Wednesday, May 26, 2010


A couple months ago, I was telling people that part of the reason I was having trouble finding a job was that I didn't really know what I was looking for. I didn't know quite what I wanted, I just had a general idea. But recently I've come to the realization that it's not true anymore, and probably never was. Over the past couple months, I've formed a solid and tangible idea of the job I want. I can describe it in concrete words.

I want to do qualitative, social research related to tuberculosis, preferably in India.

Hm, surprising how that's exactly how I described my ideal summer project more than a year ago. So if I've wanted to do that for over a year, why did I tell countless people that I didn't know what I wanted? Probably for the same reason that I waited until the end of my third year to declare "microbiology" as my undergraduate major, despite having picked it out of a list of majors during orientation, months before I attended my first undergraduate class. There was never any other major that I considered declaring, yet I hesitated to commit myself to microbiology. Why? Because of a ridiculous, inexplicable lack of confidence in myself or in my choices.

A friend asked me the other day why I wasn't looking for a PhD. This question usually makes me shudder and cringe with the thought of a hundred reasons not to do a PhD, but not this time. This time, I stopped and asked myself, "Yeah, why haven't I considered that?" Suddenly, I couldn't come up with a good reason. I should look into a PhD. Yeah, there may be funding issues, but I won't know until I look into it. I should finish my application to the Peace Corps, too. I should continue emailing researchers doing the work I want to do. When they don't respond, I should call them and nag them. I need to be the squeaky wheel and get myself some gosh-darned grease!


  1. Clarity! Nice job, Kusems!

  2. Wow! It sounds like you've had a real break through! Good luck with all your applications. It makes so much sense to me for you to have a clear goal in mind but pursue multiple paths at once that will lead you there. Any one of those options - PhD, Peace Corps, researchers doing similar work - could take you closer to your goal. And you're right that sometimes you just can't know in advance which one will work out until you try them all, so you have to try them all at once.

    I have a feeling some grease is on its way to you! I mean, if the universe has any sense, it will have to reward you for your determination!;)

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  5. I need a new update girl!