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[personal profile] carolynm
I really need to figure out what's next after grad school.

I don't know if I want to teach, but I am starting to think I'd really miss being around undergrads, at least occasionally. Now that I've got my feet under me with teaching, marking, and being friendly but at the same time respected, I really like dealing with them. I especially like teaching smart and keen students something technical, or mathematical. It reminds me both how much I've learned over the years, and also how much I have left to learn.

Research is getting to be more fun now I've got a better basis of understanding too. I have a lousy grasp of what's publishable, and I'm lousy at getting my paperwork to progress done. But being a grad student is a hell of a lot of fun. I'm almost going to miss it when I finish and start to make grown-up money again.

Financially, I'm never going to make up the hit for going back to school, and most of the jobs I'm newly (almost) qualified for will pay less than my former career path. But for some reason, I still think it's worth it. I know different kinds of math than I did in undergrad, a lot more statistics. I somehow can manage to be an authority to a room full of 19-year-old male CS majors, in a way that sometimes freaks me out. Maybe I'm just more confident in my own knowledge and skills now. Maybe they could smell my self-doubt before. Maybe I just project better.

I'm rambling. I wish I knew what, career-wise, I wanted to do next. Mathy government job? Post-doc and chase a professor position? Straightforward lecturer position? One of the fascinating research jobs I've seen posted? It's taken four years back in school, but I've somehow moved from feeling like I have few or no options, to feeling like I have a tonne of great ones. And I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

This isn't nearly angst-y enough for livejournal/dreamwidth. And I have a few hurdles to clear before I'm done my PhD. But for some reason, I've turned a corner and everything seems possible.
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