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Post Archive
2020 (0)2011 (4)
February (2)

PSA: It's cold, buy a Carbon Monoxide Detector.
Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cold Fusion
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
January (2)

Going back
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fun with Jackass
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
2010 (33)
December (4)

The 12 days of (Lab) Christmas
Friday, December 24, 2010

I really hope there isn't a number 3
Thursday, December 9, 2010

So why don't you have more papers?
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Picking a project
Thursday, December 2, 2010
November (2)October (7)

As promised: Geeka and A Cow
Saturday, October 23, 2010

Finishing something
Saturday, October 23, 2010

A cartwheeling Geeka
Monday, October 18, 2010

Some Classroom got funded, I get embarrassed.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bounty for Donor's Choose
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

If I couldn't be a scientist
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

That's not the shape of his head.
Friday, October 1, 2010
September (6)

Glutton for Punishment
Saturday, September 25, 2010

I talk to machines.
Friday, September 24, 2010

World's worst Journal Club.
Monday, September 20, 2010

The IACUC Chair
Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hell, I did know then, I just didn't know it until it hit me.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stuff Geeka Likes: The Toys Edition
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
August (9)

How I ended up a scientist.
Saturday, August 28, 2010

Monday morning crapped on my head.
Monday, August 23, 2010

Naming your equipment
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stuff Geeka Likes: Inaugural edition
Thursday, August 12, 2010

Silent Squee
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In which I come clean
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Having a bad day
Monday, August 9, 2010

My blogging philosophy
Friday, August 6, 2010

Balance? We don't need no stinking balance.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
July (5)
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Hi! I'm Geeka. I've been a scientist for, I don't know, it seems like forever, I guess since I started college, so, like 15 years? Anyhow, this is where I'm going to give my take on a bunch of stuff. I'm usually a little bit out there (that is, I don't see the obvious at the outset), which means that you are probably going to have to deal with reading such topics as: Interpersonal relationship training for scientists, my lab pet peeves, how to get along in business when you just came straight out of academia, trying to deal with having a life and being a scientist, really odd topics for a paper, random stuff I found on the internet that made me shoot coffee out of my nose, you know, (ab)normal Geeka. Why the title? Because at the very heart of me, I'm a virologist, and while I don't necessarily do that now, it's how I view the scientific world.

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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Thursday, January 27, 2011

I may have mentioned in a previous post that I was planning on going back to school. Well, 'back' is probably the wrong word. See, the longest I have ever been out of school was from the time I was born until age 5. So for those of you that are counting, I've had 25 consecutive years of schooling. I literally can't not learn.

Since I defended my dissertation, it's been a string of teaching myself things. I've been knitting, and sewing. I bought a violin to pick up where I left off (but the cats have eaten 2 bows). I've started taking yoga classes. These are all good things. They are more like hobbies though, and they really aren't scratching the itch that I need.

The admissions person called me to let me know that I was accepted to the program last week, and to let me know that I could start the following week if I wanted. She had been asked to ask me (the convolution was interesting, because I know the head of the department) for the department head why I wanted to do this program because I already had a PhD. I kind of lied a little. I told them that I wanted to get a biotech MBA, but there were classes that I am able to teach in the curriculum, and this program was the closest I could find that would be similar. My real answer: I'm bored. I need a learning fix. Tuition remission is a fringe benefit at work.

That's my whole reason for going back: because I can. I don't necessarily think that I need the degree to further my career at my current place of employment, although it won't hurt. I don't think that this program will give me great insight into it's topic, but it will teach me things. The program is different enough that I will actually have to do work/pay attention. I will get my fix of learning and discussion and validation through this program. Here are my questions: Will this be something I continue to do? Will I become one of those people that collect degrees seemingly needlessly? Will the quilting together of degrees that seem to have nothing to do with each other (biology, infectious diseases, environmental studies, engineering) hobble me in a future job market? Will I be over-educated?

I talked to my boss yesterday about signing off on this program. He thinks is a cool idea and has no problem with it. Funnily enough, he asked me if I wanted to do this because I wanted the knowledge or the degree. He proceeded to tell me about a bunch of other programs that I could do once I told him knowledge. He's actually quite a cool boss.

I've been joking for years that my 'dream job' would be working at a think tank. I really don't know what they do at think tanks, but I imagine that there are people sitting around, reading, researching, discussing and coming up with brilliant ideas. That's kind of what I do now (except now I have to implement them as well).

So, I ask you readers: Once you get your degree, are you going to be done? Do you think that boredom is an adequate reason to get another degree? For those of you higher up: will this hurt me eventually?

(Blogging is going to be light until I start this program. I figure that I'll have a lot to blog about once I actually start classes. I am also making a prediction that I will, once again, be the only girl.)

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Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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There's nothing wrong with education being your hobby!  Personally, I was sick of school when I started graduate school and was relieved once comps were over because I knew I never had to take another class again.  Studying, memorizing, ugh, I'm getting annoyed just thinking about it.

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You are going to make a killer salary when you are done.

I almost considered getting an MBA but I jus don't have the desire to do homework and reports or spend my free time studying. I feel like now I have so little free time as it is.

Have you ever considered teaching part-time? I bet teaching students would fill that desire to learn. Because you have to prepare for each lecture, you are essentially re-learning what you need to teach.

Genomic Repairman
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Geeka, I also can play the fiddle.  Okay, used to.  And I challenge you to a fiddlin contest to see who can play "Devil Went Down to Georgia" the best.  Test me woman, I'll get all Jimmy Page and play the guitar with a fuckin bow!

DrunkCommentin Tour 2011.

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@Jade: I actually taught a partial semester of Micro at an online college that frustrated me so much that I quit mid class. I'm really not proud of it, but I (swear to FSM) that I was not going to teach them that dendritic cells made antibodies or give them information from a 1979 copy of Bergy's.


@GR: Fuck fiddle. I want a banjo in the worst way. We gotta find someone to make us some 'shine.


Genomic Repairman
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Dude Lady, I'm from the Dirty South and stil have family that has stills carefully positioned in places that can't be seen.  You know what it's like to watch the sunset after drinking peach flavored moonshine?  Neither do I, that shit will make you go blind.

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Gennie (can I call you Gennie?): There is nothing I would like more than to be shitfaced with you, but not actually see you. On a serious note, I cannot think of a better use of my cobbled together degrees than to streamline and safety-fy the 'shine making process.

Genomic Repairman
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Geeka said:

Gennie (can I call you Gennie?)

You don't have to call me Waylon Jennings.
And you don't have to call me Charlie Pride.
And you don't have to call me Merle Haggard, anymore.
Even though you're on my fightin' side.


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There is not a chance in hell that I would ever start another degree program.

Then again, I never really wanted a PhD.  The two years I spent working after college were fantastic, and I only went to grad school so I could get the training/degree to get a research job that was more interesting/reliable/lucrative than the technician position I had.  Doing research is much more fun now without all the degree requirements hanging over my head.

You should totally do what you want, though.  You're the only person has to be happy with your choices.  :)




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I'm a TT wahbulance chaser, so I've still got a few postdocs to go once I'm done. I think it's fine to keep going back, as long as it's applicable to what you want to do, and you're not losing touch with reality. I met someone who had like...3 masters, a phd, and a jd and was doing an mba 'just because'. I feel like at that point the person is totally unmarketable because they have 0 real life job experience but a lot of 'i know errthing, see all the letters behind my name'itis.

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Hermatage: Good point. I think that as long as they pay the tuition, I'll keep going, but if/when I look for another job, since there won't be a gap in jobs, it's not like I have to tell them that I have an MBA in hairdressing, right? :)

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