Two decades ago, I moved to a new city that I’d never visited before to start a post-doc fellowship. The work was interesting and the hours fairly regular, at least at first. When I arrived in the city, I wanted to make my walk with God a priority.
We figured it was time for a follow-up on what to do once you’ve found the postdoc you were looking for.
Postdocs occupy a weird, liminal space in the path of the scholar.
A congressperson once asked a scientist, “Why should we keep funding so many research projects when such a small percentage actually make important contributions to human society?” The scientist replied, “You are right that very few projects have profound results. But the problem is that we don’t know beforehand which few projects will be the important ones! So we have to do them all.” I see an important parallel to family life here.
I remember well that fall when I started graduate school–the excitement, the anticipation of starting something new. Orientation activities and faculty seminars inviting students to something big, something interesting, something important.