The sun has finally showed up today, which is nice. I haven’t seen much of the Chicago area in the past few weeks (school and neighborhood). I’m going to miss it. I’m a sentimental fool at times, but I did like living here. I did make some friends. I think, unfortunately, to continue the theme from Fight Club (a small handful of my friends and I have been obsessing over it; it’s amazing if you haven’t seen it), I came to Chicago at a very strange time in my life.

Moving this time has been one of the more stressful moves. I’ve never hired movers before, let alone cat movers. The communication has been fair to poor, and that leaves me anxious.

I look forward to leaving Chicago right now, because my life feels like it’s stagnant. I have an interview Monday and hopefully another interview this week coming up (I received a call back interview from a job I had interviewed before). I like Chicago a lot, and I ambivalent about moving back to the East coast; however, there are simply not jobs here. I did try getting a job here for quite a while, and it just isn’t happening. I’m not convinced that it is me but the economy. Five people in the class before me don’t have jobs; that’s 5 out of 7, and one of them had a job coming into grad school. Some of them haven’t had a job for about a year. It’s scary times out there. As much as  I hate a thousand mile move, I can’t wait around on a job that probably doesn’t exists. The odds don’t appear to be in my favor.

Even though I’d close to being done with packing, there is still more to do. I guess the next time I write, I’ll be in Providence, RI.


My advisor returns tomorrow, hopefully with edits for me to do. I was glad to have a two day break. I taught labs, of course, but we had a short lab for the final lab of the session. The students have been very pleasant overall and hardworking.

I’ve also continued my job search. What’s strange is that suddenly a lot of jobs have gone up, even though they must begin for the academic year. I’ve applied to some dream jobs like that, and I wonder if they take their time, if they’re overworked, or if I’m just plain not considered. I find it strange that I don’t have answers about those jobs and that academic year jobs are having ads placed now. I don’t know anything about HR, just that when I was interviewing for jobs in 2006/2007, I would go quite some time without hearing about my status and that interviews sometimes happened so late that I forgot I had applied! Maybe things take longer now, since so many people are applying for jobs.

I went to yoga tonight, which was a great distraction from fretting about my thesis. Even though it is out of my hands at this moment, I am concerned. I obviously stay worried about getting job. The economy is brutal in the US, and I’ve heard from one of my friends who has tons of friends that the only way he knows that people are getting hired is if they have an in with the company. I don’t have any ins :(. Yoga is nice, because it’s relaxing and I was able to strictly focus on being there.

Let’s hope tomorrow brings some good news on the thesis and job front.

I’m just terribly busy with my thesis. My advisor thinks I can defend in approximately a month. The research section is over, now we’re analyzing the data. My life, due to the deadline, has been frozen a bit. I TA, I work on my thesis, I take a brief break at home, and I write more at home.

I have been debating about going part-time with TAing, because we has a permanent substitute TA. While I really want to earn the money, I need a break and more time. I’d gain about 3 extra hours per day, which would be nice. While that may not sound like much, at this point, 3 extra hours would be amazing to take a quick nap or relax a bit.

I’ve been trying to make a point to go to yoga and dance. However, I find myself having trouble to make the time and then occassionally turning off my brain from outside cares. Last night at yoga, it was very easy to resume thinking about what I needed to do with my thesis, even though I normally try to relax and concentrate on breathing and movement during yoga.

I plan on still blogging, but if my posts are less frequent, this is why.

One of the requirements for a job I’m interested in requires a teaching statement. I did a thorough search and learned what one is: I have to write a 1 page (I received the page length from them) essay, detailing what values and such I hold in teaching, as well as how I execute them.

A tall order for me. I haven’t been teaching that long, and I’m still refining my technique and beliefs every day. The page length thing is another issue, but really, my mental block has been why I do what I do and writing about it in an eloquent manner. I think the exercise has been worthwhile, if only because the statement is forcing me to really think it over.

The funny thing about vacations is you need a vacation from them. Time to catch up on sleep, home stuff (grocery shopping, laundry)… Unfortunately, I had to jump back into work. We didn’t get home until around 10:30 PM, and I had to be at work/school by 10:15 AM. Not pleasant.

We began summer school teaching today. It went okay. I’m amazed that students sign up to take summer physics and get something out of it. My learning style involves more time for digestion; I don’t care for the quarter system (10 weeks of class, as opposed to the 15 weeks in a semester), and I don’t understand how you can learn something in about 3 weeks.

I also came back to being part of my lab. One of my favorite things about my lab is we’re a community of sorts. Everyone is interested in everyone’s research, we do at free will talk to each other about it, and there is some level of respect and appreciation there. Today’s sign was the practice run of a grad’s thesis defense. I thought it was cool that people did make the effort to show up, even if that was the only reason to be there. My advisor genuinely wanted us all to support this student. My experience at school has been- variable, but I genuinely do enjoy my lab. Today is just an example of why.

Tomorrow is yet another day of work, as well as the real run of this student’s thesis defense.

This is the last day of the academic year. Although I have the end of summer to get really sentimental, this is the last day the hallways will feel like school. Summer is much emptier here, with less students and faculty spotty on the days they are in.

With the unsure future, I feel like it’s a bittersweet ending.  I’m glad to be done in most respects. However, there is a lot of uncertainty in the future, which makes the end hard. I’ve been applying for jobs and doing the job search thing, but the 9.4% unemployment rate is scary. Science isn’t being bailed out, and neither is academia.

In any case, I think my last day here will be cut short. My flu is a teensy bit etter, and it’s beautiful weather outside.

At least for the summer. I was just informed about a minute ago.

I’m exicted that I can stop job searching for the summer and that I can do what I wanted to do. Woo-hoo!