Compulsory conference – week fifteen as a PhD student

PhD Life

I made a rookie error this morning; I took a peek inside my investment account, although it was up 7.4%, I still have the depressing feeling of knowing it will be many many years until I am financially independent of the system. Oh, how I wish a had become financially savvy and invested in the period before academia; when I was working and spending like an idiot. Never mind, I suspect I have caught onto the idea much earlier than most of my contemporaries. This week was much more relaxed concerning my schedule; I only had one deadline, which was the submission of an abstract for an in-school conference. The interesting thing about this conference is that it is compulsory and, they are giving awards for best abstract. To me, giving out awards for mandatory activities seems off. It has a sinister: ‘not only are we going to force you to do this, but we are also going to rank you on it’ vibe. It is surprising how many hours I put into writing the 300-word abstract; If it were a piece of work for my undergraduate degree, I would spend the same amount of time on a 2000 word piece. Although there is only pass or fail in a PhD, it seems as if the pass mark is close to 100%.

I feel as if I am learning the way of the scientist. Previously, my biggest issue was writing in the general sense (punctuation, grammar etcetera); now my issues is writing academically, the types of words I use. It seems as if publications only want papers that read how a scientist would write if viewed by a member of the public. Now it seems there are two ways in which scientists communicate; the standard way like how I am writing now, and the publication way where all prose is derived from the axiomatic evidence from experimentation. I am still in the early phase of this and feel quite irreverent (winks at camera) towards it. I suppose I will become another homogeneous bot in the world of science, just as I would be in any other field.

I did get a free pair of running shoes this week! My girlfriend bought me some for Christmas, but they did not arrive in time. She complained, and purchased some other shoes from somewhere else; the first pair were refunded, but still arrived a couple of weeks later. On the one hand I do feel bad for the company that sent the first pair, but on the other hand, they are a faceless corporation, so I am in a moral bind about this one. I think it would be best to have them as a spare pair for when my current ones break.

The biggest struggle I have had this week has been installing packages for Python, at my current level experience it would seem as if overcoming of the difficulty of installing packages is the price of entry to the club. Installing packages does seem unnecessarily difficult. Anyway, like all other issues I have encountered, spend enough time trying to solve it and nine times out of ten you normally do.

See you next week.

Published by Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

5 thoughts on “Compulsory conference – week fifteen as a PhD student

  1. I am a first-year student in Food and Nutritional Sciences in the UK. Although my studies are in crop science (trying to predict how long they last).


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