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Career motivations

ktlee+ at pitt.edu ktlee+ at pitt.edu
Mon Dec 2 15:39:48 EST 1996


> knew what a holiday or a weekend was.  i have to admit that I miss
> that very much, and i know that finishing grad school is not going 
> to bring that all back (at one time I thought it would) but that my    >"lack of life" will only get worse as I progress.  And so i find     > myself asking quite often-is the fun of science WORTH the price?    > Someone in this newsgroup once said you should only pursue a science  > career if you can't imagine yourself doing anything else.  I can    > imagine myself doing lots of things.  But isn't that "not doing     > anything else" buying into the narrowly-focused heirachy of "BIG    > SCIENCE" being deplored in the references thread?
> Julia Frugoli
> Dartmouth College

Eeh gad!

You have succumbed (how do you spell that word?) to a myth.  You CAN 
do science and still have some kind life!  No, I am not saying that 
you can have it all, a house, car, spouse, babies, hobbies and go to 
grad school.  However, you don't have to give up your entire life.  

I found that I was much happier in grad school when I relaxed a little 
and allowed myself to go back to a hobby I had enjoyed in college.  I 
joined a small barbershop chorus my last year of grad school.  What a 
joy.  I am still a member of the organization (Sweet Adelines 
Intertnational), but am singing in a different chorus now because I 
moved to PA.  Granted, I do only two things with my life on a regular 
basis now, work and sing.  However, if I didn't sing, all I would do 
is work!  I have found a circle of friends with the same hobby as 
mine.  They don't care how my experiments went or whether I got all 
the term papers graded.  It is a blast to harmonize on a regualar 
basis and get away from work. The last four years, I have relocated 
three times while doing temporary positions.  During that time, having 
a chorus to go to gave me a way to make keep some of my life similar 
to my last life and made the transition easier.  (It's also nice to 
have regular contact with "normal" people. ;-}) My hobby is so 
important to me that the chorus even got mentioned in the 
acknowledgements of my dissertation.

Try it, you'll like it.

Karen Lee (I'll use my surname to avoid confusion)
Karen T. Lee (ktlee+ at pitt.edu)
Dept. of Biology
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Johnstown, PA 15904
(I think I gave my home phone number on the last one, oops!)

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