considering my options...

jcoleman at jcoleman at
Mon Mar 18 17:23:36 EST 1996

In article <4idmm8$7iu at>, arussel at (russell russell) writes:
>hello all!
>	i have been lurking here for several months now. i am approaching 
>somewhat of a crossroad in my life and wondered if i could gather some 
>outside opinions and advice.  
>	i'm currently working on my m.s. in drosophila genetics at bowling 
>green state university (in ohio, not kentucky), expecting to graduate in 
>december. that will make it 6.5 years here at bgsu, since i did my 
>undergrad work here, too. i would like to get my ph.d. (at another 
>school) and continue doing research (probably at a university since i'm 
>really getting interested in population genetics and most private sector 
>companies don't pay for research in evolutionary theory). 
>	anyway, here's where the problem is: i'm really beginning to feel 
>like i need to take some time off. i think that if i do go straight on 
>for my ph.d., i'll burn out halfway through. i'm thinking about joining the 
>peace corps after i finish my master's. i have a b.s. in environmental science 
>(in addition to bio) and i've been teaching for 2 years as a t.a.; i 
>don't think getting into the peace corps would be a problem. the 
>commitment would be 2 years, giving me some time to regroup and refocus 
>and yet still a definite ending date to say "now i need to get back into 
>	so i guess my question is, how are others in the field of 
>academia going to react to this? will i be viewed as being not dedicated? 
>will this make me somewhat of a pariah in the field of grad program 
>applicants? i know many of you out there are running your own lab; how 
>would you react to someone contacting you about a position in your lab 
>when  either (a) she had just come back from a 2 year break doing a 
>service project like that, or (b) she wanted to work with you after she 
>got back (i.e. contacting you before she left). would that affect your 
>decision to accept her into your lab? positively or negatively? would you 
>prefer to have the relationship and some kind of verbal agreement 
>about her joining your lab set up before she left?
>	i haven't talked to my advisor about these ideas yet. how he'll 
>react to the whole thing is kind of like chaos theory: completely 
>unpredictable. i really want to have my thinking about this worked out 
>before i go to him about it; i'm trying to get as many points of view 
>about it as i can to help me. i'd appreciate any comments or stories 
>anyone might have. although this group seems to be really supportive of 
>each other, i'm not looking only for supportive comments (a few would be 
>nice, though! ;) ) if you think i'll just be shooting myself in the foot 
>with this please tell me!
>our love is like my parents' love        |  Amy L. Russell
>except                                   |  Bowling Green State University
>i won't wait until you die to leave you. |  arussel at

I don't have my own lab..but if I did, I wouldn't look negatively at someone
who had done some service work like the Peace Corp before moving on to a fact right now where I am in the middle of a PhD, getting outside
sounds wonderful *smile*, getting away anywhere would be great :-) I personally
like people who don't take the beaten path...I think I'd be more negative to
someone who went from kindergarten to grad school knowing exactly what they
want to do....thinking and experiencing outside of the norm is a benefit to
science and scientific thought...I say GO FOR IT!!


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