Archive for June 6th, 2008
Massage = awesome

I went for my last prenatal massage today with my awesome massage therapist, Hanna.  I can’t believe how much better my back and neck feel already.  Hanna is going to be teaching infant massage classes this summer—it will be interesting to check those out.  It’s supposed to be good for fussy or colicky babies.  


Other than that, nothing new here.  Just relaxing and doing a lot of reading.  I’ve been taking time to think about possible career changes post-baby, although these changes will require lots of serious discussions between R and myself.  I also intend to wait several months before I (we) make any decisions, as we feel that the baby should be our compass, at least in part.  I’ve been seriously considering making a move from academics to a large pharmaceutical company.  There are so many reasons for wanting this change.  The first and most obvious reason is that federal funding has been in the shitter for the last few years, with no indication of improving anytime soon.  It is still unclear at this time whether I will be funded as a postdoc when I am ready to return to work this fall.  This is the sort of uncertainty that I can’t continue to tolerate, as I have been in a career purgatory of sorts for nearly 2 years.  Secondly, I’ve spent the past 2 years gaining teaching experience.  While the experience has been great and I don’t regret having it, I also question whether teaching is something I want to continue to do.  As an instructor, you are unappreciated, practically uncompensated, and expected to cater to the emotional needs and whims of the students, most of the time at the expense of course objectives.  This is not to say that working for a pharmaceutical company would be without its issues and frustrations.  Obviously, there is a lot one can criticize with respect to profit-driven conglomerates that seek to market their products to desperate (and often ill-informed) laypeople.  That said, the allure of having a job to go to with benefits, actual compensation, and (gasp) resources to do one’s work, is quite compelling.  I am attracted to the idea of FINALLY having a career that pays off, rather than one that continues to drain and depress me, as mine has for some time.  I don’t see the past couple of years spent teaching as a waste by any means—certainly, teaching Psychopharmacology is a valuable asset if you want to go work for a pharmaceutical company.  Additionally, all of the experience getting up in front of people day in and day out, presenting information (most of which is rather technical) is a skill that will come in handy.  This past semester, I spent 5 hours each week lecturing in front of students.  It doesn’t sound like a lot of lecture time, but boy, when you have to walk in prepared and ready to answer questions, the preparation time for those 5 hours can be pretty significant.  Even if I never teach again, it’s still something I know I can do.  The biggest hurdle now is thinking about relocation.  Vermont does not have these sorts of jobs, and Boston would be my best bet for finding fulfilling work.  It’s not so much that we don’t want to live in Boston as that we are pretty content in Vermont and find the prospect of leaving difficult.  Again, these are decisions that we will come to in time, and I am sure that we will make the right one.  Once the baby is here, we will have a better idea of what is best for him/her and us.  In the meantime, I am trying to patch the holes in my education, and have added this to my “reading before baby” list:

I am just trying to ensure that I’m as competitive for a pharmaceutical company job as I can possibly be!