Friday, September 03, 2010

Transitions

Today is my last day in the lab. Honestly, with everything I have been through, I really wasn't sure this day would ever come. I also didn't expect to feel sad.

Every job has their issues and quirks. My current lab is no different. But, compared to the hellhole I was in for three years in Dr. B's lab, this has been heaven. The recent scientific meeting I went to was a great note on which to end. I've always enjoyed meetings, because it reignites my scientific passion. I love hearing about what other people are doing, what new questions are being answered, and how people have decided to approach their questions. The time I've spent in M's lab has helped lessen the disdain I had for bench work and reminded me that science isn't what I loathe--it's the bureaucracy and politics involved in academic science. And PIs from hell--I loathe that too :) If only he wasn't still on my committee, life would be perfect!

I'm still not willing to say that I'd jump back to bench research as a career. That's a bit TBD, and I have a lot of clinical training ahead of me before I make any sort of career decision. But, if my time in Dr. B's lab had never happened, I definitely think I'd be considering bench research. I still don't love how much of the day to day work of a PI involved stupid politics, but maybe if I was in a different environment, that would be better.

I do love teaching--I had my first weekend college class for this semester, and I think it is going to be a good class. I'd love to find something that was a mix of clinical work and teaching, so I'll have to see what is around when I am finally done.

It's been a busy summer. I've fallen way behind on lots of things--and sorry, but blogging gets cut when time gets short--but it's been a good summer overall. The marathon last week was being at the meeting in Canada, getting home really late Thursday night, prepping like a madman Friday to clean the house/get ready for the party, teaching Saturday morning, having family dinner Saturday night, and then having Josh's baptism on Sunday. We had fewer people than we expected Sunday (only about 50 came), which caused a little bit of hard feelings (the no-shows were mostly on Tim's side, and he had seen them the day before at another cousin's party, but then they didn't come to ours...drama). But, we're over it, and everything went fine.

This week has been Josh's first week in daycare, which seems to be going well. It's at least been making him tired--he slept through the night for the first time last night! The monthly check is now more than the mortgage on our house (even with the buy-one-get-one-half-off deal they are giving us), but we've been preparing for it since we found out we were pregnant, so we are making it work. If my car would stop breaking down, things would be fine :) I just have to limp the car until I start residency in 2012--then we'll have enough extra to afford another car payment. Come on, car!

Really, we're planners, and we've been saving for emergencies for all 8 years of our marriage. A car repair is an emergency, as was the tree down/broken fence episode from the summer. I'd rather be putting into the emergency accounts instead of taking out, but I keep telling myself that's why we saved for the five years before we had kids. That planning is definitely paying off. We don't have anything extra at the end of the month, but we've budgeted, and we live within our means. My own personal mini-challenge for September is to see how little we can spend on groceries. With the stockpile of dry goods in the pantry, and the meat in the deep freezer, I am going to try to buy only the perishables (milk, eggs, produce, etc) we need to make meals. Tim's already spent a little on pop, which I guess can be his necessity for the month, but I'm going to try my best to not get tempted by the sale papers and only buy what I need. This will take more planning than I've been investing recently, but it'll be a good habit to start with me returning to med school.

I really haven't invested much mental energy into returning to med school. I have always thought that it was so far off. It's the practical things--things like the fact that Sophie ruined my last pair of dress pants, so unless I go shopping, I will have no pants for the first day in the clinics. I think I am going to go thrift shopping this weekend and see what I can find--I like to spend about $5 per pair of pants, so we'll see what I can do. I rocked Target clearance the last time I needed dress clothes, so I may try that too. So, there's the practical (clothes) that I have to plan for, and I should also revisit some of my med school notes to remember how to think. I'm starting with psychiatry, so I'm trying to ease into my rotations.

I still have to give my dissertation, which won't happen for a little while, but otherwise, I won't be in the lab again until probably fellowship. It's a really strange feeling. We'll see how much I miss it when I am gone!

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