27 and a PhD

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Life, lately

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.


June 2013
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I’m back from burying my college BFF. Though I shouldn’t qualify her as that. She was simply my best friend. I haven’t gone through much of the grief I thought I’d experience. I’m numb. Really. Just numb. I’m still in disbelief. Some of the initial shock is gone. But I found myself wondering how she’d feel on that first day of being buried. I worried about her experiencing the hot or cold weather conditions. I cried a little over that on that day. But mostly I’m numb. I keep replaying the news in my head. Wondering if she remembered me, and how … after not calling her on those last months of her life. The service prior to the burial was really beautiful. Mostly it was about remembering her bright face, her smile, her positive look at life … even when faced with a deadly tumour. I just hope to continue her legacy of happiness. I know she was proud of my accomplishments, as if they were her own … and I just wanted her to know how much I admired her and loved her, for helping me embrace my crazy side, the side everyone sees and relishes. The crazy side that’s helped me get to where I am today.

As some of you know, while I was home my mom told me that she and my dad are losing the house. Finally. He’s been beyond irresponsible, and now this. This may also be why I’m numb. I just can’t believe it. They house I grew up in … just gone. This is the second property he’s lost thanks to doing bat-shit crazy things with he and my mom’s money. I wish I could scoop my mom away and bring her to live with us. But she couldn’t just pack up and leave my sister and my nephew. I ache for my family so much. I wish I could do more … and I feel so powerless.

Then on my way back Southwest screwed things up for me … so, so bad. And I got my period while on the plain. I was cranky, uncomfortable, and in so much pain. The whole traveling ordeal went on for almost 24 hours. I’m glad I’m back on dry land, with an amazing and extremely supportive and understanding husband. My bosses have been very accommodating too. I’m thankful and humbled by being surrounded by great people.

My pap smear came back negative (after not having one for almost 3 years, ooops), and I’m negative for 2 STI’s, which is always a great thing. I celebrated someone those news … which were the first good news I’d gotten in a week. Can you believe that? Celebrating over having a negative pap smear? Geez … that’s how bad things have gotten … or how they felt over the last week.

While I was home I got to spend some time with my in-laws, two people who are amazing and supportive. My MIL bought me a pair of shoes for the wedding. They’re orange and beautiful. I bought a lot of clothes for work, hoping to wear them soon. I also bought a table for our place. Little by little our apartment is taking shape. We’re a few things away from getting the whole place to be in shape, like a dinette, a couch and a couple of chairs, along with a small table for our room and a little lamp. But for now honey has a desk and a good chair. I have a table for my crafts. Things are looking good. I love our place, our first home as husband and wife.

Prior to the events of last week, I’d been working very, very hard. I managed to collect a lot of data and my bosses seemed happy with it. I have to get back on the horse and try to collect as much data to make up for the lost time. But, I’m glad the uni has a bereavement policy which allowed me to be by my BFF’s side, with her family, while we mourned her loss.

I hope to get back to blogging about interesting stuff about work … but definitely not this week. Thank you for your understanding and support, both here and on Twitter. Thank you.


  1. gerty-z says:

    So sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you.

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