, but I have not gotten rid of some clothes or 4 thousand purses. Always a work in progress, but I’m guessing I’ll downsize once my BF completes the thesis and we know where we’re moving.
  19. Go through all my toiletries and lotions and soaps so I feel good when I get some new ones … I have this thing where I’ll be using two shampoo’s or 3 lotions or soaps at a time. I have a good chunk of them at home in Canada, and I’d love to start purchasing a brand I like, a single one, rather than have 3 different brands of a product that I hate. This way I can help  in achieving #19. Doing good, but not great. I’ll report back at the end of the year on this one.  

And as a bonus: shave more often, get cute and comfy undies, and donate old but good clothes to make room for things I really need and want AND like.


  1. Sretno says:

    always be better…
    each day…
    each year…


  2. 28 and a PhD says:

    Thanks Sretno! Happy 2010 to you too. Thanks for visiting 🙂

  3. Valentina says:

    Wow, that is quite an impressive list! The good thing is that some of them read like a to-do list, so you don’t have to work the whole year on it, but perhaps get them done during spring cleaning (like donating the old clothing you won’t use anyway… I’ll copy that one into my todo list for this weekend). And for the rest… perhaps you should set up some reminders around the house so it is easier to stick to everything 😉
    Happy new year! And lots of success for your resolution.

  4. 28 and a PhD says:

    Thank you so much Valentina!! Yes, I hope that some of these resolutions will be scratched off the list by December of this year. Some might not come as easily for money reasons, but I’ll try my best to make some headway into them. So kind of you to stopped by. Best wishes in 2010 to you too 🙂

  5. Alexandra says:

    It’s a really cool list. I guess it helps to have a list with all the TODOs, and resolutions, better for organizational purposes.
    If you like taking pictures you’ll love stepping up to a DSLR, and you won’t look back to point and shoots.
    And awesome for #17 😉

  6. 28 says:

    Thanks for visiting Alexandra! I just L.O.V.E. lists. I guess I like them because of what you said, organization. Also, I love crossing off stuff as it gets accomplished, thus I feel accomplishes. So good of you to visit 🙂

  7. […] accountable at the end of the year. I was looking at some of the goals I’d set up for 2010 (here) and I am pretty pleased with how things look and how I did manage to achieve some of those […]

  8. […] Resolutions 2010 Rate this: Share this:DiggRedditEmailStumbleUponTwitterTumblrLinkedInPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Job, Me, Trips and tagged beginnings, changes, credit card, debt, family, jobs, life, money, PhD, postaweek2011, science, work by Dr. 27. Bookmark the permalink. […]

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