just dance

A note in advance – I finally realized that I had about a gazillion comments on my posts that I apparently needed to approve.  My apologies to anyone who was reading my blog and commenting, and then thinking I was ignoring you, because I wasn’t!  I need to figure out how to take the approve thing off, I never go to the page where you approve stuff like that.  Now that I know people are commenting, I’ll try to check it  lol

So, to update a past post about my feelings on graduate school, I’ve come to a decision and I think it’s the right one.  I’ve decided to apply for the fall 2011 instead of 2010.  It was tough to make that choice, b/c I’ve been working my ass off for the past 3 years – doing a 4 year bachelors in 3 years, taking care of my kiddo, doing internship after internship to get research experience.  It was all with the goal in mind of a PhD program for fall 2010.

Like I mentioned in the other post, I was having doubts about Julia being too young for me to be gone that much, etc. etc., but doing this NIH internship really has solidified my feelings.  It’s 5 days/week, and although they’re so very flexible with my hours (and for that I”m very grateful, I usually leave around 1:30pm to get home by 2:30 or 3pm), I miss her too much.  And it will only be worse in grad. school – even if I’m not physically gone for 40 hours/week, I’ll have homework etc etc.  Granted, the ridiculous commute (at least an hour one-way up to Bethesda, a total of 2 hours on the road, at least an hour 1/2 one-way if I go to the Poolseville facility which I do – 3xs/week, a total of 3 hours on the road) probably has influenced my feelings a bit.  I feel like I’m on the road more than I am at the lab.  But, I think overall this is the right decision to make.

So, the game plan is – my NIH internship ends August 14th.  I’m going to decline continuing it for the fall (which originally I was supposed to do).  The commute is too much.  So I’ll be home in the fall 2009 and spring/summer 2010 (September 2009 – August 2010), finishing up my bachelors and staying home with Jules.  I graduate in May 2010 with a BS in psychology and biology.  I may or may not have to get a part-time job in the fall of 2010, depending what kind of job DH gets – he leaves the Army in March of 2010.  If he gets a federal job, I’ll probably end up having to work p/t just b/c there isn’t a big difference in salary than in the Army, but I was doing OK with the hours I was working at Hopkins when I was there – and they have mentioned in the past they’d love to have me again, so that’s a possibility.  If bridges aren’t burned with NIH by not taking the fall slot, it’s a possibility to do p/t work there (we’ll be moving closer to DC, we’ll have to move in March when he gets out of the military). If not, there are plenty of places in the DC/MD area that do research.  I’m not anticipating a problem, especially with a bachelors degree.

Getting a p/t lab job won’t be a bad, thing, btw, because it will give me additional research experience.  And, I might be going out of my mind staying home after being so busy for 3 years that I might look forward to something like this.

However (and this is what I’m hoping for), if DH gets a contracting job, he’ll make substantially more $$ and I’ll be able to stay home for the 2010/2011 year as well.  I’m thinking I’ll take 1 or 2 grad. classes at night.  At the U of Maryland College Park they have a program called Science in the Evenings, where you can take some core graduate classes without going for a degree.  This will be good for 2 reasons – 1., knock out some required classes for PhD programs, and 2., possibly get a recommendation from an instructor who can vouche for my ability to do well in graduate-level classes.

I already have 2 letters of rec from Hopkins, but I wasn’t sure about who the 3rd one should be from.  Originally I thought from my supervisor at NIH, but I honestly don’t think I’ll be there long enough over the summer (the spot is only 8 weeks long) for him to really gauge my abilities and write an honest letter.  Letters of rec are weighted pretty heavily in programs.

So, there you go.   That’s my game plan.  I think I did a little mourning when I decided not to apply for 2010, but in reality I know it will be best for me and for Julia.  PhD programs are a 5-6 year committment, so I think there’s no need to rush.  It’s not unheard of to take a year off after undergrad., in fact I think a lot of programs encourage it to make sure the PhD program is what you want to do.

To sum up, 24 working days until I’m a free woman from internships!

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~ by OceanChild on July 14, 2009.

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