Thursday, September 28, 2006

beginning the transition

Today is my first day back in the office since I defended. My mom and I had a wonderful trip, and then yesterday I gave an invited talk in NUT (neighboring university town). Today, though, I am at my computer making some progress on my revisions.

So what's changed in the past week?
  • I've gotten a bit tired of my mom calling me "Dr. Sciencewoman." Damnit, I'm just sciencewoman, same as I've always been.
  • At my talk yesterday I got to introduce myself as a post-doctoral researcher who did her PhD work on the subject at hand. Note the past tense.
  • Just now, a senior researcher stopped by my office to chat about some topics related to my research and a question he asked at my defense. But it wasn't a "you should do this" sort of chat, just very collegial.
  • As I listened to talks about my field area yesterday, I thought they were interesting but I didn't feel the need to passionately memorize every detail for future recall. I can already feel myself growing more detached from the place and the topic.
  • I got asked to be an invited speaker for a forum in April, and I honestly don't know which topic they want me to talk about. Also, my name was suggested by someone who works in a distantly related field but with whom I have enjoyed several river trips. I guess that's the power of networking.
  • I feel differently about the work that remains to be done on my diss. Not as if it were a crushing weight of impending doom but rather some minor annoyances - like a fly buzzing around my head. This is a definite improvement over a month ago.
  • But most of all, I'm looking forward to turning in my dissertation next week and then being able to more fully make the transition to the post-PhD life... being able to reorganize my desk and filing system, being able to take some projects off the back burner, without feeling the pressure of impending deadlines.
I think it's going to take a fair bit of time to complete the physical, mental, and emotional transition from pre-doc to post-doc. Maybe it'll be harder because I am not physically moving anywhere, but maybe it'll be easier because my life will be changing completely in 4 months. I guess I'll have to wait and see.


rose connors said...

Well, I can say one thing for sure. "Doctor Sciencewoman" is starting to sound much more relaxed than we've seen her in a while. Glad you're back.

Writer Chica said...

You do sound quite refreshed.

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