07 August 2009

That didn't last long.

Looking over my blog, it took only five months of writing for me to burn out in a blaze of scientific glory. Or what passes for glory in the world of a newbie grad student, at least.

I think my mistake was that I wanted the fame and popularity, rather than the release of writing. I expected instant crowds of readers, and I assumed (as with many things) that creating thoughtful, interesting posts full of insight and personality would be an easy, 15-minute-a-day task. I was definitely wrong there.

This blog is worth something, if only to chronicle my journey through graduate school for myself. Even that, I think, is putting too much pressure on me---I'm not going to commit to five (six, seven) years of blog writing. I'm going to take this one post at a time, writing when something occurs to me and not because I have to provide a post (or more!) a day like some other very talented bloggers. Hopefully, this change in perspective will reduce the blogging burden and spark some excitement again.


For now, I'll write a brief update on my summer, to be augmented (or not) later:

I'm spending this summer at home in my parents' house. All of my siblings are also home. One can imagine the sensitivities required to navigate a living situation that hasn't occurred since I moved out for college.

The beginning of the summer involved a lot of travel: I attended two conferences in my field (my very first ones!), one smaller conference abroad and one large international conference that happened to be held in the US this year. Those two experiences were varied and interesting. I definitely enjoyed the conference abroad, not least of all because they treated attendees really well (e.g., every meal was taken care of and was restaurant quality). I preferred the bigger conference, however, in part because its size meant there were more talks to interest me and in part because I recognized professors and grad students from my grad school interviews, and therefore I felt like I was more in the club. It was fantastic to be able to say hi to students who were so nice to me during my interview process; I got to have dinner with a particularly great group of them, and I really enjoyed it. Approaching this more strategically, I'm also glad I had the opportunity to strengthen my academic social network with the people who will be my colleagues soon.

I'm planning on moving up to New City in a week or so to begin a brand new PhD program in My Science Field. At this point, I'm more excited than nervous; I'm sure the latter feeling will kick into full gear when I'm faced with the reality of more classes, new people and the likelihood that my education is far behind that of my peers. That, however, is content for another post. For now, I'll dream about setting up a new apartment and about all the great times I'll have working with the exciting technology in my new lab.