27 and a PhD

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Changes at work

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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Things are changing faster than I’d like. Recently I learned about two group members who are leaving. Both departures break my heart, one because I think it was somewhat unwarranted and unfair, the other because this person has been one of my advocates and has provided insight and encouragement since I started at work. I honestly can’t think of a better person for the job and I’m wondering who’s going to “replace” this person. Ugh, I hate the word replace, specifically attached to work things (unless it’s for a huge piece of equipment that no longer works). I hope to God the search is exhaustive and we get to meet pretty good candidates, but I’m afraid of the future. I just started working at this place, and it seems like the foundation is shaking. Maybe I’m blowing it all out of proportion, but still, these are pretty big changes.

I was recruited, or “appointed” to cover some of this person’s tasks. My place of work is gearing up for the start of the semester, and with it we’ll sure have tons of visitors and new projects coming our way. Summer has been slow, and I’ve been basically reading and learning bits and pieces of how to use some equipment. The real questions now are whether I know how to truly use and troubleshoot the equipment, and whether I can teach new people to use said equipment. I may also be acting as an instructor at some point, which will greatly reduce my time to work in the wet lab. We’ll see.

Two moves are happening. I found a more permanent place near the city, but it’s with a roommate. Since I’m trying to help out my mom due to the irresponsible decisions my dad made with money, I don’t have enough cash to afford a place on my own. I hope the new roommate and I get along. Hon is trying to come and visit, but tickets are way expensive.

Related to the second move. Hon’s grad funding ran out this summer. Ontario offers graduate assistantships guaranteed for 4 years. Hon has been at school for that long, plus this semester. He’s really short on cash, and since he doesn’t work in a lab, and can pretty much write his thesis anywhere, he’s moving back in with his family and finishing the thesis from there. Before the end of the month the all our things should be in the city … we’re going to need to store some of them, because my new place comes furnished. So, other than my clothes and shoes and a few little things, everything will go in storage until I can either afford a place of my own, or send those things to my parents’ house, or dispose of them. I think my dream of downsizing is going to become a reality. We’ll see at what cost. Because of the stupid job market hon has very little hope of finding a job in this city.

My car was broken into by a low life junkie. He took hon’s CDs, and stole our GPS. The local city police in Ontario take reports via the web … they didn’t even bother showing up to interview witnesses. We have no hopes of recovering our stuff. The stupid asshole is in jail. I sincerely hope he rots in there. Even though I’m in the States, and this happened in Canada, many miles away from me, I still look behind my shoulder everywhere I walk. I’m afraid of people. I trust no one.

Scientists have regular lives too.

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4 Comments

  1. Genomic Repairman says:

    Hey lady sorry for your losses and keep your chin up. It’ll get better.

  2. mutantreptile says:

    Ontario police takes reports from the web????????

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