Unfortunately (fortunately?) I am not writing this post from the United Club. I had planned on a full-day mileage run to Kansas City today, flying SEA-SFO-CLE-MCI, a 9-hour visit to Kansas City for the day, then coming back MCI-IAH-SEA. All of my upgrades cleared, even though I was flying on a G fare for 3 CPM. Sounds great, right?
But sometimes one has to focus on real priorities and accept that a hobby like mileage running can’t always dictate the rest of one’s schedule. I booked this trip back in February, and since then I’ve also made plans for an early morning flight to Orange County this Friday to visit friends and scheduled a committee meeting on Thursday (there was a single two-hour slot in an an entire three-week period; getting six professors in a room at the same time is near impossible).
Getting back around 11:30 PM on Wednesday, holding my thesis committee meeting on Thursday, and then leaving at 6 AM on Friday didn’t sound fun. Plus the weather in Kansas City doesn’t look particularly good. I thought about flying standby to come home early. It would mean losing my upgrades, but none of the ones I had to begin with were during meal times, so it would just mean losing out on free booze. I actually got halfway to SeaTac before realizing how much rationalization I was doing and that I should turn around and come back.
This I the first flight I have ever cancelled, and it was a bit of a shock. I’ve just never done something like this before. I’m the kind of guy who makes plans and sees them through or just leaves them open ended in the first place. But it’s the second shock this week. Ordinarily I wouldn’t care much about a committee meeting, but when talking to my advisor yesterday he suggested that I graduate in August—a lot sooner than I expected.
Let’s not jinx this yet, but if I do end up aiming for an August deadline, that means I have two papers and a graduate thesis to write, a half dozen experiments to complete for a third paper, and (most importantly) a job to find. In three months. Oh, and I still have to help Megan plan our wedding. As much as I enjoy blogging, all of this will necessarily going cut back on my free time.
I have a few friends and family I’ve called upon to contribute some trip reports (with more detail than my sister’s off-the-cuff remarks about Hyatt, which probably amused only me), so that should make up for my own lack of travel during the summer months. I will still make time for BlogWorld in New York and a family reunion in Branson, MO, but that’s about it.
This is not a post to ask my readers for pity. “Oh that poor kid, trying to run a blog and defend his PhD at the same time!” I expect you guys read my stuff because it’s worth your time. If it isn’t, don’t read it. But like I said, I’ll be a bit distracted for the next couple months, and I would like to make sure I keep publishing stuff that you find interesting. If for some reason I publish guest trip reports for two weeks straight and you get annoyed, please catch my attention with an email so I can adjust the content.
So with that, let’s return to the usual travel-oriented programming…
[P.S.: If anyone wants to discuss a job offer, that’s cool too! I’ll be applying to a few consulting firms, and if that doesn’t pan out I have some good connections in the federal government that might lead to a science policy job. I have two undergraduate and and a graduate degree in neuroscience, nine years of laboratory experience, and a variety of past and present leadership roles. My skills are oriented toward developing and testing hypotheses, experimental design, data analysis, and oral and written presentation. I’m interested in doing something that will let me use these in a business environment–no more bench research, and I don’t particularly care if it’s related to biology.]