Friday, October 31, 2014

Slowly, I Recover

It has been a long long long 4 months. The skin eczema that I had first documented in the entry "Severe Recurring Eczema: Six Steps Forward, Five Steps Back" has finally subsided to the point where I am no longer psychologically tormented by it. Annoyed yes, tormented no. Instead of having to apply messy creams all over my hands and feet, the only remaining significant affected area is under my right sole. That had helped significantly reduce the torment of my feeling helpless and useless once the creams had been applied each night. Now, I have significantly more freedom of movement even as I continue to apply medication.

The following image documents how things had evolved over the past four months:

How the disease progressed over the last 4 months around my right foot


I am now finally free to focus on my very badly derailed process of getting back on my feet professionally. Let us hope no other disruptions come my way.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Some of the Things I would Tell the Sixteen Year Old Me

Hehehe, found a nice video by Anna Akana with advice that turned out to be pretty apt when the girl stuff is replaced by boy stuff (around the same contextual axis). Definitely made my day. Oh ... and yes, I'll send back a couple of tight slaps too if I could to my ridiculously naive 16 year-old self :)


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Academics and Alternatives

Discovered an interesting individual via a friend's Facebook link today. Ian Glomsky was a microbiology professor before he got disillusioned by the funding process, quit and is starting his own distillery:

http://www.vitaespirits.com/

My story is not at all similar to his - for one, I never got off the ground having remained in the highly vulnerable position of being a post-doc or contractual Phd positions. However, I felt a kinship to his story and how he felt toward the grant award process. I very much wanted to create scalable tools that were going to be useful to others in the HPC community. Instead, I was pushed into grunt work. The funding process for high performance computing where I used to work is adequate (I think) but no less brutal. This is the NPR story on which he was one of those featured:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/09/09/345289127/when-scientists-give-up

To be fair, I still feel that the scientific environment in the USA far exceeds that in Singapore. Here, an individual's interests and passions matter far less than what the government thinks you should do and what you can produce.