I could actually care less about the holiday. Jeff and I never have enough time to celebrate things that require advance planning, such as getting costumes. We have candy. And I just put out a little wire black cat that's lit up with orange lights. That's as good as it gets at our house. So instead of being excited about the 31st of October being Halloween, I'm excited that it marks another month down of Jeff living in Baton Rouge. 4 months of this stupid away rotation are over and 2 more to go!
In grad school news, I finished what was most likely my last rat ovariectomy EVER yesterday. Feels awesome. I've been working my butt off lately so I can hold onto hope of graduating in May. I still have the option of graduating in August if I need a little more time, but the summer graduation doesn't carry all the hoopla of the big one in May. After 5 years of research misery I want to walk across a big stage and get "hooded" dammit! Would be pretty anticlimactic if one day I'm just done and someone says- congrats, your diploma is in the mail.
I've started preparing my PI (my boss to all you non-science people) for the fact that I will most likely be done with research after graduation. She is supportive, but I know it's a huge disappointment to her whether she says so or not. Of course everyone in academia thinks any career a PhD gets outside of the full-time tenure track faculty position is a waste of a degree. There are a lot of students who are so burnt out after grad school that they go into something else entirely, but no one talks about it. It's all very hush hush. You don't want to do a post doc?! You're throwing your life away! Blasphemy.
It's a real guilt trip and it's ridiculous.
With that said, I have an interview in 2 weeks for a post doc in Jackson. The PI was willing to let me stay for just 1 year during Jeff's fellowship. One year post docs are completely unheard of- the minimum is usually 2 years, and many people stay for 4. Needless to say, I would kill myself.
- The PI is a woman, which I think makes a drastic difference as far as having a life outside of the lab. She has kids which is another bonus. NEVER work for a single man. They will expect you to be in the lab all the time since that's their only obligation. Women with kids understand you have a life and other responsibilities.
- She obviously knows I will only be there for 1 year and is ok with that.
- Doing a postdoc will open up doors for me later on in terms of being able to get a faculty position...although I would need to do a 2nd postdoc since 1 year is not enough...see below.
- I'm not sure a 1 year postdoc would make a difference if I decide I just want to adjunct teach, which is what I'm leaning towards. You don't need a postdoc for those positions. With us moving around for Jeff's job and wanting to have kids at some point, I think adjunct teaching would give me flexibility.
- If I change my mind and DO decide I want a full time faculty position, I will have to do another postdoc and commit to another lab for at least 2 years. So that's at the minimum THREE more years of research after grad school.
- Thinking about doing more research makes me want to cry.
I'll obviously know more after I meet with her and see what her personality and the lab dynamic is like. It's only an overwhelming, life changing decision. No big deal. Sigh...