Straying from the path – there’s more to Science than Research

I love science, but also loath it at times (as you may guess by reading my earlier posts). It can be a damaging and even corrosive industry, chewing up and spitting out brilliant scientists – new and old alike. I am currently being chewed up by science. I am unsure of what the outcome will be!

Running distantly parallel to my issues with research, i have recently taken up writing. I used to play a lot of video games to wind-down from work, but now i supplement this by writing. There is something very therapeutic about it. I sit down, put some music on (currently listening to London Grammar, and M83), grab a cuppa (green tea with orange blossom), and pour my heart and mind onto the page. I love being my own boss, setting my own deadlines. Not having a supervisor that every day questions my progress and keeps pushing me to work even harder.

I find i am not alone in feeling this way! My good friend Devon Smith who blogs at The Ribosomal Reviewer, has just written a blog on blogging to procrastinate. And just as i was formulating the concept of this latest post, another great blogger i follow – Ellie Patten, wrote a piece for her blog about her love for both Science and Writing (although she puts it far more elegantly than me!).

Another recent post, this time by Sarah Cosgriff at Let’s Get to the Bottom of This really spoke to me on a personal level. Sarah was doing a PhD, and started to dislike it to the point where she left, and is now a science communicator. I have had similar thoughts! Leaving a PhD is a bit of a taboo subject, so a massive hat-tip to Sarah for having the guts to make that decision. Please read the article for yourself, but essentially, Sarah’s inner researcher is still there, under the surface.

Since secondary school, i have wanted to become a scientist. I started on the career path i am currently walking. It has been a long path, fraught with obstacles. Sometimes i lost the path, only to find it days, weeks, months later. I either stopped walking, and waited for the fog to clear, or kept on walking regardless, blind to where i was treading.

I almost didn’t come to university, and when i got to university i wanted to leave. When i started my PhD, i really wanted to leave. Why am i saying all of this? Because once again, i am currently losing momentum on my path. I am straying to one side, walking on the grass.

When the summer comes, not much beats taking off your shoes, and walking barefoot on the grass. So i’m going to keep on walking the academic path. But i absolutely need to keep on writing, to keep on walking in the grass, in the sunshine.

Mountain path

Thanks for reading!

Microbe Stew

Images from:

http://forum.wexphotographic.com/pictures%5Cbenlomond.jpg and http://jessgibbsphotography.com/2011/mountains-2/alps-austria/

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