Friday, January 24, 2014

Still Catching Up…

I haven’t been taking many photos lately, so here’s a view of things from the archives a year ago…

Sliced Orange

Elaborate Chalkwork

Snaking Upward


Week of January 13, 2014:

Monday: Evening DIY yoga

Tuesday: Evening walk (untimed)

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Went for a run!  49 minutes total with 30 minutes of running

Friday: Afternoon bike ride with Paul and his roommate Matt

Saturday: Went for another run!  34 minute total with 21 minutes of running

Sunday: Went for an afternoon walk (untimed)

Total timed minutes spent walking/running: 83.  Total estimated miles: 7.2.

I’m still catching up on blogging over here.  Actually, I feel like I’m catching up on life, which is a funny thing to say because I’m not working full time right now.  But last week I was fighting a double-whammy on the health front: a cold plus a lot of period pain.  On top of that, I’m learning how to juggle two jobs.  I like my jobs, but the amount of information that I need to manage and remember is challenging.  I’m still figuring it out.

Plus: the internet.  Since I’ve been feeling stressed this week, I am turning to my favorite lazy comfort: reading blogs and looking at pretty pictures.  My latest find?  Here & Now, a new-to-me style blog written by Jessica, a biomedical research PhD student at Vanderbilt.  I’m super impressed with her blogging ambition, keeping up a near-daily posting habit on top of working the long hours that science grad students are expected to work.  I lack that ambition, which is why I have finally, finally switched paths to pursue something that it is a better fit for me.  But!  I can still admire other people’s work.  I like Jessica’s current goal of building a timeless wardrobe that will take her through graduate school and into life after the PhD.  I certainly did not have that foresight when I was in grad school.  But I was also perfectly happy to buy sweaters for $1 and jeans for $5 at thrift stores.  When those pieces wore out after several years of wear, I could look back fondly at all the days I spent in the lab, wearing those items.

It occurs to me right now, thinking about someone who is still working on her PhD versus me, that perhaps this year is a recalibration of ambition.  I’ve grown sort of used to describing myself as lazy because I’m just not motivated by what my old path (hard-core research) has to offer.  I believe that the business of doing academic science is broken and that things are getting worse for everyone, especially the youngest and most vulnerable members of our profession.  My recent experience in being laid off has solidified this viewpoint.  On the one hand, I’m angry and sad about the reality of what academic science has become, and I feel like I need to stop caring because it’s too painful for me.  On the other hand, I am really motivated to help the new tutoring students who are coming into my life.  It’s fair to say that once I start working with a student, I am willing to go the extra distance to help him or her as best I can.  I’m learning as I go, of course.  Best of all, the feeling of tutoring is wonderful: I am energized by it and eager to make it work.

This post has suddenly become very deep!  I need to wrap things up so I can get to work, but I think I’ll pop in tomorrow and share some of my favorite posts from Here & Now with you.  It will be fun to pick them out from the dozens I read in the last two days!

Happy Friday, my dears!  

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