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considering my options...

russell russell arussel at bgnet.bgsu.edu
Sat Mar 16 01:22:00 EST 1996

hello all!

	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

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