Tag Archives: blogging

Procrastination

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I think (most) people who defend their PhD thesis actually deserve two titles.

A degree in whatever subject they spend 4+ years on studying.

And a PhD in procrastination.

I myself am surprised I still haven’t received tenure for a procrastination position, since I have perfected the art of procrastination and single handedly brought it to a whole new level. I rarely answer an e-mail within 24 hours. Just because. If it is an unwanted one I might just plain ignore it. I take the day off to avoid running into my PI. I would rather die from backpain than having to admit that 50kg bag is really too heavy for me, but if my hand hurts even a little I promptly decide I cannot do dishes, laundry or any other household work for a week.

Ok, some of this might be pure avoidance. But still.

I took last Friday off because I had a mail from my former PI to discuss the articles I still have to finish from my PhD which I defended almost a year ago – I wanted to work non-stop on those for 3 days. I also had to clean the apartment, do shopping, think about a project for a research grant due end of this month, and make a schedule for the work that needs to be done for my current project. To begin with.

So here’s what I did: I watched 2 seasons of Dexter, went out to Copenhagen on Friday night and booked a trip to Iceland.

Oh, and I got my sequencing results, which were perfect. Except for the fact I discovered my primers were wrong. If you don’t know what this means, let me translate: the past 5 long, boring, repetitive months of experiments (which shouldn’t have taken longer than a month tops to begin with) were in vain because I misdesigned one of the basic ingredients.

And thus I took today off too (PI avoidance…). And watched half a season of House.

All this to say that I’ll be laying low on the blog-front in the near future, trying to break my procrastination habit and get some stuff done, so as to feel less of a failure (please, don’t even try to say I’m not. I designed the primers. I did the experiments. Blaming this on anything else is nothing short of denial.). I had prepared some posts around the Chinese New Year coming up, I’ll see if I’ll be able to finish them. And after that, you might help me get some ideas for a career change.

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To share or not to share, that’s the question

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For those who haven’t read my About section (shame on you all!), one of the reasons I have started this blog is the fact that I’ll be starting a job abroad for a year and I’d like some way to keep in touch with my friends and family without having to mail them all separately once a week. It’s not like have a huge family or tons of friends, but enough to not wanting to mail them all with the same stories on a regular basis. Hence: a blog.

But.

(There always is a but, isn’t there.)

A blog accessible to friends and family is naturally restricted in its topics. I cannot – not TRULY – write about an argument with my mother (or the lack thereof – I am pretty sure this will be material for a TON of posts), or the not-so-impressive painting of a friend who feels he has just completed his masterpiece (okay, this one I made up).

So the question is: should I or should I not share the address with them? If I don’t, the whole purpose of the blog is kinda lost. Completely lost, even. If I do, I will not be as free to write as I would like to be. Currently I haven’t disclosed the address to anyone, but I have done a similar thing while I was an exchange student, and people have asked me if I’ll do it again. I’ve responded evasively … “maybe”.

A recap of 2 weeks of blogging

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This is a response to a call from Jane to post today on anything we learned/value/wonder/… from/about/… blogging. Admittedly, this blog is barely a few weeks old, but I have been blogging (on and off) for some time, and especially these last weeks I have been doing a lot of ‘research’ on the subject (solely for the benefit of my own blog, obviously, not because I – imagine – like reading blogs). For what it’s worth: my list of wonderings.

  • I love blogs of strong, self-confident women with children and a good sense of humor.
    It is so predictable I am slowly turning into a cliche myself. I always try the “intellectual” blogs, with views on actuality and politics, with new scientific discoveries and Big Opinions on moral and social issues – I feel I should know about these things. Form an opinion of my own. Truth is, in most cases I couldn’t care less and all I really wanna read is how yoga elicits murderous feelings on a beautiful morning and which weirdo jobs people have practiced over the years. It makes me feel like a voyeur, peeking into other people’s lives. I only comfort myself with the idea that, if they didn’t want me to know, they wouldn’t put it online. The strangest thing is, while blogging is supposedly a men’s world and all, I only encounter women’s blogs. Or maybe those are the only ones capable of keeping my interest. Now there’s an idea.

  • American people are religious.
    And not only that, they are very much into the whole empowerment thing. I know this observation seems to have nothing to do with blogging, but it is only through blogging that I come to understand the religiousness of American people. Or rather the omnipresence and naturalness of it. I have never set foot in America (for the record, I’m European), and while I got a faint media-based idea of the average American as a conservative God-bless-America capitalist (fortunately, friends have assured me reality is different), I always had the idea that this whole religion thing was but a cover up. Just an excuse to accomplish a hidden agenda. I think I still don’t grasp the full impact of religion on people’s lives, but it just strikes me – people BELIEVE. Small things: “Today after church …” Huh?! They talk about their church and community, they sign comments with ‘God bless you’. They go to Bible study groups – I think I couldn’t even go to one if I wanted to, solely for the lack of it. They quote the Bible in their posts! And this comes from people who otherwise profile themselves as Democrats (which, as I understand it, is the more ‘progressive’ party?). When I cry out : “my god” (mind the small caps) or “Jesus Christ”, it’s just… something I’ve taken over from television. Not in America. To someone who can count the number of friends and family going to church weekly on one hand (mostly out of habit rather than out of conviction), it is a VERY strange experience. But interesting, too.
  • Everybody uses my layout.
    Ok, this probably isn’t true. But about half of the blogs I am following has the same layout as mine. The other half has layouts which I have considered. It’s creepy.
  • Republicans don’t blog.
    Again, probably not true – maybe WordPress is a Democrat bastion which Republicans refuse to use, I don’t know. If it matters what kind of ketchup you eat to be politically correct, I imagine the blogging platform is even more important. Either way, it seems that I only get to read blogs from people with Democrat sympathies. Which may not be so strange in itself (lots of explanations possible), but what strikes me the most is that I KNOW these things. And I’ve been reading those blogs for … 3 weeks? Any other nationality bloggers I haven’t a clue how they would vote (and I follow Portuguese, French, British, Belgian, Canadian, …), but Americans seem to have this need to position themselves. You’re not just American, you’re a Democratic American or a Republican one. One person seemed to be undecisive, and actually wrote he had trouble finding a job cause future employers couldn’t figure out whether he was a Democrat or a Republican. What’s that all about? Meanwhile I still don’t know the difference between the two. I urgently need to visit this country.
  • All bloggers want to be writers.
    Okay, again, maybe not all. But the number of journalists is astounding, and many bloggers seem to either have finished a novel, are in the process of writing one, are thinking of writing one or simply just aspire to be a writer while knowing perfectly well they’ll never get there but maybe if this blog-thing works out they’ll get the confidence to one day sit down and start (wow, quite the sentence there). The worst part of that is… I’m one of them, lol.

  • Reading blogs is addictive.
    No further comments required.