27 and a PhD

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I guess I was wrong

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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Due to money constraints, I thought I would not be able to attend a conference or a workshop this year. Earlier in the year I went to a workshop a few hours away which was super informative and a great place to network. That resulted in visits from a couple of applications/engineering people who helped a lot with one of our renegade instruments. That beast had been tamed somewhat.

Then my boss and supervisor had a budget meeting and turns out there’s money left to go somewhere, not too far, but still. So, by the end of this month I’ll be flying away from NYC to attend a little conference in my field. I have nothing to present, which is both good and bad. I’m going into new turf and will be talking to peeps who do this thing I do in the lab but which I’m still new at (and apparently the only one right now to do it in my division), so I’m looking forward to getting pointers from more senior people in the field. This was a totally unexpected and very welcomed surprise. I hope to make new contacts and maybe get in contact with a couple of corporate people too. I guess I gave up too soon on the traveling to a conference (however small).

Hon was here for 2 weeks. It was bliss. We went down to DC to celebrate 7 years of being together and we loved it. I apologize for not getting in contact with of you lovely DC tweeps, but we had a little over 30 hours to do some tourism in the area and felt it would have been too short on you to make it memorable. I hope we can go back for a little longer some other time. Hon is still looking for work. I’m also keeping my eyes open for any opportunities that arise at home. I miss my hon, and I want to be near him once and for all.

The air is getting chillier. I’m not looking forward to a bad winter, though I suspect this will be. Bummer.

I’m liking the new place and my roommates. The apartment is homier and I get to interact with the roommates more than I did with my previous one. I’m finally getting used to the new place and settling into a routine. Things seem more normal.

Science-wise, there are lots of projects going on and I’m trying to keep my head straight. Been doing lots of data collection, lots of samples and learning lots too. It’s incredible how much I’ve learned in a year as a staff scientist compared to being a postdoc stuck in a rut. Don’t get me wrong, doing the postdoc taught me many things, but mostly about me and my limits. In this lab I’m learning tons technique- and science-wise.

What’s new with you?

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4 Comments

  1. katiedid says:

    Hooray for unexpected travel! And for likin your roommates. That can be tough sometimes.

    Nothing new here. Work, class, study, sleep.

    • Dr. 27 says:

      Thanks! I’m kind of excited, even though it’s to the middle of nowhere, but oh well. It’s good that things are good and that the boat is steady. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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