Today I bring you a post that's rather different than the rest. A more thoughtful post, coming to you straight from my heart at 4 am. Granted, there are no photos (outfit post next week!), but I still have some thoughts to share. Take it as some food for thought.
I just spent the evening in the ER with my boyfriend after he injured his leg playing sports (don't worry, he's ok!), and it got me thinking about what I really want to do with my life.
I am a people person. I love interacting with and helping people. I see it every day when I'm at work and a student asks me a question or needs advice on an experiment. Sometimes I wish I had the opportunity to work in retail or even food service, so I can interact with more people. In some ways I feel like being at the bench all day is kind of lonely. But then again, seeing the fruits of my labor in the form of data is rather gratifying and exciting! As I was sitting in the exam room with my boyfriend, a thought popped into my head. What if I became a medical doctor after my PhD? That way I could directly interact with and impact patients. And then I thought about the sheer amount of time and debt I would get into by not doing an MD/PhD program... (darn it Andrea, why didn't you think of this sooner?!)
I am a scientist, I am a female, I am a fashionista at heart with a passion for research and helping others. I want to inspire others to do their best, while also creating something I can call my own.
This blog acts as a creative outlet for me, and while I don't have 20k Instagram followers or Facebook likes, I love the little community I feel I have built with other bloggers. I think it's ridiculous that companies won't consider working with you because you don't have a certain number. Because you know what? Anyone can buy followers, likes, or comments today! It's astonishing!
Something else that shocks me, is the sheer amount of money that goes into a lot of other industries, yet basic research goes unnoticed - we need money to cure diseases and make discoveries! In the lab I work in, it has become really hard to get funding because our work might not be as "sexy" as the next lab that claims to have a cure for a certain disease. And because of lack of funding, we are stuck using 30 year old machines that break down every other day. It is rather sad when the Kardashians and other supposed celebrities make so much money to last them lifetimes and we can barely afford to buy a $2,000 machine necessary to do our experiments... So we struggle with broken old machines, through a PhD that is already another underpaid struggle... Sigh.
I am starting to get excited about my Barcleona trip next month for the conference and then my mini vacation on Cyprus! I am already thinking about possible outfits and going shopping to buy some fresh things!
Do you have any thoughts about any of these issues?
Does setting a number goal for number of followers sound ridiculous to you?
Does the fact that as researchers we make basically less than minimum wage but the latest dumb celebrity can get millions for nothing? Do society standards need to change?
Would you ever be willing to donate money directly to a lab (rather than a research foundation) knowing the moment would go straight to paying for useful equipment?
I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on these topics!
Anyway, off to bed! Thanks for listening!