Tuesday 23 August 2022

Sunday 2 January 2022

the longer time spent in academia, the more you realise how its progression structure is a pyramid of economic struggle which functions to wean out the working class. this is probably obvious when thinking about higher education in places like the united states, where student debt after a typical undergraduate degree can be in excess of $150,000, however it may be less obvious in places like the u.k, where it is generally believed that university is accessible to all due to bodies like 'student finance england' etc. such bodies are probably the reason for the largest diversity of students in terms of their socio-economic background at undergraduate level, as this is the only time government support is available to pursue higher education in the form of maintence loans and/or grants (although little government and/or institutional support exists for students with dependents). progressing to a masters degree in the majority of cases however is impossible without securing highly competetive scholarships which would act to cover 100% of your fees and maintence costs. in reality the majority of available scholarships don't even cover 100% of the costs, so you would have to make up the shortfall yourself, and often these scholarships are super hard to come by unless they're backed by a large corporation, whose interests are seldom aligned with academia. acquiring bank loans for further education is often not possible depending on your socio-economic background either, and frankly the interest rates on a bank loan would make people think twice about pursuing a masters degree. doctorates are a similar story; unless you can secure highly competitive funding there is almost no chance you'll find a position. its unlikely a potential supervisor just has a huge pot of money to hire a phd student for 3-4 years. once again, the expected long working hours during a masters and a phd also make it difficult for people with dependents (although part time study options are available). short-term (1-2 year) international job positions such as postdocs (which are essential if you want to pursue a career in academia) then also present significant barriers for working class people. you may be hired for a position on the other side of the world, and may need to come up with thousands of pounds/dollars to be able to relocate yourself and find suitable accomodation for yourself and any family, and then pay the costs all over again to relocate yourself when your position comes to an end.

Monday 13 December 2021

hello. I'm the Dr.

4 years all wrapped up yo!

things to do now:

get US visa, find somewhere to live in Princeton, book flight, eat a biscuit.

Tuesday 29 June 2021

hey thurrrr, 

some biiiig news. I recently accepted a job offer for a postdoctoral research position at Princeton University! It's an amazing looking project, working with a great team looking to address climate model biases through machine learning. It's also part of a wider network of institutions, each working on different components of the climate system - i'll be looking specifically at sea ice biases. I'm super excited as i was really hoping to continue exploring machine learning concepts and statistics after my PhD, so i feel really fortunate to be able to do that. Not only that, the PI (my future boss) is someone who i really respect and is just an all-round delightful person. I had originally suggested that I would be able to start in October, but turns out I can't begin the visa application until after my PhD viva, and the earliest I can take that is probably early November. So all in all, i'll likely be heading out to the US in early Jan 2022! Will be nice to have a few months off in between the PhD and the start of something new. I'm really excited to start a new adventure and experience living abroad. I love London but i desperately need a change. Over the past 2 years i've really been feeling the walls closing in on my life here, which i think is due to numerous factors... i generally get itchy feet when i'm doing one thing for too long, but this time i don't think that could be fixed by just getting a new job in London. I think after a lot of people who were close to me left London after finishing their PhDs 2 years ago, i really felt a big void which hasn't yet been filled. The pandemic hasn't helped obviously, but i really miss being around like-minded people, with a bigger sense of community. Anyway, things are looking up in the mean time! In other news, i also had my second paper published last week, which was kinda cooool, but yah that's about it. un abrazo

Tuesday 23 February 2021

 heyyyyyy, been a while so I thought i'd check in.

it's been a busy few months eh... I managed to submit my second paper just before christmas, and it recently came back with some pretty positive reviews. Felt good submitting it after quite a lot of hard work, and even better that it was all done with one of my dear friends.

my mum got the all clear in mid Jan; her cancer is finally in remission! this was pretty huge news for the fam. I'm super happy for her, she worries more than I do and she often carries it all by herself, so I know she will be relieved. It was a long process of treatments for her and she smashed it from start to finish. it's frustrating not being able to visit her to be honest.

my mental health has oscillated a bit since the new year. Anxieties about the future are creeping in, and also just the increasing feeling of loneliness is somewhat unsettling. I'm grateful to have a busy house, living with 4 other people, but sometimes I feel like I'm the 5th wheel. I don't really know what I want from life at this stage. I like living in London with my brother and one of my best buds; we've lived together for over 5 years and it's been great every step of the way. It's only when i start to think about life down the line when I start to panic. They are both in serious relationships and I imagine will want to get their own places some day. I think our good times together will have to come to an end at some point.

Since she left I find myself trying to be more like her all the time. Many of my mannerisms often cause me to have exestential moments where I realise how much of the person I am now, is because of her. In the way I eat, the books I read, the way I interact with inanimate objects, the way I talk to my cats, the way I feel when I run (hard to explain this last one). They are all her. The one thing I often struggle to do though, is be totally in the present. She could do this better than me. I think I wasted a lot of time when were together worrying about the inevitable day when she would have to leave, while she was right there, smelling the roses... Today I submitted an application for a postdoc position in the US. Thinking about moving to a different country alone, to a city where I don't know anyone, is terryfying. But i'm trying to just think about little steps. 

Running has become a new thing for me in the last month I guess. I've been keeping it up usually 3-4 times a week and i'm enjoying it more with each time I go. It feels good to feel the progress each time, and it certainly gives me much needed breaks from staring at this screen. I had been using it as an opportunity to plug back in to my Spanish whilst practicing my mindfullness, by listening to some Entiende tu mente. Although this week i've been caught up listening to some siiick new tunes. 

 Anyway, that's enough for one day. Will check back in soon.

 Later yo