27 and a PhD

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Almost 9 months

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.


March 2012
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Oh my, I’ve been at work for almost 9 months. Incredible. I’d secretly given myself 6 months to try and see if I liked being back in my field of training. Thus far I have. Being a staff scientist has its challenges (and rewards). I’ve been to at least 3 local conferences/workshops. I’ve made contacts, I’ve helped people. I’ve battled with an intense boss. I got a raise. I’ve been trying to be good to myself.

I finally tended to my feet and went to the podiatrist. But he’s a douche, so I’m switching. Been waiting for my orthotics which have magically disappeared (or were sent to a different doctor/office/patient). On Monday I have (what I hope to be) my last call with them. I already made an appointment with another doctor. I’ll be asking for a refund for services not rendered (though I honestly feel like calling a lawyer instead … if only I had that much money). I’m practicing assertiveness …. let’s see if I can get out of this and get my money back (into my FSA account anyway).

I’ve been trying to be good by getting new undies (because face it, science is done way better in comfy underwear), shoes, and jeans. The shoes were kindly provided by gift cards from my in-laws and a very sweet Twitter friend. Both of those gifts brightened my otherwise unremarkable Christmas season. And I’ve been carefully doing numbers so that I can eat and get new jeans (because I go through them like beer, fast). I love not having to wear suits, make up, uncomfortable shoes, etc. I’ve been (miraculously) saving a bit of money and (also miraculously) ending the month in black numbers for a couple of cycles now (wow, finally). All I need to get now is my T4 (Canadian tax form, think W2) and get my taxes taken care of. I’m not sure if I’ll get anything back, but I was sure bitching about how come I pay just the same in taxes here as I did in Canada, and I had access to provincial healthcare … we have ways to go people, seriously.

I’ve been doing a bit of walking, via taking the long route to places, and I can’t wait for the weather to be better (and for the sun to go down later) so I can walk around my neighbourhood and hopefully drop a few pounds. I did get sick, apparently dropped some pounds (not many) and was told that I Iooked great (I wasn’t too sick, but I was a bit miserable, since I hadn’t been sick since I moved to The City). I also keep eating meat-less at home, and it is oh so good. I’m exploring new recipes, but with the usual limited counter-space-real-estate I need to become more creative so I can cook various meals with the short ingredient list I have.

We’re about 1 1/2 to 2 months from hon’s defense. Can’t wait to see him finally get through this last hurdle and get his PhD. This has been a dream of his for a long, long time, and I’m also looking forward to going back to Canada and saying hi to some old friends. I’m happy Joe Fresh at least crossed the border … but there are many other things I miss about my adoptive country.

Interesting things are brewing, both in my life as a structural biologist and in social media. I have to return some emails, but I’m not feeling too well right now (damn you mother nature … not always, just once a month). I’m in bed typing, tired and without much energy. All until my cramps are under control. Still, I wish I could take NSAIDs on days like this.

That’s all …. much like my friend Geeka, now that I’m not unhappy in my career I’m blogging less frequently. It’s not that I don’t want to blog, is that life is a bit more normal (at least professionally speaking) and I don’t have much complaining to do. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll keep writing … but not much more for today. I need to make some tea and take a nap.

Oh, and did I mentioned that I got a haircut? I found a hair salon I like (and can afford) and now I’m sporting 4 inches less of hair (meaning, now more headaches when I wear my hair in a ponytail .. yes, my hair is thick, I told you I have a strong mediterranean presence in my genes). But I still need a nap.

How are things going for you?



  1. Chide says:

    I’m so glad that things have started to look up! I sure hope that you get the money back that you deserve to get. And congrats on your hon’s upcoming defense – I can only imagine the feelings of relief and pride of obtaining a PhD thesis (not there yet myself, but hopefully, one day!).

    Good luck with everything! It’s nice how everything finally starts to settle in its place 🙂

    • Dr. 27 says:

      Aww thanks! Yes, little by little things are coming along. Sometimes I hold my breath because I’m afraid of when the other shoe will drop (indeed, I’m a glass half empty kinda person). For now I’m enjoying the good things that come. Thanks for visiting and for your kind words 😀

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