Quite a wild week.
First, I am done with my PhD. The defense went well. Different than I expected and quite tough, but the examiners were happy. The worst was my boss telling me that "we would have given you a summa cum laude, but you didn't publish yet". And the reason I didn't publish yet, is him. Then he wanted to give a short speech and decided to tell the anecdote that my previous PIs gave him contradictory recommendations about me. My Masters' supervisor was very positive while the guy that supervised my first PhD attempt (where I left after 3 months) told him that he should "not touch me". But you know, he gave me a "chance" and he is happy about it... And then went on to talk about our "conflicts" (which were quite few in 6 years in the lab). I was like.... I worked here for 6 years, and that is what you come up with? fuck you. Anyway. there was cake, and arabic food, and non-alcoholic drinks (so my father doesn't freak out) and all was well :)
Here is me, mid-incantation. I have a tie-dyed labcoat I wear to festivals (so people know where to get their drug infos and testing). My lab made me a new one to add to the collection :)
One of the few good family pictures! And one of the few times people will ever see me in more fancy clothes
Second, I might have a spot for a PostDoc! Through some contacts in an NGO that supports psychedelic research in Europe I got connected to a lab in Frankfurt, ran by two female PIs. One working on mice and the other on monkeys. They are doing cross-species translational studies in behavioral neuroscience. Additionally, they are interested in researching psychedelics :) Had two interviews with them and they liked me (and I like them!). They are a younger generation of idealists and it sounds quite nice. The only issue, I need to get my own money. Which means, writing grants... But I am excited to get a chance to work on a topic I am interested in with people that seem to be interested in supporting me for a change.
After the defense (which my family attended) we head to the alps (with a short visit in Ulm, the city I lived at before moving to Heidelberg). A day later, my aunt and grandma from Germany joined us. They just landed back from Mexico a day before and booked a room in the same hotel as us. My grandma was quite tired when she arrived, we all thought it was jetlag. The area we were at has strict COVID guidelines for unvaccinated people. So my grandma (85 years old) and my aunt had to do an antigen test every morning. Two days later my grandma tested positive. The test was repeated and again positive. The hotel urged us to pack our stuff and head back to Germany (in retrospect, they were just scared shitless and me and my parents shouldn't have left, but that's another story). My grandma and aunt head back to my aunts' place and me and my family were on our way back to Heidelberg. Yesterday I started to have a cough. Today I had a fever and a headache. The antigen test turned out positive today in the morning, currently awaiting the results of the PCR test.
Grandma is doing okay. Mild symptoms. I will also be fine. I am just super pissed because my goddamn aunt scared my grandma so much that she didn't get vaccinated, even though she had appointments back in February. And now, through her anti-vaxx shit and lack of responsibility (who the fuck flies to Mexico right now??) she managed to get my grandma and me infected and multiple people across Germany into a 2-week quarantine. In addition, ended a two-week holiday for a whole family which was quite expensive for us (we are not a wealthy family) and adding much more extra costs for everyone involved.
I always asked myself "who the hell are these people bringing all these variants into the countries?". Well, "my aunt" is now a definitive answer.
So, yeah, I will be spending my holidays at home, instead of the Austria alps or berlin. Exactly what I needed after a 6-month thesis crunch. I hope my infection doesn't go that bad. Luckily I already had one shot which is supposed to reduce the severity of infection and transmission.
So, if you have any recommendations for TV shows, games, movies, books (audio), let me know!
View from our room in austria, it was lovely!
There was still some ice on the tops. This one looked interesting...