27 and a PhD

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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 2013
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As some of you know, yesterday my college BFF died of brain cancer. I don’t know the specifics, but apparently it got to the point where my friend refused treatment. The family is keeping things as private as possible and I have no way of communicating with them. It appears she will be buried  back home. I’m hoping that my new job will have some grief procedure or time allowance, because I owe her that much … to be present at her funeral. I’m very, very sad. But I’ve been reminiscing of the times we spent together … how we planned to yell at the top of our lungs ‘FUCK YEAH WE”RE GRADUATING’ (we never did, I was afraid I’d get expelled) from undergrad … or when I moved to the South, how excited she got when I told her I’d be visiting Graceland for the two of us. Every time I think of her, a smile comes to my face. She was awesome and hilarious. I in turn, became distant when she got ill the second time. I called her in December, hoping we’d see each other at home … but she had treatments to go through. She sounded hopeful, happy, but also tired. I never told her honey had proposed, or about our City Hall wedding in NYC. I feel horrible about this. I woke up yesterday thinking about giving her a call to tell her I wanted her to be at our wedding next year … and then I got the text from our third friend .. the three inseparable girls … telling me we’d lost her. I can’t believe I’ll never see her smile, hear her jokes, high five when we tell a dirty joke. I have wonderful memories of her. I hope to never forget her voice. It is difficult for me to cope with her death … mostly because it is so unexpected … to think that I won’t see her having kids, hear her laugh, have her tell my mom that she loved my dad more than my mom did (an internal joke) ….

I haven’t cried much. I only cried when I told my mom. I feel numb. I feel tired. I hate cancer. I always will.

But, blessings keep coming my way. My honey tried to make me smile yesterday, so many times. He took me to have my fave breakfast yesterday, we did a bit of shopping for the apartment. He took me to the movies. I was distracted, if only for a few hours. At night when I couldn’t sleep, he made me tea, comforted me, held my hands. Had those beautiful, loving eyes, showing his love, understanding and compassion in this moment of grief. I’m thankful for this wonderful man, that my friend got to meet him, that his parents met her and could tell how much we loved each others. She was a sister to me. And now she’s gone.

I may take a break from blogging or something. I’m sad, and tired. Thanks for your good wishes. Your support is great and much needed.


  1. Chen Guttman says:

    Cancer is bad.
    Lost my father to aggressive colon cancer.
    Sending a strong embrace and support!

  2. BananaFurby says:

    I’m so sorry about your loss. Many hugs and support!

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