Friday, October 13, 2006

Leaving the hallowed halls of academe

I've decided to leave my PhD program and return to Microsoft. A lot of reasons contributed to my decision, but the end result of summing over all of them is that the [certain] downside of staying in school finally outweighed the [mostly uncertain] upside, especially in light of my newly-acquired responsibilities. So, I'm currently trying to pull together a coherent Master's thesis, a task made somewhat difficult by the fact that I've bounced around a lot over my two years here. I think I have enough stuff that sort of fits together get by, though :-) ["Small pieces, loosely joined" ...]

We're heading back to Seattle in pretty short order -- the plan is to be gone from here in about 2 weeks, and I'm slated to start work on November 6th. Christina is very happy about our move and, while I'm bummed that I won't be finishing up the PhD program, I'm definitely also looking forward to being back in a city I like, close to friends and family, and living an "adult" life again. And it doesn't hurt that I'm going back to what promises to be a really cool job, writing code for large-scale distributed systems and working with people I know and like. One bit that I haven't quite figured out yet is what to do about my still-existing interest in biology, but I expect that keeping up somewhat with what's going on through a subscription to Science or Nature will help scratch that particular itch.

Overall, for all my whining and moaning about Boston etc, it's been a good two years, in a variety of ways. I learned a ton of interesting new stuff, met some good people I plan to stay in touch with, and don't have to live with the "If I'd only tried it" specter that would have haunted me if I hadn't taken the plunge and gone to graduate school. Oh, and I'm [hopefully] getting a Master's degree without having racked up any debt ;-)

So, that's that.


Anonymous jasonk said...

living an 'adult' life? pppffffff.... over-rated ;)

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SO the question becomes: will you blog once you're back in seattle?

10:06 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

Yes, I plan to continue blogging. I'll just have to find something other than academia to rant about ;-)

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck, TA. I'll remember you despite my short stay at taught me a great (life) lesson...

4:43 AM  
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