Wednesday, 30 May 2012


[from here]
There's a fair bit of it in my life right now. Like I mentioned previously, I really have no idea what will be happening after I finish my thesis. Academia is pretty competitive, and I need the experiments that I'm finishing up to have exciting publishable results that will make my CV look impressive so people will consider hiring me. However I have no idea what the results are yet (hopefully in a few weeks...), or exactly when I'll be finishing my thesis (but really hoping it's before my scholarship runs out). Another thing I'm hoping is to get into a short (one week) course I applied for in Wales. It's on neuroanatomy and if I get accepted they'll fly me over there and my accommodation is sorted too!! I'm supposed to find out by the end of May, so of course I've been checking my email every five minutes in case they've decided. If I get into the course, I might also take the opportunity to visit a few researchers in the UK and try to politely convince them to hire me. I still would really (really really) like to work in the UK obviously, however I have no idea how realistic that goal is either.

I've known since I was around 15 that I wanted to study psychology at university, and even knew which uni I wanted to go to. So it happened. When doing psychology I decided I really wanted to get into honours, so I did. This PhD opportunity pretty much fell in my lap too, so I've been pretty used to doing what I wanted and not having to wait long to get it. That is why this whole having-no-idea-what's-next thing is pretty unsettling. Perhaps being at uni for so long has just pushed back my 'quarter life crisis' a couple of years. 

Having said that though, I've received a lot of encouragement the last couple of days, which I've really appreciated. I had a great meeting with my supervisor Monday, where we made a very specific plan of deadlines for writing my thesis chapters. Since then I've been motivated and productive (and it's not even Productive June yet!) - I've completed two more papers that should be submitted to journals shortly, finished marking reports, and worked on my thesis a fair bit. I also had a meeting with another academic involved in my project and he made it clear he thought my thesis would be well-written, and he said he'd speak to some contacts he has in the UK about possible work. Most of all, Husband has been super encouraging. He doesn't seem at all concerned that things won't work out, and it's helped me not to crawl into a ball overwhelmed by all the things I need to do, but rather get to work and make sure I do my best. Because of that, I've actually felt much more positive than I have in a long time - unfortunately that doesn't change how busy I am!


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Well here's what happened.

I didn't mean to take a 5 week break from blogging, honest. It's not that I was super busy, or super unhappy or unwell or something. I just didn't have a lot to say, and then I kept thinking I should wait until I have something super important or interesting to talk about. I still don't really. However I just thought I would write an update (that is potentially non-important, non-interesting, sorry) anyway. Like previously, I've broken it up into three categories:

Science: Some good news and some good/scary news. The good news is that my first first-author paper has been accepted for publication (old news for twitter followers)! This is a relief, as it had taken a while for it to get accepted somewhere. It will be out next month. The good/scary news is my PhD scholarship has been extended for 6 months. Good in that I will not be poor for the next 6 months, but scary because the confirmation email also included the date the scholarship stops: November 12. This then gives me a very specific date to try and finish my thesis by, and it really doesn't seem all that far away now... gulp. As for the fact that I have no idea what I'll do after that, well that's the especially scary part.

Spouses: Yep, still got one of those (although he's been slightly MIA recently since the release of computer game Diablo III). It's actually Husband's birthday tomorrow, and we're going out to play laser tag, which should be fun / slightly nerdy. We're also going out on Saturday night to a Brazilian BBQ place, which essentially involves being served larged quantities of meat.

Silliness: Well on a whim about two weeks ago I did something I've never done (or planned to do) before: I gave myself a haircut. I decided I was sick of how long my hair was, and impulsively grabbed some scissors and started hacking. After I did the first snip I regretted it immediately, but obviously had to continue. Towards the end I decided I should be sensible about it and used my hair straightener so I could make sure it was all even. It went from being half-way down my back to just above my shoulders. My (post-hoc) reasoning was that I'm contemplating getting a more drastic haircut (see picture below), but I hate going to the hairdressers (I'm sure they're very nice people but I really don't like all the pointless chit-chat). This way when I do go there's less hair to cut and dye, and therefore I'll be there for less time (??). 

[from my pinterest]

Well enough about me:
What have you been up to lately?
Have you ever done something strange/impulsive and you're not really sure why?
Is anyone else afraid of going to the hairdressers?
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