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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Grad School Woes

Ok.  I'm having a bit of a crisis as of late.

I just realized that I planned my experiment schedule for this semester wrong and instead of finishing all my behavior testing by Thanksgiving, I actually won't be done til around New Year's.  I somehow managed to be over an entire month off!  So that means I'll be working through ALL the holidays.  As in, right now I'm scheduled to be working Thanksgiving and Christmas DAY.

Ugh.  Like...really?  And people wonder why I hate research so much.  If you want a career in research, you really have to love it and be prepared for it to be your first priority.  That's something I'm not prepared to do.  I anticipate Jeff having to work holidays.  He's a doctor.  It's something he sort of signed up for and I've gotten used to it.  But when I first started grad school, working holidays (major holidays at least) was not something I thought I would have to do.  So this year, while Jeff will finally have both Thanksgiving and Christmas off (if those are the holidays he picks), I will most likely be working both!  Oh, how the tables have turned.  Cross your fingers that I can fudge things a bit and somehow work around the holidays.

That in and of itself completely sucks (I mean, I haven't even processed that yet).  But what I'm seriously having a small panic attack about is the fact that I now have an entire month less of uninterrupted dissertation writing time than I thought I would have.  People sometimes take an entire semester just to write.  I'll now have about a month and a half.

I have to graduate this May, people!  For my own sanity.

Assuming I still get everything done on time, I'm still faced with the question of what the heck do I do next year in Jackson?!  It's not long enough to do a post-doc.  Do I even want to do a post doc?  Apparently I have to if I ever want a full time college teaching gig.  Is it worth putting myself through 2-4 more years of research misery?  Does that mean I need to do another year of research while in Jackson to keep my CV up to date???  Are there even ANY research jobs in the thriving metropolis of Jackson?  Am I seriously now considering more research?  I thought I was going to have a vacation year!!

Can someone please send me a crystal ball?  Thanks.




6 comments:

  1. Once you've finished with the crystal ball, could you please send it my way?

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  2. I'm next on the crystal ball list. And I am right there with you on the crappy unexpected hours front. 60+ hours/ week as an accountant?? At least with doctors they are saving lives so it makes sense to work through holidays and have insane hours.

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    1. That sucks!! 60 hours/week is a lot. I guess for me the trade off is work holidays and you'll get a PhD...it's somewhat bearable knowing it will not be an every year thing.

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  3. And then me too. Wish that crystal ball existed. Research is hard work. I remember making a visit to the lab so my husband could squeeze the rat bladders.... they needed to be manually squeezed because they had spinal cord injuries (that is what he was studying). You had to help the little guys out if you wanted rats to work on. So twice a day down to the lab, rain or shine, weekends, holidays. Good luck figuring out the future. I am sure it will all come together just in time:-)

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    1. Ha! I've actually had to squeeze a few rat bladders myself so they don't pee all over the place while under anesthesia! I'm sure I will figure it out, but being a very organized person it is stressing me out ;)

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What do you think?