I have yet again been absent from this blog. This time, though, it’s for (what I think is) a wonderful reason – I’m in the middle of a 2 week long intensive course on my favorite scientific topic.

Yes, I’m completely nerding out for two weeks. And I am loving it. I love that my calendar is largely empty, other than the sessions, which run from 0730-1630 (sorry, you can take the nurse out of the hospital but you apparently will have to rip her love for the 24 hour clock from her cold, dead hands…). I love that I get so into the lectures and discussions that I talk back to my computer. I love that I get to learn more every year that I attend this course. And each year, my mind is blown. It’s the best money that I spend all year.

And this is one of the reasons I love my job. I know I haven’t written about my weird job and how it’s just not like other jobs. But academia, for all its faults, provides me with the opportunity to feed my passions. To truly immerse myself in a topic that I love, regardless of why I love it. Of course, this will be a lot easier (and I will feel a lot more secure) when I achieve tenure. But even those of us who are earlier on the academic track are told to follow our passions. And to keep asking questions. A job that pays me to focus on what I love, and that lets me ask all the questions I want? Sign me up, even if the pay is the lowest I’ve received since graduating college lo these many years ago.

There is probably some way to do this in many jobs… but for me, this is the perfect combination of following my passion, immersing myself in the science of something I love, and giving myself the space and time to keep learning, to keep asking questions, to know that we don’t know everything. There is still so much to learn about this world of ours. I’m grateful that I get to keep learning.

Now on to week two of nerding out…

Just yesterday I watched an ant crossing a path, through the
tumbled pine needles she toiled.
And I thought: she will never live another life but this one.
And I thought: if she lives her life with all her strength
is she not wonderful and wise?

~Mary Oliver

2 thoughts on “Immersion

    1. Precisely. It doesn’t pay a lot, and I’ll never be rich (monetarily). But the joy of being able to study what I want, within reason, in an environment that fits me so well? Dream job, definitely. (Plus, I can’t overstate the importance of not having to dress up for work… the TRUE joy of academia. ;>)

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