Summer School, Conference, and Taking a Break Before Getting Back on Research

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Hey all 🙂

The last few months have been really good in some ways so let’s dive right in.

Summer School

Summer school was great again! I felt much more confident than the previous year because I had a better idea of what to expect. I built my class around experiences rather than content. I really wanted my students to get hands on practically or mentally and to gain insight into doing science not just what it finds. We ended up with 8 content sessions, 3 research lab visits, 2 hands on labs, 3 creative collaborations, and 2 student-led days where they presented their own interests and ideas. Overall, I feel it went well and I’m eager to get the feedback to see what was good and what could be better for next time. It has spurred on my want to be in education and, whilst i won’t end up in such a wonderful and privileged situation with a class of four, there is much i will take from my experience into my future.

Conference

I spent 3 nights in Liverpool at ECBB which was an absolutely wonderful experience for a number of reasons. Firstly, the conference itself. Many interesting talks and posters to engage with and the students from the host university did a wonderful job organising thing for the guests who were new to the area. Including, for example, a behavioural biology themed pub quiz to promote networking and fun in general. Speaking of which: secondly, networking. I met SO many great people there. A couple whom i’d connected with previously on twitter, some entirely new to me but with whom I spent most of my social time with, and somebody i’d met at a previous conference. The latter of which gave me a wonderful tour of their lab and we talked science for a long time. I’m hoping they may be my next boss and the ideas we have developed look promising for that to happen. Not putting all my eggs in one lab’s basket, of course, but it’s been super exciting to start making these connections which i will need to give me a chance of staying in research. Lastly, Liverpool itself was delightful. it’s such a vibrant and lively city. So much is close together which is wonderful. I can totally see myself spending some of my life there which is a bonus regarding the job point. Overall, a wonderful and exciting time.

Taking a Break

If there’s one major thing I’ve learned from 5 years of doing this PhD thing it’s that breaks are super important. After the conference I took some me time. This involved three different adventures. Firstly, went to London for 5 days to visit my dad. I had a nice and low-key time catching up with him and generally relaxing. I also got to see two friends as well as my aunt and cousin whom I haven’t seen in a while which was great. Secondly, a friend’s wedding in the midlands. Great to see him after four or so years. We got take out the night before and the whole wedding occasion was really good (except for my head the following morning). Lastly, I spent a week in New York visiting a friend. What a great an new experience. Everything there is just turned up to 11. Met new people, saw great things (Central Park, Natural History Museum, The Met!), and tried all sorts of new food including sushi! I can use chopsticks now!

So that’s me for the last two months. The next two will be spent finishing some of my analysis, starting my last stint of lab work, and continuing to try new things.

Thanks for reading 🙂

BCT

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