27 and a PhD

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A vacuum cleaner

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.


February 2018
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Oh the things that inspire me to write these days. A vacuum cleaner.

I have two cats: murder cat and anxiety cat. They’re both adorable, cranky, and funny. And they shed. Like fuck they shed.

Turns out I’m allergic. Like bad allergic to them, though I’m more allergic to dogs.

Four or fives years ago my husband and I purchased this vacuum cleaner for our first rental right after the move from NYC. We’d gotten rid of the one we had in Canada, because we had no idea when or whether we’d end up staying in North America … and honestly it didn’t fit at all in our tiny trailer. Our newest acquisition had been a floor model, purchased for $20 at a flea market. I’d gotten us another one, but either my husband or our cat sitter would always end up dumping the filter. And after purchasing 3 filters in less than a year, I gave up.

That flea market vacuum cleaner lasted until two weeks ago. It was old to begin with and I’d sort of given it a new lease on life by servicing a couple of parts. But it wasn’t sucking, and if there’s one thing to know if doesn’t doesn’t suck, is that it really sucks. And one can only service it so much before it becomes a money pit.

I logged on to our local department stores, picked one with decent reviews, ordered it and picked up later that day. That thing can suck … and do it beautifully. I immediately threw away the old one, thanking it one last time for all the dust bunnies it gathered and freed us from for nearly 5 years.

I’m in love with my new vacuum cleaner. It’s more powerful than anything I’ve ever owned before and my goodness I can breathe easier.

The part that still surprises me is that I paid for it, in cash (well, debit card, but the money was there, available) and picked it up the same day. I didn’t have to wait until pay day or something else. I checked online, picked it, paid for it and that same day I was vacuuming away to my heart’s content.

It still surprises me how, even though I’m not totally debt free, enough of my budget is free to purchase something like a vacuum cleaner. A couple of months ago I took advantage of a huge deal I got on purchasing a sofa, a dream of mine for over two years since moving back to NY State. I bought it on credit in October and my Nov 1st it was paid in full.

I pinch myself, I tell you. I do, I really do. And this is just a taste of being more than middle of the way into my debt-repayment adventure. I can’t wait to see green, all green (well black) later this year. I’m giddy with excitement!!!


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