Yeah, I’m still alive

My life is going crazy. I can recall where I’ve been every evening past two weeks – and it wasn’t at home. Before that, I can’t even remember.

Guess why I didn’t post on here eh?

Lots of things happening though in Klara’s little world that I have to share with you at some point. Some of my applications were rejected, I got some interviews, chaired a session at a symposium (first time for everything, right?!), volunteered to give a talk in front of the entire institute a few days before, am getting on quite well organising another symposium etc etc. Oh yeah, and my teeth took quite some time as well, having root canal treatments and the like.

The thing that’s probably the main cause of my absence on here, is breaking-up with my boyfriend. It does suck my energy into a black hole. This weekend, I’ll go over to sign the paperwork needed to sell him my share of our apartment. And then in August we’ll drive over to the UK with a minivan to transfer some stuff. (yeah, I’ll have my piano!!!)

The thing that frightens me most, is that I don’t know where this leaves me. People break up all the time, that happens. But our flat was my life, my secure basis, my home. Now that falls away, I feel like I don’t belong anywhere really and that’s quite something to chew on.

I’ll get back on here once I got that sorted out! Don’t want to fill this blog with private misery and philosophical thoughts about us academic nomads…

Busy bee

There are so many things happening, that I seriously don’t know where to start.

Remember that I applied for a teaching position? I got invited for an interview!! So I’m reading up like crazy on the curriculum I’d have to teach, on the panel members, on teaching methods. Anything that might help basically. I’m really excited about it, just how incredible would it be if I could be one of Oxford’s tutors?!

Also, I’m going to give two lectures in a taught masters programme. Apparently nobody has been able to do a intro to molecular biology that was entirely satisfying in the 6 years that the course exists. I’ll get the presentation used last year plus the students feedback and am allowed to do whatever I want. My brain cells can’t decide whether they want to focus on the interview first, as they would really like to start designing this lecture… Being told nobody has been able to find the right balance for this lecture makes me determined to show that it IS possible.  The other one is on bioinformatics, which is also gonna be really fun to do. Have to think about that one too; find some nice examples to have them work with.

Crazy stuff. Going from non-paid assistant at my previous university, to lecturing and maybe (and I would pray to god now, if I would believe in her…) tutoring!

As if that isn’t enough, my boss has decided he needs a publication soon to support some grant application. And has proposed a project in which I can combine some of my data with data from one of my colleagues. It sounds really promising, with our data combined we already have quite a bit of information and might indeed publish something relatively soon. How incredible is that?! Like half a year after starting here already thinking about publishing stuff? It took me 3 years in my PhD project before publishing anything…

It still bothers me that the cost of all this has been my relationship, as I cannot make up my mind as to whether that was the right thing or just incredibly stupid. But when I see how excited and happy I am about all this, it might turn out to be worth the price paid however sad :(

What defines our happiness?

I just realised something. Something potentially bad. Not sure about it yet.

I’ve made it a habit to label emails that contain good news, or that make me happy for some other reason, with “HAPPY”. After Skyping with my (ex?)-boyfriend and discussing how we are going to separate the items collected in 8.5 years of relationship, I felt the urge to go through my HAPPY email moments to cheer me up.

It truly helps. They cheer me up. Make me realise how good my life is.


There is only ONE email that’s not related to work in there… That’s an email I sent to my mother, with a link to a YouTube movie. A movie showing the aftermath of a fight on our balcony: a bird had been stupid enough to land there, while the cats where outside… I managed to rescue the bird and have 10 minutes worth of cats making the strangest sounds from the inside, begging me to let them out again. Even thinking of the movie makes me smile – our his indoor cats catching a bird, imagine that!

Other than that though, it’s only work related… The email I sent after getting that master studies placement I wanted. The first accepted manuscript. The invitation to give a talk at a big conference. The award of my post-doctoral fellowship. The offer I got to do some teaching. Yes, they all do make me happy.

What I can’t figure out, is what that really means! Does my work define my happiness? Why aren’t there more non-work things in there? Is there nothing else that contributes to my well-being? Or are those things simply communicated through different channels, not through email? I surely hope so, because otherwise I’d definitely have a big problem the moment my career starts going downhill for whatever reason…

Looks like I got some food for thought there…