#15. The joys of PhD

After hitting the “publish” button for my last post on the long and winding road to PhD, I went back to re-read it…and then got depressed. And as if exactly on cue, a friend on Facebook echoed what was going on in my mind – “kind of depressing”…uh oh. Did I just turn my soap box into a source of depressing information…argh – so. not. my. intention. If there is one thing that is so annoying, its parents who whine and complain about how much they hate parenting and then bookend their rant and rave with “but I really adore my kids, I wouldn’t trade them in for anything”….I am usually thinking, by the sounds of it, you would. I feel like I have become one of those whiny parents vis a vis PhD. holding. face. in. shame.

While I can’t redeem myself from that post, I can balance out some of our experiences. Here’s my top 10 list of the joys of PhD…YES believe me the list is endless, but why share all the love today? I’ll save some for later…

#10. I spend most of my day in my pyjamas

Dr. D will probably not approve of this ‘joy’, he is of the old school of thought that requires that you shower the minute you get out of bed. And while I probably try to take said shower before noon, I often resort right back to comfy clothes – read, pyjamas. Now, before you jump to the conclusion that pyjamas = laziness, I’ll have you know that some of the most creative thought processes emerge from a pyjama-state-of-wardrobe. Unless I have to go out into the real world and interact with other human beings, comfort rules… Continue reading

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The long and winding road to PhD

The Long and Winding Road to a PhD
Via: Online PhD Programs

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Awesome reminder why we are on this journey!

Steam Trains and Ghosts

10.  The schedule is flexible.  The graduate school cares more about whether you do a good job than what time of the day you do it.  That is, unless you’re doing a time-course experiment – then you’re at the experiment’s mercy.

9.  It’s a meritocracy.  To do a good job, you need to do good science.

8.  My boss is a scientist.

7.  You’re surrounded by nerds.  I can rhapsodize about how cool carbonic anhydrase is to my fellow grads, and they’ll know what the heck I’m talking about.*  They probably feel the same way about carbonic anhydrase.

6.  You can spend all day surrounded by your Eppendorf tubes if you want to.

5.  You get to work on a Machine.  Or at least I do.  The Machine I work with weighs at least 50 pounds and is controlled by a computer that runs DOS.

4.  Ph.D. Comics.

3.  You…

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#14. When should I start my PhD?

It’s all about timing.

And the thing about timing is that it varies for everyone. In fact if you found someone who told you that you should do your PhD by age X or Y, run…fast. One of the key things I’m learning to do is to pace myself with myself and not with others. It is so hard to see your peers moving on to the next thing, whether it is professionally into that new job or that new position, or on to their masters, or PhD or on to having kids, first one or second, or nth…and not see the same manifest for yourself. It must be human instinct, because it causes  us to look at them and then look at ourselves and think I’m falling behind, I haven’t even gotten married and my peers are on to third and fourth child…when will I catch up. Or my peers have bought a second house and I haven’t even finished up my first degree.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven (NKJV).

I know that we often ‘get’ that, but we act like the season is global – its for everybody. So if it is marriage season then everybody must be getting married and if you’re not, then you’re off season. The truth is that there is a season for each and every one of us, and rather than trying to be in synch with other peoples’ seasons, we need to get in synch with our season.

So how do you know when you should start your PhD? What is the best time? Continue reading

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