27 and a PhD

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Vacation time …

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 2010
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Dear!! Oh my, how I miss writing. I’m happy to be back. I’m back on my medicine and feeling so happy and relaxed. It’s incredible the relief one feels once PMDD is not wreaking havoc on one’s system. This week has been exceptional. On monday I showed the boss some very preliminary results on a complex I’m trying to form. Oh my, for the first time in ages my boss was not only smiling, but really excited. And I guess those things and gestures are contagious, as I spent the rest of the week on a natural high :-). By the week’s end I had some results on a second project I just started working, and again, the boss was super smiley. And then … I asked the question I had been dreading to ask for a little while …. if it would be OK to go on vacay for a few days.

I’ve always been very apprehensive about vacation time since I feel like a boss would say no (especially after an experience I had back when I was a grad student). Briefly, I went on vacay with the boyfriend to Europe. On my way back I traveled again 3 more times (2 of them for weddings) and the boss was not too keen on that. I was bummed. Because I felt like I had been giving my best, I had 3 publications behind me, and yet, it was not enough. That year I only visited my family for a very shot time during the winter break, even though I was entitled to taking more than 10 days off. Since then, I’ve been very hesitant when it comes to ask for time off.

I paid attention to the advice a friend in the lab gave me, waited to have results for both projects I’m working on, and then after presenting them, I casually mentioned that I wanted to take time off. The boss said no problem, seemed interested when I mentioned the location, and said “have fun”. Have fun??!! AWESOME!!!!!

I was on cloud 9 for the remainder of the day. And now I want to work harder and better, and have several things purified and waiting for when I come back.

I’m going back to Europe, and will be spending some time in Spain. I’m leaving by then end of the month and come back mid-July …. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. I hope to provide a small guide on the sights and places I visit .. and may even provide a photo or two … but not featuring me ….  of course! I’m thinking about a couple of posts I want to write. I certainly hope to post something before the end of June (and before leaving for vacay!).


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