Feb. 6th, 2016

coolohoh: Biohazard (Biohazard)
To say that I'm exhausted... I guess that might be a bit of an understatement. Idk...

Finished up my CV and sent out one... yes, just one job application last weekend. But guess what? That guy replied within half an hour and we got a meeting set up and I've met the PI already on Tuesday. Really casual meeting though, so much so that I don't even have any idea how I'd done. I think my wealth of experience means that I'd have a good chance... Though now. I'm not even sure if I really want to work there. After the lab members showed me around the place... and during the tour even... I was wondering if I really want to be there. Doing plants. It's be something new, something I've never tried before. That was why I applied. But now, asking myself. Do I really want to work with plants? Perhaps not...

Seems like it's another thing I discovered about myself and my interests. Another narrowing.

I'm not sure if I'll get the job offer... And if I'd accept it.

Idk.

I don't know myself anymore.

I mean... Sure, that PI seems nice and gives lab members loads of chances. Chances to have your own individual project, chances to get published. But what I really want is to go for a PhD next year. So I might not hang around long enough for any publication to happen (plants grow slowly too. Plus I need to learn the ins and outs of stuff there... it all takes time).

Of course, nothing is going to happen if I don't apply for more jobs. Something which I kinda stopped after my first application. Went out with my colleagues on Sunday and I was just so tired the whole week. Had an equipment training offsite on Thursday and gosh... I was having a terrible stomach upset the whole day. I was basically half dead throughout the training. Didn't help that the training really was more like a secondary school lab session where we tried out all their kits. Not tough at all. Kinda of waste of time... Definitely a waste of time since now I'm so busy in the lab. But yeah. I wasn't feeling well at all on Thurs so in a way it was good? Idk. I would have gone home early if I was at work... But I was holding out for the cert at the end of the course. Whatever that cert might actually be good for. They had a pop quiz at the end. Only 8 of us at the training but only like 3 people answering questions. That half dead me actually answered 2 questions (each of the 3 who answered got 2 questions actually), and won some chocolates and a pretty Merck t-shirt. Yes. training at Merck for the instrument we bought. Still wasn't feeling good yesterday... or now. Still not at 100% and... yeah.

Anyway...

About unsup....

She's seriously the biggest science nerd I've ever know. I was telling her she can use my comp at work to run some computation programs... So I gave her my computer password. And she's like 'you're such a science nerd'. And she's been calling me that a lot recently... But it's really just a case of the kettle calling the pot black because you know. She did the same for her computer password too... Like she asked me to help her transfer some files on her computer yesterday so yeah. And she has like. A microscope at home. Not a super sophisticated one, but definitely way more sophisticated than the puny plastic one I had as a primary school student. Sheesh. She asked if I wanted it. Cos she carried it from US to SG and doesn't want to carry it back anymore. (They have newer models now anyway, she chirped happily.)

Lololol.

I didn't say it then but hell yes I want it.

She can probably tell that this science geek would gladly take it off her hands.

Hell yes.

It's so nice to meet another science geek.

And her answer to the thought experiment on 'what would you bring back home from the lab if you could take anything' was the same too. The confocal. Hahaha. So we can take really cool images at home. Maybe set up a 'cool confocal images' website and stuff... Now that would be hellya fun. Who knows, I can probably make a decent living off that site ya know?

Gosh.

Yes.

I didn't say it last month. But you probably have (or have not) guess already.

Unsup is leaving. She resigned. And me? Idk. Looking for a new job. Sure it's *probably* easier if I just stay put where I am. Then I'll have time to do my own thing. Read up. Study for GRE etc...

But do I really want to do that?

No.

Seriously no.

I'll be so, so lonely.

Even though apparently another molecular biologist will be hired soon... But I doubt that person has enough knowledge and background. I will probably be doing more teaching than learning. And that's not what I want. Besides... there's nothing much else that I can learn here. It seems like opportunities to use the TEM aren't forthcoming, and probably never will be. But hey that's ok. My main goal in here was to learn the confocal. And I guess I've gotten pretty darn good at it. Sure, I've not done FRAP or FLIP, but I'll never get to do those here. Not in this environmental/civil engineering place. Not here. Not where in this place where we are so rich financially, with tons of hardware, but no software. Software as in the people. And the whole direction here, they don't give a damn about biology anyway. Not microbiology, not molecular biology. That's what I've felt since day one. I'm out of place here. And now that the crunch has finally come, it's time for me to leave. I had enough loneliness and helplessness when unsup was on maternity leave. I don't want to experience that again... I'll leave asap too (but just not before unsup), once I have my next job lined up. Shouldn't be too hard for my experience and the position I'm looking for. Really... after unsup leaves, I'll be the only biologist around. WTF is that lol? That'll be like my old company all over again. No mentor, no one to learn from... Yeah. That's why I knew all along that unsup would leave. The question was just when. There's simply no future for biologist here. It's just that I had no idea when she was leaving. The unspoken words of 'please let me know in advance if you're leaving, so that I can find a new job too' need never be said because she spoke first.

Like the mice who had been observing, noticing the cheese getting smaller and smaller... It still came as a shock when the cheese finally disappeared. At least she gave me fair, advanced warning. Well she had to. Ok, she didn't really have to. But I was to take over everything from her anyway so she had to. That is, until it became clear to her that I'd be leaving too. There's nothing left for me here... All that's left now is well... Basically just making the most out of our time. Less than 2 months... And we have tons of experiments to finish, and papers to write. I sure hope that paper turns out well. If everything goes well... It'll have my name on it. And for the first time ever... My name will be at the first page... rather than the last. That's something really important to me and it'll help a lot as I continue on this path.

But of course... I shouldn't be counting my chickens before they hatch huh?

Gosh.

I'll miss unsup so much.

Especially in the past few months when we've gotten closer than ever before. Ah I didn't tell you did I? About how I moved my lab bench to sit beside unsup, so that I'm not across her anymore. Cos there's some new person coming in and the lab support staff wanted to assign her the sit beside unsup... and I was like. No. No. No. I'll take THAT seat instead. As if I don't have enough of stepping over the stuff of that irresponsible rf beside me... and then there's the huge experimental set up behind me and the guys fixing it up etc... That whole thing shouldn't even be here in a molecular bio lab but they don't have space elsewhere. And like I said, no one cares about molecular bio here... So yeah. I moved in beside unsup. Though I have to deal with that dripping ceiling. But at least I don't have to walk between our benches 10x a day to take stuff from her bench over to my bench. Or make a decision each time about whether it's more convenient to do the experiment on her bench or my bench (depends on how much stuff I have to use from each side). No need to stretch my long hands across the table trying to grab that item I forgot 'on the other side' either. Now we're beside each other. Which again... amplifies my loneliness when she's not around. But if she's around... it's really nice. Like a sunshine brightening up my day. Even more so than the previous mentor I had. Gah. Why am I constantly falling in love with my mentors? My life is that pathetic huh? Too bad she's married. With a baby. Haha.

Yeah. Last two months to work together. I gotta treasure it. She's the second mentor I have and it's sad that we'll be saying goodbye soon... But I'm really glad to have met her. She taught me so much, so much. And you bet I'll be keeping contact with her. Much more than my previous mentor for sure. Hahaha. I'm definitely making an effort to keep in contact with people more. Been doing so with my former colleagues and old friends...

And well. I'm definitely aiming to go to the US for my PhD. No idea how I'll get there... How I'll convince the admission comm to accept someone with such horrid GPA in... (but hey, I have work experience!) But I have to try and I have to get there. Sure. It's much easier to get a job in a place that offers a PhD in the field I want in Sg, work a few years, then start my PhD there... I guess that's my backup plan? But really. Do I want to stay in SG? After all this... Is it really any different in other places in Sg? Will the students really be more motivated? More passionate? Idk. Do I want to try? Idk... Take the risk? You only have one chance at doing a PhD after all. One chance. And maybe it's my one and only chance to get out of here. Yeah... putting it like that... It's probably easier for me to get an overseas PhD, then get a post-doc position overseas if I have not a single overseas experience to speak of. And sg is so puny. So few institutes... Really... I don't want to be stuck here for the rest of my life. In this place so full of rules and restrictions. That's why I pick the US. Maybe it'll be too free for me to take it. Probably would be. Would be a culture shock for sure. But here. In sg. It's too sterile and too stifling. I've had enough. I need a system shock. At least... I want to work in a place where people are actually enjoying what they are doing. Passionate about their work. Believing in the work they are doing... I want to feel the excitement. Because it too excites me. Like feeling the excitement off unsup when she talks about the things she did... The things she enjoy. It's such a pleasure, such a joy. And I know I enjoy doing lab work too. The excitement I get... I get on a high when learning new techniques or equipment or doing new experiments. Yes, I get fucking hyper. Like I'm on drugs. Serious.

Another colleague asked how I'll be like if the experiments keeps failing. And failing. Like. For half a year. Cos that's what often happens during PhDs. It happened during hers. Idk. I'll be depressed for sure. How can I pull myself together to make it work... Or find a different way out... Idk. But I'll have to make it out. I know that I really do want to do this.

Sure. I want to go about my blogging business. Try my hand at writing ebooks... Make a fortune online. But will I ever be able to give it up? The thrill and exhilaration of science. Of doing science. Of carrying out the experiments. I don't think so...

I tried twice and I failed. With my pathetic self discipline... Doing internet stuff as a full time job would be a bad idea really. Of course once I start on a PhD I probably will find scant time for all these extra stuff but... But heck. That's the life I've always wanted to live. You dictate your experiments. And your experiments dictate you. An almost magical cycle. Of course. In the real world, there's a ton of other factors. Like dealing with the HR. Red tape... politics... bosses... papers... conferences... money... loads of money issues... (proposals, more proposals and grants...)

Right now where I am, there's more 'other factors' then science and it's not fun.

Fun.

Talk about fun.

That's one of the reasons why I don't want to do a PhD. Because after that there'll be more 'work' and less 'fun'. By work, I mean more responsibilities. But maybe things are better overseas... Looking at how unsup is still such a geek gives me hope. And well.. there's really no where else I can go along this path, IN this path. Unsup suggested science journalism... Well as a side yes. Not as a main for sure. Interviewing scientists etc... I'll be so dying to work IN the LAB. So yeah. It's either being in the action, or completely cutting myself off... But I doubt I can do it like I did with weiqi or with maple. Weiqi... I never truly liked it after all. And maple? I still want to play it... and I'm still playing loads of other games... And I'm still looking for a maplestory alternative to play.

I think I'll never be able to really leave science.

Gosh.

What a long entry. The long winded coolohoh strikes again.

If you've actually read this far, thank you.

Anyone with advice on PhD applications (US is my first choice, but I'm not ruling any place out really) let me know! ;)

I guess I'd better end here. I have more blogs to update, and I really *should* pack since it's the Chinese New Year....
coolohoh: Biohazard (Biohazard)
On lj.

Let's see. I've said my piece here and made peace with my inner demons (sort of?) on LJ.

I mean. I've finally recorded my week and my feelings... So that in the years to come I may look back and read it.

Or maybe even write a book on it.

Then there's the DNA applications that I've finally settled. After a whole month.

Well,RNA needs a new fic... But fic inspiration ain't coming if I don't watch any Arashi stuff. And that's not gonna happen any soon till my real life gets sorted out. Which might not happen for a whole year. Idk.

Finally updated the masterpost on arashi_bangumi.

Ah... There's a post that needs writing tmr on SF. And I need to count the points... And somehow we gotta get a new cycle started but right now all the mods are busy. J just got a new job, octavia's looking for one, as with me...

What else do I have on lj?

I think that's about it?

Gosh. Too many things.

Of cos there's my NM to update. And my arts and crafts site that I've neglected for a few weeks already...

Sigh.

Things are gonna turn out just fine...

All I need to do is get things done one step at a time...

August 2017

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