27 and a PhD

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Days that blend

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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One into the next. Even though we’re not having a course this semester, the beginning of 2012 has been a bit (or a LOT) crazy. I’m barely doing science, and mostly making sure that equipment is ready for use, and if not, contacting people and explaining/cancelling their bookings (makes for a lot of happy people). Seriously, it’s like half of our equipment has been under repair for the better part of this month. The last two weeks have been busy with meetings, workshops, trips to get stuff done and diagnosed (the stuff, not me). And I’m still behind. I need to work with someone in the lab to order parts for a pump, a co-worker and I need to work on an instrument and finish fixing it after some major upgrades, I need to run to the machinist and have stuff done. In addition we have to sign off on an old purchase that its grant is about to expire. Fun, fun, work, work, work.

But it’s days like today that I really enjoy (dare I say love) my job. Even with all the pushing and the phone going off the hook. It is says like this one when I can feel that I made the right decision. That all the doubts, that all the asking (and driving nut) honey in the summer, are cast aside and I feel that not pursuing an additional year as postdoc was the best decision I’ve made (career-wise, in a long time).

Today I took care of a lot of things on my to-do list (as stated above, there are many others to take care of, but at least I feel like I’m making some headway). I got equipment ready for next week. I prepped instruments for people, called a vendor and managed to get the correct part for something we had ordered two+ months ago, and finally got here, and now it’s all wrong. We won’t get slammed with re-stocking fees, and the shipping costs will be covered by the vendor. I felt a bit of relief when I explained that I purchased the wrong part, based on what the sales rep told me (this was back in December when I realized that I had no recollection of the months of October and November, because it had been that busy and I had no brain cells left to look deeper into the piece they’d suggested).

But something is missing, even when I’m this happy at work (read: something, not someone, I’m always missing honey). I miss being in front of my computer and reading all the fabulous posts y’all write, the (totes awesome) news you tweet, I miss interacting with my peeps and my tweeps.

I do count my blessings, though. I got to see hon, we did some touristing on the cheap during the days he was here. We ate at yummy places, found a delicious shawarma and falafel place which we visited more than once and enjoyed each others’ company. We held hands like two high-school kids (I love that, and his hugs, and oh so many other things). It was awesome. And now he’s gearing up to get the abstract for his thesis done and hopefully (before) May he’ll be Mr. 30 and a PhD 🙂

Additionally, some of my efforts haven’t totally overlooked (and dare I say, one of my 2012 resolutions can be crossed off the list … yay!!!). The boss and I were talking about some lab stuff and at one point he smiled and said he had something to tell me. I got nervous, flushed and sweaty (and a bit shaky). The year-end review took place at some point this year (which I had no knowledge of), and he was glad to report that he was able to lobby for a bit more moolah for yours truly. He may have said that he was satisfied, or something like that, with my performance …. but by that time I wasn’t listening anymore because I was in shock and disbelief. It’s the first time in a long time I’ve heard that. Wow. And it is the first time ever I get a raise (if we don’t count the grad school stipend increases every year).

Said raise won’t be enough to get me out of debt (sooner), but, I may be able to stay in the black more often, all while keeping my payments current and saving a bit for filing taxes (hopefully the last time) in two countries. Lovely. Also, hello new undies, jeans and some (much needed) tennis shoes for work (I don’t wear anything fancy for fear of dumping crap on them, much like I did with my computer).

It’s been good. My apologies for my absence from the intertubez.

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2 Comments

  1. ruckerz says:

    New undies are *always* a good thing 🙂

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