27 and a PhD

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Is this enough? Can I still blog? Anyone out there?

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.


October 2012
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It feels like it’s been forever since I last wrote something with some substance. Other than sharing some links of some of the places I’ve been, I feel tired. Even after going back to my medicine, I still feel overwhelmed by life and work. There are lots of things going on at work, many projects, much testing of instruments, lots of data to collect and process, seminars, webinars, workshops, etc. I’ve definitely neglected the blog, though I try to write something every week, a promise I made as part of my resolutions for this year. One of the things that pains me the most is that I’ve been missing the wonderful and informative discussions on Twitter. I still don’t know how come I get new followers every day, especially when I’ve been tweeting and sharing less and less. In part, I feel overwhelmed, both by the good and the bad of science and life. Has this ever happened to you? I’m reading blogs even less. I’m sorry for that. I guess I have internet overload. And I’ve had it for a while. Also, I feel like I’m out of ideas/topics to write about. Everyone I follow and know seems to write things much more eloquently than I can … or at least that’s my perception. It’s hard to juggle life, science and my online persona at times.

Honey spent a few days with me. It was awesome. We got to celebrate 7 years together by going to DC for a weekend. My apologies for not contacting anyone in the DC area. We only spent a little over 24hrs there and wanted to make the most out of it. It was awesome. I’d been in DC for a day earlier in the year and I definitely enjoyed the vibe of the city. Though the subway system is fantastic, it was ouch-tastic compared to NYC. Seriously, 14$ for a 1 day pass? And pay by distance may seem great, but in NYC I can take a bus and/or subway and ride from Queens to Coney Island for 2.25$. Granted, the systems is much cleaner/better kept, but still. It was awesome. We went to a few museums, ate yummy food, stopped by the Eastern Market on Sunday, which we greatly enjoyed. In NYC we walked tons, ate tons, and laughed even more. I miss living with my honey, I miss his touch, his smell, his sense of humour, his smile, and how he takes care of me. I just want him to find a job, a good job where he can grow and use his talents and see if we can be together at last.

I got an email yesterday from someone from the HuffPo … they wanted me to participate in this panel. Nothing ever materialized, but it was nice (if is was indeed from the HP) to reach out and try to get me out of my job shell for a little bit. It’s nice to see that people in different areas read what you write and find that you may have something to contribute to an even larger audience.

Finally, my phone died. I’ve hate the piece of shite since I first got it. It’s been a pain in the ass and I’ve saved enough money to get me some shiny piece of technology that it’s worth my time and money (hopefully). I’m finally purchasing my first piece of Apple technology. Yes, I know, incredible. I’d been resisting Apple until I started in my postdoc lab, which was full of Macs. I guess I had to learn UNIX/Linux to fully appreciate Apple. Though I’m not an expert by any means, I find that the phone I’m getting is in tune with my needs, more so than my current choice. So we’ll see how this goes. In the meantime, I still have to survive with my piece of crap for a few more days.

For now, that’s it. I just had to get some things off my chest. At times I’ve gotten so discouraged by the internet overload that I’ve felt like everything I have to say has been said, and that maybe I should hang the blogging gloves once and for all. Let’s see what it takes to get me inspired and on track. Have you ever been in a blogging/Twitter funk? What got you back into the rhythm of things? Any advice?


  1. djmatticus says:

    Advice: just do what you did here and write even if you don’t think it is anything of consequence. The words will come.

  2. I go in fits and spurts. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. I still like it as an outlet to write about whatever tickles my fancy, but I no longer feel beholden to readers and basically just write for myself.

  3. “They may have heard the story, but they won’t have heard it your way.”

    Can’t remember where I heard this, but I think it was at a writer’s workshop I attended with author Barry Longyear.

    Here, Seth Godin and Tom Peterson talk about why you should blog, even if nobody reads it: http://youtu.be/livzJTIWlmY

    I’ve never had a serious blogging funk, though some times, one blogging project gets more attention than the others.

  4. Jessica says:

    I took an open-ended break thinking I was done for good, then realized I missed it and came back. I was happily surprised by how everyone I’d met online was still around and welcoming.

    I think this is definitely enough, if it’s an outlet you enjoy.

    • Dr. 27 says:

      Thanks a lot! It is definitely an outlet. I guess part of it was that I was looking back at 2010 and 2011 and I wrote so much about my frustrations with my postdoc and then the job search that now that things are good and “quiet” in the lab, I feel like I have no drama in my hands to share. It’s weird. I am happy that I’m not in the position I was in at the beginning of last year …. but somehow the quieter times in the lab have made me a bit silent and dare I say, boring?

  5. phd help says:

    great post very informative.

  6. I’m 27, and doing PhD at the moment. I’m struggling with blog posts and twitters as well. If you know the solution, please let me know too. A friend of mine blogs every week even though the content is not his field. I guess it depends on the person maybe.

    • Dr. 27 says:

      Hi Kay. Thanks for your comment. Apologies for taking forever to write back. Like you said, it depends on the person. I think that when I was in grad school and postdoc I did write more often. There were more sources of drama and I was looking for similar (sometimes miserable) souls to reassure me that things would be OK. There’s some sort of stability at work now, which reduces the amount of drama I see and experience, hence why my entries get shorter and often don’t touch too much on topics I used to before. In a way I think we sometimes err, as bloggers, on comparing to others, friends/fellow tweeps and sometimes I feel like that causes exhaustion and for us to feel overwhelmed by not posting more, etc. Hang in there, find your balance. It’s your blog and your way of writing and your timing. Don’t feel bad about being you.

  7. […] not writing 800 words using my phone, oh no … lately, I’ve found myself being lazy. I’m not on Twitter as much as I used to, and I’m definitely feeling like owe people some…. The people that come to the blog looking for info on how to survive in grad school. Or how to deal […]

  8. […] 27 and a Ph.D. epitomises the feeling that it’s all been done before. […]

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