Posted by: Megan | January 5, 2011

How long has it been?

Two years can see a lot of changes. Moving, starting a new school, relationships coming and going, haircuts and dyes, a piercing, a new cat, ‘new’ car. But I’m still me, and sometimes still feel the need to talk to the internet. Going emo again I guess.

I think I’d like to be a teacher. I’ve realized that while I find physics research fascinating, at heart I’m not a researcher myself. I enjoy reading about it and discussing it, but not the act of doing research. On the other hand, all the time I was growing up I would make mental notes to myself while in class about what worked well and what didn’t for my teachers. And at the time I would sternly tell myself I was not going to be a teacher. However, since starting graduate school and putting in my time as a TA for introductory labs, I’ve found that teaching is something that not only do I seem to be good at, but I thoroughly enjoy. I love the moments with my students when I find just the right way of explaining a foreign concept to them. The look of dawning comprehension and the realization that I made that possible. I also enjoy the human interaction, which has been lacking in all the research jobs I’ve held to date. And so it happens that I have finally accepted my role in this world, if I can achieve it: teaching. Hopefully I’ll get my wish and be granted a nice tenured position at a college or university teaching the first two semesters of undergraduate physics.

I’ve also been thinking about going to England again, potentially to stay. At this point I’d quite like to get out of the States. I miss the ease of traveling, the public transportation, the accents, the food, everything really. I’m not sure how England and my new desire to be a professor will mesh, especially as I’ve been told that universities in England don’t hire people with masters degrees to teach physics. But we shall see. Perhaps I’ll take a job in the States for a while, build up my experience before attempting to move back across the pond.

I suppose, in reality, these are the truly important things that have changed in my life since I last used this blog. There have been plenty of small changes, lots of experiences that affect who I am today. But what they’ve all added up to can be summed up in the paragraphs above. I haven’t stopped dancing. I haven’t stopped loving physics. Part of me still belongs to England (as I suppose it has since I first started watching British television as a child). I do find that since leaving Case I have a bit of trouble finding the same mix of nerds that always felt like home. It isn’t quite normal out here to spend a Friday night looking at the Wikipedia page explaining the diamond structure or reading papers on pentaquarks and super solid helium. But I manage.

I suppose this has been a long ramble, but it’s been a while and I’m not quite sure what’s important to share.

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