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Saturday, January 27, 2007

A step into the unknown...

Today I handed my letter of resignation. A remarkably liberating experience - I highly recommend it!

Don't worry, I haven't gone mad!

The truth is, I have been unhappy for several months. Since coming to Canada, I have found it very difficult to get into my research. Since the moment I got here, I have felt out of place in the lab. I've found the work hard going and have struggled to connect with my coworkers and my supervisor. I found myself constantly at odds with my supervisor, seemingly unable to deliver what was expected of me. Despite working like a dog before christmas, then writing a grant proposal over christmas, my efforts were summarily dismissed as rubbish and not what was expected of a postdoc. Whether the demands placed upon me were realistic or not is a debte for another time.

Anyways, I have been repeatedly told that I am not PI material and questioned (sometimes publically) over my commitment to the project and to my goal of becoming an independent researcher.

After my last position, where I was miserable to the point of being ill, I decided that I wouldn't go through that again. After several weeks of feeling increasingly depressed, I have decided that it's time to move on.

Canada itself is not the problem, indeed I've enjoyed my time here. However, being so cut off from my friends and family back home probably didn't help. The time difference for example made calling people very difficult. I couldn't call in the evening and weekends are always a hard time to get hold of people. When I went home at christmas and just sat in my friend's living room chatting, I realise just how much I missed them all.

So, on to the future! After thinking about it off and on for years, I have decided to apply to teacher training college. Everyone I've spoke to (including current teachers) have been resoundingly positive, some going as far as to say it's a move long overdue. I have had some experience in the past and enjoyed it. Ironically, my time at the sportcentre last year actually showed that I can deal pretty well with kids, including badly behaved troublemakers.

When I told my boss, I really wasn't sure what to expect. To describe her temperament as "mercurial" would be an understatement. I figured the odds were even that I'd either get a hug or steaming mug of Tim Horton's over my head - in the event she was delighted for me, and as I outlined my plans for the future said that I looked happier than she'd ever seen me. We probably had the most pleasant half-hour chat since I got off the plane back in the autumn!

So I shall be returning to England, hopefully before the end of the month, to my parents' basement (as a coworker kindly put it) to start temping work again. Joy. At the same time, friends are trying to organise shadowing for me at the various schools they have contacts with. In that respect I am extremely fortunate. I hope to get at least a couple of different placements sorted.

The boss let me off my contractual obligation to work 2 more months (little point really), however I do have to give lab meeting Tuesday morning. I can't say I am looking forward to that particularly - but lets face it, they can't exactly fire me now can they?

So to all those lovely ladies I've been flirting with (you know who you are!) watch out - Sanescientist is back in town!



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