Hello from the future, brave and beautiful human beings!Even though my Ph.D. is in microbiology, and the very thought of physics makes me break out in anxiety hives, I think I’ve discovered the secret to time travel and special relativity; this summer FLEW by in the very blink of an eye. I’m shocked that it’s already the middle of August, yet looking back at my madcap misadventures over the past ninety days, I’m amazed at how much mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and literal ground I’ve covered since the beginning of June.
Every year I fill my planner with a mile-long summer bucket-list. I’m an insufferable striver so I make prodigious plans even though I KNOW that to accomplish every single item would require 10 weeks straight of all-day activity, heavy stimulant use, and the time turner from Harry Potter.
I tend to come down with a wicked case of existential ennui every August. Rather than looking back at the sunny summer months and celebrating all of the awesome things I did, my brain can’t help but bring up all of the half-baked schemes that inevitably got back-burnered. Sure I may have ridden my bike 1,400 miles, attended two of my favorite peoples’ wedding, cowboy-ed up, camped, glamped, hiked, cooked up a storm, listened to live music, learned to Fly Fish, patronized the arts, and trained for a job teaching aspiring grad school applicants how to crush the GRE…but I didn’t do a single triathlon, I didn’t summit a fourteener, I missed the Perseid Meteor shower, and I didn’t drink a single gin-and-tonic.
As the earth begins approaching the apogee of its orbit, and signs of fall begin accumulating in the air I’m making my best effort to focus on the wonderful things I DID do, rather than waste mental energy lamenting the long list of things that I didn’t get around to. I sucked every last drop of enjoyment I possibly could out of this summer in Colorful Colorado. I also coped with a cornucopia of caretaking duties and some fairly intense family stuff that I’d prefer not to discuss at great length on the blog. Instead I’m going to use the rest of this space to lay down a few more words about my next big adventure.
I defended my Ph.D. thesis in microbiology on May 29th. Instead of pursuing the typical academic route of an everlasting PostDoc and the bleaker-than-bleak academic job market I intend to put my enthusiasm for inquiry and élan for the written word to use as a scientific writer. In order to develop my craft I’m starting a professional Master’s Degree program in Life Sciences Communication at UW Madison in T-minus…seven days!
That’s right! Your stochastic, spastic, and ever faithful blogging bedoin is packing up and moving across the country AGAIN! Not only am I going back to school for YET ANOTHER DEGREE. I’m going from one UW to another UW! The husky becomes a badger! Seattle, terminally hip bastion of grunge music and expensive coffee, to Madison, the midwestern wonderland of dairy delights.
I couldn’t be more excited for this move. When I was first interviewing for Ph.D. programs, UW Madison was my very-close-second choice to UW Seattle. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to develop as a writer in what I’ve heard is a pretty groovy town. I’ve packed up a sweet one-way rental car with all of my possessions; Gatsby and I are hitting the road to start my shiny new life on the shores of Lake Monona and Mendota. Stay tuned for updates from the road, and pieces I write along the way.
Stay safe, stay sane, stay peaceful everybody!
Who’s been to Madison? Where are the can’t-miss spots? Where should I go running?