Saturday, May 12, 2018

Postdoc phews



I've been avoiding talking about it on social media, since apparently one of the indicators of becoming a scientist is being extremely superstitious during the waning months of your dissertation.  Nevertheless, this song came up and I wanted to post it but didn't want to go through the whole "you're finally graduating??" hullabaloo on Facebook prior to actually finishing my dissertation.  That won't be until August (although I'll be walking at graduation in June), so it seems weird re: carts and horses.

Anyway, I DID get a job.  I won't mention details, as there's still a lot of planning to do, but I have signed the paperwork and all this is now moving forward.  It's a postdoctoral scholar (e.g. researcher) position at a research institute in my field at a R1 (aka "very high research activity") university.  I'm excited - it's a great opportunity to do good work with very good people.

I'm also terrified, because I'll no longer be a student - now it's time to know things!  I mean, I do indeed know things, but getting a PhD, crazy as it may seem, is actually the start of development as a scholar.  The PhD indicates that I have learned the requisite skills to create science, but being an "expert" will take a much longer time.  Need to create many, many more sciences before I feel like I have the mental wherewithal to enter into grand debates.

This is an exciting time - I've gotten to do interesting things and meet interesting people, and now I get to do more!  It's certainly a place of privilege to get to learn, and get to share that learning, with others.  For money, no less.

So, I share this song - because of my love of Samson and also because - hey - how many songs about postdocs are there?  Really?  But mostly because of this last bit, which sums up the need for positivity and centering in the face of crushing academic fear:

So take that laminate out of your wallet and read it
And recommit yourself to the healing of the world
And to the welfare of all creatures upon it
Pursue of practice that will strengthen your heart