Apologies are in order for my three-month-long neglect of this blog, if you are/were a dedicated subscriber. If you weren’t, then I guess it’s a fresh start for both of us. I really didn’t have much to blog about these last few months, and didn’t really feel like boring everyone with trifling updates of my currently boring-ass life. But I’ve recently found my drive to blog again, so let’s just pick up where we left off: recanting stories laced with self-deprecating humor.
For the past 12 weeks or so, I’ve been busy figuring out where I’m going to spend the next five years of my life in grad school. I’ve been on the road on grad school interviews, which were a whirlwind endeavour that had me travelling 12,000 miles, visiting 5 universities, going on 27 one-on-one half-hour interviews with faculty, listening to 15 hours of presentations, watching my language at 4 dinners at a professor’s house, and imbibing at 8 “social events” complete with copious amounts of alcohol. I felt like George Clooney in that plane movie. It was quite a grueling experience, but less so since all of it was paid for by the schools.
I visited, in chronological order: UChicago, UCLA, Northwestern, UNC, and of course UCSB, evaluating each school’s Biology Ph.D program. The first interview at UChicago was a harrowing experience, but other than that disaster, the schools did their best to recruit as much as interview, making sure we were comfortable our entire time there. I was put up in the nicest hotels in town (save for one school, cough,) taken out to great restaurants, and basically given all the alcohol I could drink without ruining my chances at admission (it’s happened to other people before, I’ve heard stories.)
To tell you the truth, most of the interviews with professors were 30-minute drone-fests, 5 minutes spent talking about their research, 5 minutes on my research, 5 minutes on the program, and the other 15 minutes blathering on and on about the weather, Santa Barbara, or a combination of the two to fill time.
The worst moment of the interviews? Continue reading