27 and a PhD

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Post vacation funk

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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It is just me? Or do more people feel all crappy after returning to the lab from a glorious vacation? I don’t know. I’ve been meaning to start blogging once again, as I’ve been out for a few weeks now. I get some ideas sometimes, but other times it’s hard to just get down to do it. Plus I’ve had a few things happen since I came back from vacation. If you’ve been following my tweets, I’m spewing fire due to an airline’s incompetence (and my car needing some  desperate repairs). I’ve spent two weekends doing nothing, just playing video games and sitting around doing absolutely nada. I miss my Spain, my hotel, the streets, the people. And I can’t seem to bring myself up to speed and feel productive. Bleh. I think I’m what a friend calls a post-vacation funk.

Though no scientific studies have been done on this (I’m cheating here, you see, I have not consulted PubMed to see if this is true or not), I’m pretty sure this is a real psychological phenomenon. Yes. After coming back home, from a nice place, with nice food, with a metro that takes you everywhere so you don’t need to fight people for a parking spot, after having way too many granizados, one has to go back to “real” life, to work, to study, to stay in the lab until really late so you can have results by the week’s end. And it has me all frustrated because I want to sleep in late, I want to get on the Ave and go places, I want to speak Spanish with the Spanish crowd. But instead I’m back at work. Running column after column, gel after gel, and pH’ing all over again.

When I was in grad school I felt the same way. But it would go away pretty fast. Partly due to my former boss’s attitude towards work and play (vacation hard, play even harder). But also, I had something to look forward to. I had a goal, which was to finish a thesis. I hadn’t been gone from the lab for so long. Not even for Xmas. And I’m definitely feeling the pang in my chest. I’m dreaming about exotic lands, food, flavours. A different air.

I hope to be fully functional in a few days. My sleeping pattern has been disturbed (and not by jet lag, but by staying late playing video games and eating tons of ice cream). So I’m guessing that has something to do with it.

I just wanted to stop by and say hello. I hope to start blogging soon and tell you stories about my Spanish fiesta and, of course, about all things grad school and work related.

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