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.


January 2012
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My apologies for not writing earlier. As always, it’s been incredibly busy. I had a couple of days worth of data processing and that’s kept me busy and away from Twitter and blogging and commenting. That, and all other lab related things that no one but me takes care of and get totally ignored, until something breaks, or needs to be re-stocked. Oh well, that’s life in the lab, no?

The boss decided to ring in the new year by taking everyone out for night of fun. I have to say, it was a very nice evening. But then the dreaded lab meeting came a few days after, and I felt like a tiny speckle of shit, stinky and undesirable. I know I have to learn to stand my ground and fight back when the boss is on the other side of his bipolar personality (if that makes any sense, I’m halfway asleep while typing this; I’ll explain this at a later time). And I know that not every single thing he says it’s a personal attack. But still, I’m still the new person and I feel the extra burden to prove myself worthy of my position.

I did manage to accomplish a couple of little things, including getting a permit required to work in the lab after-hours. That was a bit stressful. I also finished processing data for a professor and he sent a nice email thanking me for effort I’ve put in. I hope he likes the end result. Little notes like that make my day.

I’ve been trying to stay on top of a couple of different orders for lab supplies and stuff. We have a big instrument installation in a few weeks, and we’re busy purchasing all sorts of nuts and bolts to make sure the engineers have everything they need at hand.

My computer broke, because I accidentally dumped some of my breakfast on it. Basically parts of my keyboard are not functioning, and since I don’t have a lot of money to dump on a new computer (and I have enough empty USB slots) I bought a tiny keyboard, and I can *finally* type, tweet and answer and check emails. I had to do a full wipe-out of the system. Luckily I did manage to save important pictures and documents, which I need to restore. But I’m very lazy at the moment.

I’ve been getting only a few hours of sleep, especially on the day before lab meeting. I managed to submit a couple of entries to the blogging gig. I also got my W2 and now I’m waiting for my Canadian tax documents so I can file taxes in both countries. I’m not expecting a refund, and we’ll see how much I can deduct for the moving expenses and some work-related costs (if I decide to anally itemize everything).

Hon has been here for a couple of days. Looks like he’s finally catching a break on a few things. He submitted his completed thesis to be reviewed, and so far two of his committee members have given him some good critiques which are easy to fix (yay!), no life-altering changes thus far. He had a chapter proposal accepted today and hopefully he’ll appear in the author list, in his discipline, soon enough. To celebrate we went to one of our favourite southern spots, which has an branch in midtown. Then we took a stroll in the freezing cold weather and saw some of the usual touristy things, took pictures, and felt like our cheeks and hands we’re going to fall off. We also saw the hotel were we stayed during our first date. Oh so romantic. Now he’s right next to me reading ESPN, he! I love having him around. In a few days he’s returning home, and hopefully the next time we see each other I’ll be able to call him doctor 😀 .

A few busy weeks await me. I hope I can endure them. This is looking like an insanely busy year, and we’re not even a whole month in! How’s your 2012 looking like?

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