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December (1)

Adieu
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
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Payoffs of wasting time
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

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"Lessons from a Recovering Postdoc" on Benchfly
Thursday, October 28, 2010

Question about the Void: Guidelines for postdocs
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Question about the Void: What *is* a postdoc?
Monday, October 18, 2010

Blown away!
Monday, October 18, 2010

Living in the Void: How much is a postdoc worth?
Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Tale of Mrs. T and the Rats
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

DonorsChoose: The Rat Race Is On!!!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shock Week
Sunday, October 10, 2010

Science Bloggers for Students: The Prelaunch
Friday, October 8, 2010

Storytime
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Repost: What's in a name?
Saturday, October 2, 2010

Method Madness
Friday, October 1, 2010
September (8)

A friendly warning
Friday, September 24, 2010

Thanks...
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lighting fires
Monday, September 20, 2010

Learning without teaching: A repost and addendum
Monday, September 20, 2010

The Changeup
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I wish that I knew what I know now...
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For Science's Sake, Pay Attention
Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday Morning Silliness: A Speech to Remember
Saturday, September 4, 2010
August (11)

#ACS_Boston: In my PJs
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Turning the Spotlight on Women in Science
Saturday, August 21, 2010

Give us something to talk about
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Roundup! Aug. 8-15
Sunday, August 15, 2010

Roundup! Work-life balance
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Roundup! July 31-Aug. 7
Sunday, August 8, 2010

Blogging with substance-which substance, we won't say
Saturday, August 7, 2010

Living in The Void: Healthcare
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Give and take
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What some smart women have to say about balance
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Viewpoints on Mega-Science
Monday, August 2, 2010
July (2)

Monkeywrenches
Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Surviving the game
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
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biochem belle

Research-and careers therein-rarely follows a linear path. Instead, it is often a long and winding road. These are stories about science and my personal experiences on this road.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Nov 07, 2010, 4:50pm
Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Life has a way of interfering with your plans. Or at least it does mine. Looking at where, a year ago, I expected to be now and where I actually am is like looking at two completely different stories. I had planned to continue with my running and weight training schedule, but I allowed other things to squeeze out my time. I thought I had a very clear idea of what I wanted my career to look like, but I have begun to wonder just how much I'm willing to commit to that path. I certainly had no idea that I would be moving to a different lab.

With the exception of the first item, it's really not as bad as it might sound, though, because these deviations either signify or have initiated consequential changes for the better. To start with, I'm far less timid than I was a year ago. I have insinuated myself into conversations and initiated introductions--instead of running away. I have tapped into my network of peers and colleagues and, with some help, have even expanded it. In many ways, this was triggered by questioning my career path and deciding to survey other options. I have rediscovered my voice--or perhaps more accurately the courage to speak my mind to someone other than my spouse (this change has not been universally appreciated). I was very recently reminded of the reason I started this career in the first place. I know what I love to do and what I'm good at. I am starting to rebuild my confidence, which has taken a rather brutal beating this past year. And I have found a surprising source of community in the bloggosphere and Twitterverse.

Even though it's clear that things rarely go according to plan exactly, it is still important to look ahead and think about where I want to go. What do I hope to accomplish in the coming year?

  • -Establish a solid foundation of methods and hypotheses in my new lab and start working independently on my project.
  • -Have enough data for a poster at a conference.
  • -Cultivate my network.
  • -Research career options and continue establishing connections in and outside of academia.
  • -Identify non-research skills that need to be honed and find ways to improve them.
  • -Seek out mentors outside of the lab.
  • -Get back into a training routine and start running road races again. (This starts today. Feel free to harangue me on this point.)
  • -Maintain friendships established over the past year.
  • -Find healthy ways to de-stress. (I'll take recommendations here.)

There are other things, more specific things that need to go on this list, but it's a start. Importantly these are things that, for the most part, I can acheive regardless of the monkeywrenches life tosses in the cogs. And as I'm learning, not all monkeywrench tosses end badly.





This post was written for the Scientiae--Stories of and from Women in STEM blog carnival, hosted this month by Alyssa.




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Lab Rat

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For de-stressing I'd recommend yoga. It's good exercise, it gives you a cardo-workout, improves breathing and posture, and does make you feel more relaxed afterwards. Whether this is just the breathing, or through spending an hour thinking about nothing but the relationship between breathing and body I don't know but it's highly recommended.

Brian Krueger, PhD
Duke University
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My graduate experience was significantly less than healthy and I contemplating quitting a few times, but then I found activities outside of lab to distract me :) I started coding this site, and going to the gym during the middle of the day just to get away from my work and the lab for an hour. Maybe forcing myself to finish in a less than ideal situation wasn't the best for my opinion of science, but finding distractions certainly helped pass the time. I'm glad to hear you're making headway through this tough situation!
NJS

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I bet training for the road races will go a long way toward stress relief. To avoid overtraining (which I almost did last spring--bad idea), I also suggest committing a minimum amount of time each week to keeping up with family and friends. They're an invaluable support network detached from your work.

biochem belle
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Thanks for the suggestions! I'm working on getting back into it :)
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