27 and a PhD

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2012 has been sucking the life out of 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.


May 2012
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Aaaaaaargh. I really don’t know if 2011 was crappier than 2012 thus far. I know, I have a new job, and I shouldn’t complain, but every month something happens that leaves me out of breath (and mostly, out of money). In January I started the year pissed off … somewhat. I didn’t get to see my family for Christmas and that had me in a bad mood. In February, I lost my unlimited metrocard two days after purchasing. I had to call the MTA and they did a partial refund, but I still had to purchase another metrocard (not unlimited) until I got the refund. Then we got a new staff member in the lab, and of course, my boss had to display his superior skills of being a bully in front of the new person. I was very happy that day. Then in March I applied (and got an interview by phone) for a job back home. The prof was so-so, and I didn’t get an offer (that’s OK, I still have my job that I really like). Then I did my taxes. I got a federal refund which had to be completely funneled to paying Canadian taxes. And because I only lived in Canada part of last year, I didn’t get the usual standard deduction. I had saved some money, but still, it was a bitch. And I ended up with over 2K to pay to the Harper and his cronies (why Canada, why the hell did you vote for this idiot, the clear choice was the NDP, as the liberals had no standing, come on!). And because NY is a great state to live in (hell to the no), I was slapped with a State AND city tax bill. Luckily my tax guy was able to help me cut the losses on the state by  adding what I paid in Canada, but I still ended up paying city taxes because guess what … the idiots at HR didn’t give me the state form. I had a tiny, tiny raise at the beginning of the year, which is now non-existent, as what I got is exactly what’s taken out for city taxes. Finally in May I got to see my family thanks to my wonderful sister’s generosity. But I almost didn’t make it because when it came time to move my car to the alternate side parking place for the days I was going to be away, I discovered that it didn’t start. Some mice ate some cables and stuff and I ended up paying 300$ in repairs. You may say, but 27, you can get rid of it. I sure can, but when every time you’re going to do what needs to be done to sell it, you get slammed with a new issue (be it the car, the city taxes, illness or your missing metrocard), it really sucks all the air in your lungs. It’s like being sucker punched every few weeks.

The best part is that now I have to move. I signed a lease for about a year last year and I was ready to renew it. In truth is a sublease with my roommate. It worked great because I got the city view without being in the city. I know and love the neighbourhood, I had kitty with me and I had a big room with an A/C. And now she needs to move in with her BF, as she’s expecting. I found about it days after returning from my break at home. I left me speechless and breathless. Now I’m apartment hunting again, a “sport” that I hate. And because my savings account are low, it’s going to suck some more if I have to pay several months of security and this and that. And don’t even get me started on the move itself. I should have a tipping jar for my blog. But it feels wrong to ask for money. I need a second job for sure. Ugh.

Oh, and I forgot … I accidentally dumped some food on my little computer. Now half of the keyboard doesn’t work. It makes strange noises whenever I restart, and the brightness control doesn’t work, so it’s always dark. I managed to get a tiny and cheap keyboard … but I do need a new computer. Now I just need to sell my soul on eBay to get it. DFS


  1. genrepair says:

    That sucks, I hope things start looking up for you.

  2. Amy Nieto says:

    Have a drink on me. Or ten. Bluah. All right, 2012, stop bugging 27!!!

  3. Oh geez. I really hope you catch a break soon.

  4. daimia says:

    Wow!! when it rains it pours. Hang in there. You live to fight another day.

  5. Anthea says:

    Yes, Daimia is right…when it rains it pours. Hang in there..things will improve…since what I have learned in these dark gloomy days is that there’s only so much that can go round. After a while things have to improve and we do live to fight another day.

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