i have been lurking here for several months now. i am approaching
somewhat of a crossroad in my life and wondered if i could gather some
outside opinions and advice.
i'm currently working on my m.s. in drosophila genetics at bowling
green state university (in ohio, not kentucky), expecting to graduate in
december. that will make it 6.5 years here at bgsu, since i did my
undergrad work here, too. i would like to get my ph.d. (at another
school) and continue doing research (probably at a university since i'm
really getting interested in population genetics and most private sector
companies don't pay for research in evolutionary theory).
anyway, here's where the problem is: i'm really beginning to feel
like i need to take some time off. i think that if i do go straight on
for my ph.d., i'll burn out halfway through. i'm thinking about joining the
peace corps after i finish my master's. i have a b.s. in environmental science
(in addition to bio) and i've been teaching for 2 years as a t.a.; i
don't think getting into the peace corps would be a problem. the
commitment would be 2 years, giving me some time to regroup and refocus
and yet still a definite ending date to say "now i need to get back into
so i guess my question is, how are others in the field of
academia going to react to this? will i be viewed as being not dedicated?
will this make me somewhat of a pariah in the field of grad program
applicants? i know many of you out there are running your own lab; how
would you react to someone contacting you about a position in your lab
when either (a) she had just come back from a 2 year break doing a
service project like that, or (b) she wanted to work with you after she
got back (i.e. contacting you before she left). would that affect your
decision to accept her into your lab? positively or negatively? would you
prefer to have the relationship and some kind of verbal agreement
about her joining your lab set up before she left?
i haven't talked to my advisor about these ideas yet. how he'll
react to the whole thing is kind of like chaos theory: completely
unpredictable. i really want to have my thinking about this worked out
before i go to him about it; i'm trying to get as many points of view
about it as i can to help me. i'd appreciate any comments or stories
anyone might have. although this group seems to be really supportive of
each other, i'm not looking only for supportive comments (a few would be
nice, though! ;) ) if you think i'll just be shooting myself in the foot
with this please tell me!
our love is like my parents' love | Amy L. Russell
except | Bowling Green State University
i won't wait until you die to leave you. | arussel at bgnet.bgsu.edu