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Wilkommen to my blog - my name is Karin Purshouse, and I'm a doctor in the UK. If you're looking for ramblings on life as a junior doctor, my attempts to dual-moonlight as a scientist and balancing all that madness with a life, you've come to the right place. I'm currently a doctor/research trainee in oncology after spending a year doing research in the USA. All original content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

An American Dissertation

Oh Canada. Weirdly familiar.  The power of
the Commonwealth! Can I move here?
I alluded to the general madness of my current life in my last blog post.  As it turns out, I don't think I've ever enjoyed such a potentially insane period of time.  Heaven knows I should be good at managing stressful life junctures by now, so here's my recipe for dissertation writing, KRP style.

Trius Winery.
1) Obviously start early and keep it social.  I knew some of my results would come perilously close to my submission date, so enjoyed many a coffee shop-based writing session (this is also where it comes in handy having friends who do humanities/arts subjects and are thus tres skilled at sitting and writing) to get everything else a little more ready.

2) Write a blog.  I had never considered that writing this blog might aid and ease my academic writing until a friend pointed this out to me, but it is true that flinging down those all-important (and usually painfully impossible) first words down has not been so bad.  Perhaps my ramblings here, there and wherever are facilitating my development more than I knew!
I can't really think of the words because none are sufficient.
Niagara Falls as seen from the Canadian side. 

3) Move house.  Multiple times.  With lovely friends.  It's going to end up being four times in two weeks, and to my utter surprise, it's been an absolute blast getting to move from one bunch of friends to the next.

B-B-Buffalo - the most instant 'love'
I've had for any city in the US. 
4) Take a trip.  A bunch of us took ourselves off for the long Memorial weekend to the wilds of Upstate New York with a brief meander across to Canada to visit a reasonably famous waterfall.  Time with the clean woodland air, friends, friends' friends, friends' families...  Goofing around and chilling out in equal measure (although this bunch of twenty-and thirty-something year olds successfully shook a Buffalo tail feather until dawn - showing the kids how it's done) has been an excellent way to clear the cobwebs.  I write this on my friends' cabin deck with the rustling of the trees and undefinable smell of the forest around me; if that doesn't get the dissertation juices flowing, I'm not sure what will.  Further confirmation that I am a country bumpkin at heart; maybe when I grow up I'll build my own cabin in the woods.

5) Yummy food (made somewhat more challenging by 3) but not impossible).  And I tried my first s'more!
Two words: Blueberry Wheat.

Cabin in the Woods!
6) Keep sadness at bay!  I'm in the midst of saying goodbye to some absolutely legendary friends - fortunately one of whom is moving to the end of a rather infamous British bus route, and others I hope to catch up with before I leave these shores or back in Europe.  But I am embracing these as 'auf wiedersehen' moments rather than 'goodbyes'.

I could always do with making my life a little quieter, but that's hard to do, especially when I only have 6 weeks or so of this little life I've made here left.  Of course I am anticipating a few late nights with my laptop this week, but as Papa P (and Great Caesar too, as it turns out) would say, 'This too shall pass'.  Life is being all too good to me at the moment :) - particularly if Charlotte and Gary (my cell clones) have survived the weekend and the final dissertation push comes off without additional dramas.

Plus I successfully drove a tractor for the first time!  Ticking things off the American bucket list all over the place.

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