“TEACHER seeks pupil.
Must have an earnest desire to save the world.
Apply in person.” –Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
As I continue to creep (crawl? stumble blindly? drag myself?) toward the completion of my PhD I have begun seriously contemplating what exactly I want to do when I grow up. Progress has been slow and circuitous, much like this essay. But I feel calmer than I did when I first realized “Be an ecologist!” had stopped being enough of an answer. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Regardless, I’ve been trying to take steps toward actually figuring this thing out for myself. A bit of soul searching, a la Chelsea’s advice about a happiness brainstorm, really helped. I’m happiest when I can travel but have a solid home base to return to, so I’m no longer prioritizing an academic career and the period of post-doctoral transience that usually comes along with it. I’m happiest when I’m collaborating with lots of different folks who I can teach and learn from all the time. I’m happiest when I can do public speaking and science communication, and I’d love to find a position where this is encouraged, valued, and incentivised. I’m happiest when what I am working on makes a tangible difference. Continue reading “An Earnest Desire to Save the World”