Lunch talk is done. Was rather terrible, in my own thoughts. Finishing it too close to the deadline, in combination with little practice rehearsing it & too much coffee throughout the morning means I stumbled (hard) a few more times than I would have liked. Half of my story was clearly a trainwreck (it’s been a messy project to date), while the latter one was pretty nicely formed (as it’s been pretty clean & straightforward so far). Oy vay.

I think I’m having some wine with (or for) dinner once I get home and get tonight’s exercises out of the way with. And maybe a full night of sleep, while I’m at it…

“…because you can’t vote here yet.”

That was the (inadvertent?) kicker I was told earlier this week that got me thinking about considerations of settling in Toronto. I have already had this notion creeping around in the back of my head, but more in the context of settling in Canada, not specifically Toronto. Toronto originally struck me as too metropolitan in scope & scale, but living here has changed that misconception.

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Striving for a career in science has taught me a couple strong things over the years (besides how awesome it is). One of which is realizing you transplant yourself to build/acquire/develop some new skills, and repeat the process until you’re apt enough to do it on your own.

As I transitioned from high school into college into graduate school, I noticed another trend: enrichment for the socially inept/naïve increased as I went up the training scale (at least in my own personal experience). I had concerns that this was a logarithmic saturation, where it would only get worse the further you went up in training (despite how rational and socially acclimated most professors seem to be). Thankfully, the social awkwardness seems to have relieved itself among other postdocs (so far). So maybe this is instead the other side of the hump in the curve, whereupon the previously socially awkward in the graduate student community either learn to adapt, or are weeded out of the system.


I have always been fairly introverted. I get by okay in public it would appear, but I like/tend to be reclusive when I am able. Considering the necessity for transplantation for advancement in my career, this is utterly detrimental to maintaining any sort of a social life.

I was okay for the first month with the modified social environment of moving to Toronto. Now, the lack of interaction is hitting home a bit harder. The ironic part is that new social interaction(s) stimulated the feelings of absence; two recent symposia led to pleasant conversations with new individuals that left me longing for this on a regular basis.

Electronic communications and social media don’t quite cut it. They’re mediocre replacements for face-to-face communications.

Now begins the (emotionally) rough part of the transplantation into a new community.

So after a couple weeks of unpacking, I think I’ve finally got everything unpacked to the extent that I can.

The wall space is awkward in the apartment here, so unfortunately I don’t have any space for more major furniture like a futon or loveseat (at least for the time being), so it was sort of fortunate that I didn’t have any larger furniture of that type that I brought with. Even the dining set I have is a bit large, and almost oddly out of place. I am really tempted to try to sell off/get rid of the old one for something more compact like a gateleg table, but then I still have the issue of chairs to deal with. Anyhoo.

I need to get around to another blog post or two here. The move was relatively easy, albeit complicated a bit at the border crossing due to the moving company. I am most done transitioning over the relevant paperwork/credentials (with the exception of automotive stuff at this point), and have my bank account and payroll setup, so I should be all set on that front.

I’m fighting with some networking issues right now. I am this close to paying for my own Internet service; the landlord provides wireless Internet access at no charge to me, but the connection has been absolutely terrible at times. I can barely get reception in my bedroom, the Mac Pro struggles at times for a connection, and the FreeBSD server is completely dependent upon the Mac Pro for access right now (Internet sharing). I have been attempting to get a wireless NIC going in the server right now, but I’m stuck recompiling the HEAD environment/kernel in order to get AR9300 driver support (since every other existing wireless NIC that is supported natively in FreeBSD-9.1-RELEASE is ancient). Crossing my fingers that that works once I get back from BURGER DAY!

Which, on that note, now that it has quit raining…I am off to! Will start catching up on some bloggage when I get back from said burger/slider extravaganza.

Time and time again, I’m terrible at keeping up with this thing. But also as in the past, time to update with some big news.

Thesis is pretty close to done. In the necessity of this stage of my dissertation, I’ve also secured a postdoctoral position in order to continue my work in academic research. Hurrah! Once I have successfully defended my thesis and finished up my residuals in the my current lab, I’ll be moving on to the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, in Ontario, Canada. I’m extremely pumped about this! I’m going to get some legit, useful, and beautiful biochemistry in my tool-belt in the lab up there. It’s borderline biological chemistry, it’s that great!

Not only am I getting to delve into new research, I’m delving into a new home, and even a new country at that. Canada is not exactly new, but Toronto is a relatively undiscovered gem for me. Migrating from Minot, ND to Fargo, ND, and subsequently Fargo to Buffalo, NY, I have progressively moved to larger and larger cities. I really thought that would go the other direction after Buffalo, but I apparently predicted that one wrong!

Until recently, I have really felt like I’ve been stuck on an island, trying to finish this degree with no idea when or where I was going next. Now, I have the destination in sight, and although I know what I should expect, I similarly feel like I have no idea what to expect. I can prepare a laundry list of what I expect to have to deal with, but I feel like there is so much uncertainty ahead.

This is the plan for at least the next two to three years. I have three years secured, with the expectation and hope that I can procure a postdoctoral fellowship to boost my CV and establish my own support. This could potentially go beyond three years, especially if I can further diversify and publish work. Granted, this time frame should not be nearly as long as my graduate school career, it will likely be another significant piece of my life before reaching permanence.

I feel like a sailor, getting ready to set sail. I have the destination set, and I have no idea how long I will be there, nor what to expect. I just need to try and put it all out of my mind for the next month or two to finish up this whole PhD thing first!