Friday, June 26, 2009

Who I am and why I'm here

The why first. I have decided, at last, to add my voice to the (female) scientist blogosphere. Here are a few reasons:
  1. I find I express myself more clearly and more honestly in writing than in speech (unless I've practice said speech previously).
  2. Although my husband is wonderful and generally listens patiently while I vent, he's not a scientist (yet) and thus sometimes does not fully appreciate a given situation.
  3. Throughout graduate school, I had someone else who did generally appreciate the situation that I could talk to. However, I started a postdoc in a new city 6 months ago and haven't really established that type of relationship here.
  4. My background (I think) is quite different both socially and scientifically.
I grew up in the rural South, where people rarely move more than 50 miles away. Out of a class of 200 graduating seniors (for an entire county), I would bet less than 20% pursued a Bachelor's degree. Post-baccalaureate education is almost unheard of, perhaps with the exception of law school or medical school. I obtained my B.S. in biochemistry from a large state university with a small chemistry department (that was incidentally less than a 90-min drive from my hometown). I never considered graduate school until about 6 months before I completed my B.S., but when the idea clicked, it made beautiful sense. I stayed in the South for graduate school (although my husband and I did put 500 miles between us and our families). I studied biochemistry and enzymology while in graduate school and then decided that, as a postdoc, I wanted to get into a diverse, broad, technical field of biomedical science--a decision that took us to the Northeast. So on top of the usual stresses of starting a postdoc (i.e. trying to make a good impression on your new boss, understand the lab/institution politics, get a new project off the ground, find yours way around a new city, etc.), add two more layers of complexity: learning a completely new field while trying to make progress in it and adapting to a different culture (and yes, the South and the North really are different). I should have a lot to blog about.


Comrade PhysioProf said...

Welcome to the science blogosphere!

Your light-on-dark blog theme is extremely difficult to read. You should consider changing it.

Alejandro Montenegro-Montero said...

Welcome to the science-related blogosphere!!
I'm sure you'll enjoy it.