Wednesday, April 13, 2011



I am now motivated to tie up my loose ends here as a postdoc and write my remaining papers. Then pack my bags, get onto a plane and start a new adventure (to be on the other side of the fence).

The best quote ever (modified slightly):

The biggest problem at this point is trying to fit my whole life into two suitcases and a backpack. Not a simple task, as it turns out. But there is something incredibly cathartic about shedding most of your worldly possessions for the sake of hopping on a plane and starting anew, bringing only my research and teaching skills, my laptop and some souvenirs of my past life as a postdoc. I’m pretty stoked that my life is going in this direction now; I hope it’s as fruitful as it is exciting and new.

I now feel like Charlie, having just won a coveted Golden ticket to the Chocolate Factory.

Willy Wonka: "Now, hats, coats, galoshes over here. But hurry, please, we have so much time and so little to see. Wait a minute! Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you."

It has been quite a month.

"How do you get a TT position?"

It's very easy. You first excel as an undergraduate to earn a place in a top-tier graduate program. You then spend roughly 5-7 years in penury while learning one's craft and honing one's research skills, and then writing a doctoral thesis. [...] And no, this does not mean cutting and pasting from wikipedia. Then another couple of years slaving away in someone else's lab broadening your skillsets. Finally you must compete with several hundred equally qualified candidates for one of the dwindling numbers of tenure-track positions.

So yeah, it's very easy. ... Really. It only takes a decade or more of effort and a fair amount of brain power.

Last but not least, it helps to be a fox rather than a hedgehog these days when hunting for academic and industrial jobs, especially in the hot fields like nanotechnology, energy and green technology.


Ponder Stibbons said...


mjuse said...

you sound happy. good for you!

ashke said...

That's great! Congratulations!