races, heating and talk

Totally random update, not that other posts are organised, but this one is really random.

Yesterday I completed the half marathon in Tours (YAY for me) AND I managed to do it in 1h48 which is another big YAY! I was really really worried, due to the lack of proper training. I mean Bruno and I had done exactly one 15k run the Monday before the race and I nearly died. Granted it was 5 PM, hot and 5PM (yeah mentioned that twice, since running after 12 PM just seems retarded to me!).  Not too confident at all and the nerves really hit me the morning of the race.. I decided that if I was feeling anything like how I felt on Monday I would just stop.   Picked up Bruno at 10 AM and went up to Jean Jaures where we could leave our bags and get ready. Unlike me he was not at all concerned and had even been out drinking the night before.

The race is basically two laps around the town, pretty boring and it takes you through the ghetto of Tours which I personally think is a great touch!  Not so great, the lack of toilets!!  I mean why would you not place freaking port-a-loo’s along the course?? After about 10 min, I had to wee.. thinking that at the 5 km mark (where there was food and water there would be toilets) but NO! I keep on going sure that there would be toilets at the start/finish of the race.. NO.. I was feeling OK accept for the peeing thing and decided to continue for the second lap..  But the Pee was there and I needed to go badly.. Crossing the start/finish I started looking for a pee stop (car, tree, cafe) luckily there was a cafe that I ran into and where I could use the bathroom.. I had told Bruno to just go since he does run faster than I do  and was staying next to me to keep me company, while I was running faster than I really wanted to not slow him down too much.  After my pee break, I felt way better and managed to keep up the pace and finish in an awesome time if I say so myself!  The shitty thing.. I am classified as a SENIOR.. I mean really?? , it might be French though and everyone over 21 is Senior..

Yesterday I got my heating on, it is such a pleasant surprise after last year, where there was no heat for a pretty long time (granted, it was probably cause I did not turn the heaters on) this time I never turned them off so when the main thing started yesterday I suddenly did not need to use my laptop and oven  as a heat sources anymore.  It is a bit of crazy system (no real control over your own heating) On the other hand, I am not paying the costs either.  At Uni there is no central heating yet, so I am freezing my arse off atm.

Next friday I have to present my data at a meeting in Bordeaux.  I like giving presentations, of course I get a little nervous but I usually ease into it while I am talking. This time I am seriously a bit worried since it is really the first time I am talking to people who actually know what I am talking about. It is a neurogenesis meeting, and I am presenting neurogenesis data…. I just hope that I dont get too many questions that I can not answer..  Oh and in related news, my experiment that I thought was working, I actually think it has failed, meaning that I now have hardly any data to present.  (I totally gave up on Thursday after  I went to the microscope… I  decided to leave and went home and watched crappy reality shows instead).

Have not applied for any other jobs yet, nothing has really come up. I am STILL waiting on the French Fellowship it is nearly 2 weeks past the original date now.  I doubt we got it though, but it would be nice to get some news!   The exciting thing: 4 more weeks and I will have my holidays.  And who knows, maybe even a job in Sydney!

I think that is most of the news I needed to share……..

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Random encounters and an outcome

Getting to Swiss land was a bit of a problem ( I had a 3 hr delay) so when I spoke to Fleur I asked her about the train times and she mentioned the different possibilities.  Seeing as the train trip takes 1hr I knew it was going to be a late one.  Which was OK for me, but not so cool for Fleur as she had to work the next morning. Luckily her parents were more than willing to pick me up if I was arriving around 1 AM. We finally boarded but I was not convinced I was going to make the 22.47 train. When we landed I had made the decision, that if I missed the train I was going to stay at a hotel at the airport since spending another hour waiting was just too much.  As I get off I realise I have 10 minutes from gate to station and  I decide to just run for it. Fleur told me the platform and I knew it was the nearest to the entrance of the station.  So I run and when I get to the station I have 2 min left, I had already bought my ticket online, nearly at the platform I decide to take the escalator and veer to the right, at the same time a guy running next to me decides that he wants to take the stairs and he veers to left,  he collides with my bag and I just say SORRY and keep on running not wanting to miss the train. We both get there right on time and while I am puffing near the doors he also apologizes and goes up into the carriage.   Once I catch my breath I too head to the carriage, helping a Spanish girl with her massive suitcase.  We bump into the dude and we all sit together keeping our fingers crossed that the train we are on is actually going to take us to where we want to go.   We chat a little and keep our eyes out for the train people so we can actually ask them which stops the train will be making.   I have the last stop so wave goodbye to both the Chicka and the Dude in Lausanne.

Coming back I am at the airport in Paris waiting for the bust to take me to Montparnasse and guess who is standing next to me inline: the Dude..  And now we are getting married.. Nah, he was not really my type, but I did think it was pretty funny that we bumped into each other again! He actually is French, studying to be Physiotherapist and wants to move to NZ when he is done (still no name though!).

And now for the outcome:  YES  i got the JOB and I said NO!   A few hours after my last post I got an email saying that I had the job.  It sucked cause I really did not want it and then I feel bad that I have been offered it and feel guilty.. (CRAZY, I know).   So spoke to Fleur and to my mum and then emailed the PI inquiring about behavioural testing and when she was very honest and said, that I would not be able to pursue my research interests I said that I would not accept the offer.. . I think Lausanne is great, very international, beautiful and I have my dearest friend living there, but I know what I want from my next job and this was definitely not it.   And now I am still waiting on fellowship outcome for France (which will give some breathing room to find the “perfect” job) and of course looking so very forward to my Holiday!!!

Another Interview Done

I am currently sitting at Fleur’s dining table, which is at least 3 m long, thinking about my job interview of yesterday..

I arrived about an hour early and sat at the cafeteria with a coffee rehearsing my presentation. Went the time was finally there I went to the PI’s office where we had a brief chat and then I went into the meeting room for my presentation.   It went well I was a little nervous, but managed to get across most points.  I was a little intimidated by all the questions that were fired at me from PhD and Postdocs but got most of them answered or honestly admitted that  I had no idea.. Since I also talked a bit about my current work, I actually got some great ideas on how to analyse my research differently.

After my talk, it was time for the ‘real’ interview.  Besides the PI there were 3 other people sitting opposite me,  two current postdocs, some other chicka. This would have been more than OK, but they were all holding on to my CV and asking me the most random questions about the things I had done and it felt rather intimidating.. Of course I did make a little arse out of my self: I got stuck on a question regarding memory testing AND I said that I did NOT want to spend too much time analysing videotapes of behaviour but would rather work on molecular stuff.  (The Looks were pretty shocked, since this a behavioural lab!!).

After that, I got whisked away for a tour through the lab. The girl who showed me around was really really Lovely.  She gave a nice tour, we chatted and had coffee. So all in all I was gone for about an hour.  Unfortunately she works as a technician and could not really tell me about  how postdocs were treated, the ones I had met during my talk had disappeared, possibly back into the behavioural lab running experiments.

I had to go back to the PI’s office to get my computer and bag and while I was there she was in another meeting but we did manage to chat briefly. Despite my  comment and lack of answer, she did say that they really liked me and that I stood a good chance of getting the job.

I am so not sure (which means that I probably don’t want it, if they even offer it to me). I loved the lab, the people and Swiss land is awesome too.  But behaviour is really not what I would like to do. Because of the whole interview process and me being intimidated.. I did not get to ask the questions I wanted  to. And  now I have a million.. Not sure if I can email the PI or if I should wait until I hear from them (if I dont get the offer, no need for the questions).

Anyway will think about it on my way back home, which is hopefully less painful then coming here.  My 1hr flight had a 3 hr delay!!

Job update

The Skype interview went well.  I was planning to be a little dressed up, but was running late and ended up wearing my blue STARWARS t-shirt, although I did make sure that the camera was pointing more to my face than to my shirt. The Swiss PI (who is actually spanish) seemed really nice. She actually reminded me of my current boss.  And we talked for about 40 minutes.  As I said earlier, I am not too sure about the job itself. As I understood it she wants me to manage one project and do actual work on another project.  If the managing is actually managing, then of course it would be a great experience, if it means that I will be spending more time running the project it won’t be since it entails behavioural testing and trust me I have more than enough experience in doing those. I did get invited for a ” real” interview and will be heading to Swissland next week.  I will make sure to ask all the necessary questions and get a good feel of the lab and the people.

I spent a few days in Holland and it was lovely, dad is not doing to great though and that really sucks!  I hate seeing him in so much pain and am hoping that his medication will kick in soon. It also made me realise that moving to Australia is going to be tough since I wont be able to come home at the drop off a hat. And while I miss Sydney and my friends  I think that being away from my parents while they need me is going to a lot harder. It is definitely something I really need to think about. For now though I need to work on my presentation for the Swissies and keep my fingers crossed for London.