27 and a PhD

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It’s been since forever

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.


November 2013
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It’s been almost a month since I last wrote on my little blog. With all my new responsibilities and other things that keep piling up (like wedding planning from a million miles away) I just haven’t had much time to sit down and wrote about what’s going on.

Life is quiet. We’re having some issues with various pieces of equipment; that has slowed down my productivity. It’s sad that the instruments are down, but it’s a most welcomed break from all the craziness I’ve had in the last month. I’ve had tons of work to do, too many samples to count, too many people to train (including a handful of rotation students) and meetings and seminars to attend. The good thing is that, compared to my time as a grad student, I’m not being “watched” by department heads and questioned as to why I’ve missed seminars. Thank goodness for being a staff member. But at the same time, the amount of work I’m doing has probably doubled, mostly because I’ve brought with me some cool knowledge from my previous place of employment, which has a few faculty members excited to try. It’s been very rewarding, but very crazy too. There have been days where I have gone straight to the lab, no stopping in my office, so I can work for 9hrs with just a 30 minute break. All for the sake of science. The good thing is that most of the students are very independent, so while we set up experiments and conditions, when the data is collected, they need little assistance from me, which in turn means that I head back to the lab to collect more data. And due to previous data collection binges, I’m already in a manuscript that’s to be submitted before the end of the year! On of my goals of 2013 was to be an author in a paper from my previous job and one from the current one. I think that resolution might just come true!

On the personal front, I’ve managed to stay in the 190s for a few months now. That’s a relief in the sense that I’m not 200 (206 to be exact) anymore. But I’m stuck. I stopped working out and the eating needs a reboot. This means I still don’t fit in my wedding dress, and the store I bought it from (on Etsy) has closed. I’ve bookmarked a few other options, but with the final push many people do in November and December, I can’t guarantee I’ll lose anything more. I’m at 194, which I haven’t been in forever. But that’s still off by 24 pounds from my first weight goal. I remember a friend from grad school say that when he was able to leave the toxic environment from his PhD lab and get into a stable rhythm in his postdoc lab, the weight seemed to melt away. It’s been almost 3 years since I left my toxic postdoc, and nothing has happened on the weight front, except gain. And I’m too lazy to work out. I’m trying to count calories … we’ll see where that leads. I didn’t want to get married looking like a pregnant woman, but I’m so darned tired all the time that I can’t even begin to think about exercise. And of course, I’m now 32 and my metabolism is just slow.

We just ordered our wedding invitations and I’ve finished some small projects for the wedding. Things will be very colourful, and handmade. Hopefully our guests will have a good time and hon and I will get to eat something and dance even more. I’m still sorting out the situation with my orthotics. My orthotics are too thick for my wedding shoes, but without them I just know that my feet will kill me, no matter how hard I try to stand up and smile. My feet get easily fatigued without the orthotics. My shoes are a bit on the bigger side, so I could try to get custom orthotics, specifically for dressier shoes.

I bought a skirt and a pair of boots over the weekend. I’m nuts. But I saw a picture of one of my tweeps and decided that I too wanted in on the fun. They look awesome together. But skirts and boots have not been part of my wardrobe for the longest time. We’ll see how this works out.

Hon and I are going away for a weekend in the coming weeks. It will sure be refreshing to step away from lab responsibilities.

I’m enjoying better health, or at least better breathing since I started taking allergy meds everyday. That’s a huge relief. I don’t wake up coughing or sneezing as if I was sick, and better yet, people don’t ask all the time why am I sick yet again.

Oh, and we adopted a new kitty!



  1. BananaFurby says:

    I haven’t worked out in a while either. Things have been difficult lately, but I guess we all know that if we just do a little bit of exercise, even a short walk, we gain energy. Wishing you the best, look forward to hearing about your wedding 🙂

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