27 and a PhD

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About me

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.


August 2011
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Been thinking lately (especially after turning 30) about the things that I like and dislike. Since I like lists I thought I’d make another one about me (and my quirky attributes):

  1. I have friends in weird places. One of my good friends from grad school is an atheist who believes in aliens and is a “priest” in an alien-type religion.
  2. I never cook meat at home …. especially for me. I’m fine cooking chicken for hon, but I will always cook something meatless for me. I hate the smell of meat in my kitchen.
  3. I’m giving myself permission to try new things now than I’m 30. I hope to try salmon for the first time in my life this year.
  4. I’m always asking myself permission to do things.
  5. I also ask permission or approval from those around me.
  6. I have a secret dream of becoming a beer snob.
  7. I want to get a 2nd tattoo, but I don’t know where, since what I have in mind would not match my existing tat.
  8. I like music … but you can’t understand how much I love it. When I listen to a song I like (especially an instrumental one), sometimes I feel like my heart will explode. Seriously. I sometimes can’t believe I’m lucky enough to have my sense of hearing and be able to listen to a beautiful piece of music and concentrate on each instrument, each sound, and the powerful, moving combination they make.
  9. I think I just discovered my passion. It isn’t a scientific one … though I’ve channeled some of it by working in my field. It is photography … but I’m still a beginner.
  10. I may meet one of my favourite scientific people thanks to work. I can’t wait. In fact, I think I may faint.
  11. I think fainting goats are ADORABLE.
  12. When someone sneezes very loudly, and doesn’t cover his/her mouth, it makes my blood boil. I would seriously punch this person if it weren’t because we live in a somewhat civilized society.
  13. I hate shaving. But I also hate hairy legs and armpits. I have some Italian in me. I hate it.
  14. I applied for work because a tweep names Genomic Repairman insisted.
  15. I just saw a white penis today (the second one I see in my life, ie. I’ve dated brown guys). I was walking down the street and there was this guy, near a park, playing his bagpipe for money. He was wearing one of those Scottish skirts (a kilt). It felt wrong and I feel dirty.
  16. I’m taking a sewing class in SoHo. I hope my work doesn’t end up looking like a murdered chupacabras.
  17. I want to start watching Dr. Who, but I’m not so keen on the sci fi genre (well, except Stephen King’s The Dead Zone).
  18. I miss living in Canada.
  19. But I don’t miss work.
  20. I do miss my former labmates.
  21. I’m taking all the chances I get to network like crazy. So far I’ve managed to get some insider’s tips on one of the pieces of software we use. Score!
  22. I’ve been incredibly blessed by knowing a lot of tweeps in this city. I’ve never felt truly alone, because words, messages and emails have been there all the time. I’m very lucky, and I can’t believe that people are willing to help in more ways than I could ever imagine. I hope I can pay it forward somehow.
  23. I miss honey. I wish I could fly every night to sleep next to him, then fly back to go to work. This city reminds me of him. Of us. I miss him.
  24. This city is amazing. I can’t wait to discover more of it. But, I’m afraid of winter. I know I’m a wuss. I just spent 2 winters in Canada. Still, I’m afraid.
  25. I’m lazier than my cat. That’s all. If I don’t answer your email or message promptly, it’s not because I don’t like you, it’s because I’m lazy. I’m trying to shake some of that off.


  1. Pharm Sci Grad says:


  2. Carolina (@braziliancakes) says:

    I like lists too.

    I’m also taking a sewing class, its been awesome! As a scientist, I found it was very easy to follow sewing instructions – I think you’ll be great!

    It was wonderful to meet you! Hopefully we can get together again soon when I’m less tired, and not moving. 🙂

    • Dr. 27 says:

      Lists are awesome.

      I’ve done a thing or two with my machine, but I don’t have formal training, so we’ll see if my “creation” doesn’t look too weird.

      It was SO nice to meet you. I’m sorry we didn’t get to talk too much, but I hope to attend the next one, so hopefully we can talk a bit more. Ugh, and yes, moving sucks.

  3. blue says:

    a funny thing is the list is pretty much like my own as well, minus i don’t have Italian blood bu plus, I miss NYC (figuring you’re there) and I was also 27 when finished PhD and did postdoc in Canada as well…

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