Hello and Welcome!

Hello and Welcome, Visitors from the Land of Awkward! Make yourself comfortable. Pull up a chair and have a cup of tea/caffeinated beverage of choice. This is my tiny little corner of the internet where I blog about PhD-ness, feminism, mild mental health things and general life grumbles.

I moved house on Friday, and finished unpacking on Monday. Yesterday I went to a Med Comms careers networking event. Today, in a little bit, I will write a bit more of my next  thesis chapter – I have a plan and everything!

Moving house was interesting this time because I moved 200 miles from Cottonopolis where I have lived the last three years, back home to the Big Smoke aka London. I grew up here and I have moved back to the family home, having been away for SEVEN YEARS. To say that there were FEELINGS would be a bit of an understatement. However, I did the helpful things – letting myself cry about it – reaching out to my best friend – doing a small social thing – and am generally trying to remind myself that it is okay to feel this way, as well as reminding myself that feeling this way doesn’t have to stop me doing the things I want to do.

Elodie’s Low Mood post was truly a gift at an opportune moment.

As such, I am now going to go do the necessary things, rather than loose another hour to the internet. I just wanted to say “hi” and let you know where I’m at. Much love, Nessie

No more lab work – ever again!!! Thoughts on being a scientist.

Let’s just take a moment to savour the fact that I never *have* to do another science experiment ever again. No more Western blots, no more qPCR, no more tissue culture, and best of all, no more effing microscope experiments! I’ve cleared my lab bench, my shelves and drawers and my write up desk, and I’ve condensed my freezer space into one -20 drawer, two racks in the -80, and two boxes of cells in the liquid nitrogen store. I am so very glad that’s over with, so very glad. I never have to do another experiment again!!! :-D :-D :-D

Okay, so maybe it’s a little sad, I mean I have spent the last three and half years doing bench science, and I have no clue what I’ll be doing next, which is a little scary. On the other hand, no more frustration at doing everything perfectly and still have it fuck up for no discernible reason. Never again Continue reading

Things that are wrong with gradschool – or – how academia breaks people

Well this post here is the best thing I have read about the PhD ever. It completely sums up the issues I have been having with academia but as the author says, if I’d read it going in, I don’t think I would have believed it.

So one of the ways that a PhD breaks people is that it’s a huge task, where the final aim is extremely vague and there are often few meaningful intermediate goals. Brilliant student, you’re probably self-motivated and hard-working. Still, it’s pretty hard to stay motivated when you’re not getting any kind of feedback or sense of achievement, when you have no real deadlines on a timescale you can usefully think about. It’s research, so at some point it will get bogged down and you’ll spend many months or even years pursuing a dead end. Short-term student projects are carefully designed to give at least some kind of results in the few weeks available; actual research isn’t that predictable, which is good because the whole point of research is to investigate an unexplored area, but also pretty gruelling if you’re used to getting good results when you put in hard work. It’s not like working hard to complete an essay or project and being rewarded with good marks. You work hard, really really hard, and you often get no reward at all, you just realize you’ve been wasting your time.

 

This is what I couldn’t get my counsellor to understand the other day. Nevermind that my supervisor is often awful and that I’ve had a lot of personal and family stuff to deal with over these last four years*, this is the thing that has caused me problems over and over again. This, and chronic perfectionism. Continue reading

Grey’s Anatomy Abortions, Maleficent, and Orphan Black

Hello friends, another short one today. Yes, it’s been weeks again. Oh well.

Firstly, just wanted to squee a bit about the fact that I finally got to meet Elodie Glass last week!

“Squeeeeee!”

We  had a lovely day wandering around Cottonpolis, looking at the canals and the architecture, then spent an hour or so looking at ancient Egyptian aretefacts and the rainforest frogs and reptiles in the vivarium. It’s a bit of a hodge-podge of a museum but Victorian pillaging of other countries will do that to a place. We also spent a lot of time discussing science, academia and mental health and it was so very refreshing to talk to someone who gets it. Much love, Elodie my dear.

On to the other things that have been bubbling in my head regarding the various things I’ve seen on a screen lately.

Continuing with Grey’s Anatomy Season 8, turns out things are not going well for Christina, the woman who had an abortion in the last post. Owen Hunt, after being supportive and accompanying her to her abortion appointment is now being an utter dick about it. Gone is the supportive, caring Owen, replaced by one who screamed at her that she “killed our baby!” He did this at Meredith’s party Continue reading