Wednesday, February 01, 2006

into the flock

Our lab got a new postdoc today. I always find it interesting to see how the addition or subtraction of one person alters the dynamic of a working group. Our lab is fairly small: 2 grad students, 3 techs, and now two postdocs. The addition of a new person with more expertise will be very useful.

I find myself wondering about the day when I start a postdoc. The postdocs I've known have always seemed very capable and confident. Will I really have that level of knowledge when I'm finished here? Also, many postdocs seem older than I will be when I'm ready to start. Will I have a hard time getting respect as a postdoc?

Our techs are all my age and a few of them are looking at going to grad school soon. That means more personnel changes. I also wonder if I should give them advice about grad school itself. Obviously things are different in different schools and programs, but some things seem to be universal. I know I was not prepared for the experience! Certain things have turned out much differently than I expected. It has been a very difficult three years. Challenging and growth-promoting, but difficult. Do I warn them? Is it my place? Or do I let them naively go off as I did?
Maybe I'll just point them here with a wink and a nod.


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