Wednesday, July 5, 2017

katie is postdoc'ing

I've been a postdoc for two months now. A postdoc is someone who keeps doing research as a weird in between trainee and independent scientist for very little money considering the number of years you've spent in school. I work on a collaboration between three professors in bioengineering, chemical engineering, and radiology. I moved over two buildings from the chemistry building so my life has actually changed very little compared to being a grad student, other than the nagging despair of I'm never going to graduate is gone. Yay graduation! Graduation for everyone!

So far, here are the best perks of the job: 

1) I can check out library books for a full year. I currently have four books checked out that I don't have to return until 2018, which sounds a lot farther away than next year somehow. Granted, I had several books checked out for almost 5 years while a grad student because apparently there's no limit on the number of times you can renew them, but still. Now I don't have to renew as often! 

2) My university ID card says faculty! This is completely inaccurate but still cool to see. 

3) Health insurance + vision insurance + dental insurance! I got health insurance as a grad student (which was wonderful! go to grad school in the sciences, they'll pay you a stipend and give you insurance, all you have to do is work 60+ h/week) but no dental or vision. Now I can go to the dentist FOR FREE. Amazing.

4) I get to learn about a bunch of new fields, including fluid mechanics, microfluidic fabrication, ultrasound physics, photoacoustic physics (this is about light turning into sound, craaazy), mechanical properties of materials, and expression/purification of a new protein (oleosin! it comes from sunflowers). After 6 years of thinking about ferritin non-stop, it feels great to switch gears.

So, for now, I'll embrace this in between time and continue to enjoy the benefits of interlibrary loans. Maybe I'll even figure out what to do next.