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I emailed my supervisor to tell him about my problems including my adhd. To convince him, I even include names of several friends that knows us for him to ask around. One of them is his nephew.

I’m still waiting for his feedback. He is not someone with bad temper but sometimes his words can be as deadly as sword. Once he said that my failure on 3 minutes presentation due to anxiety disorder problem is an excuse. He can be so mean sometimes. I’m not someone who will fight back when people scold me. I will just wait for an opportunity to strike back, which in this case I did.

My supervisor is kinda young and he is just 5 years older than me. I’m his first student and his first research assistance after he got his phd. We kinda grow together in research and we have good chemistry while working together. We can understand each other well even through eye contact. Outside of work, we hardly get along since both of us have different interest and personality. I only like his professional persona. Well, if you look into our zodiac - he is an aquarius and I am a virgo - you will see that we only compatible at work.

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Another week, another Monday, another chance to start afresh.🌱

I have spent half the weekend working and half the weekend pondering over why my work/life balance feels so off at the moment. I have come to the conclusion that I am simply not focused enough and strict enough on myself during working hours… whatever those are… because I also don’t really have a routine. This means that I end up doing a halfhearted job of whatever tasks I have set out for the day and they end up rolling into next day more often than not. As a result, I end up feeling fuzzy-headed, unfulfilled, and drained without much to show for it. As for routine, it is easy to forget that a PhD is actually a job, and that having set working hours is beneficial in treating it as such. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I have always been without routine or focus, but it is easy to lose momentum and structure when you’re in charge of almost every aspect of your PhD, which at times feels like it’s spiralling out of control. However, with just 43 weeks to go until my submission deadline, I gotta sort this out. 

Picture: A good bit of advice. Source: @rubyetc


So, once again, I am imposing set working hours on myself, turning my phone off during these, and the hardest of all, trying to change my attitude towards work. I, like many PhD students, have begun to associate work with misery, stress, and struggle, which is really counterproductive. Instead, I want to approach my work with excitement and drive, because, after all, I am discovering something new about a subject I care about but am supposed to be an expert on. All I have to do now is write a book about it… * gulp *

Assuming that I actually manage to stick to proper working hours, I have decided to start allocating some time off in my calendar as a reward for doing the adult thing, that way I also have something to look forward to. 

Wish me luck. ✨

Picture: Big mood. Source: @rubyetc​ as always

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I learned this back in undergrad when I was a part of The Navigators. The gift of going first is you don’t wait for others to open up, you lead the way by opening up to them first. By exposing your own flaws, you create a comfortable situation where they could talk to you about things that have troubled them.

I use this in graduate school too. I’m not going to pretend that my Ph.D. is easy-going and I’m an amazing scientist. It’s been difficult, I stress-ate a lot and gained 20 lbs, and I’m on the verge of quitting.

The gift of going first, though, of being honest about what I’m going through, has brought comfort or relief to my peers. They feel anxious too, and especially after some of our labs were shut down due to the coronavirus.

Right now, during this time, stop saving face. Be honest. You’ll find you’re not that much different from your peers.

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My supervisor wants me to send phd proposal tomorrow and he only told me to do it this evening. Honestly, my chapter 2 is only 10% done but I cannot say no to him because he knows that I truly work when under pressure. But, there is so many things to write in one night. To make matter worse, I had spent the whole day doing laborious work that makes my body ache. I just arrived at my house and after 3 weeks vacation in my hometown, my room is in a total mess. I can’t work in a messy room. Before my hyperfocus can kick in due to panic, I need to clean up my room, or else it won’t work.

Weirdly, last night I dreamt of someone who looks like my supervisor asking about my thesis and inquired about why I still haven’t complete it. After being inquired by him, I remember going back to what I perceived my room. That room was dirty and messy which worsen my anxiety. I woke up in panic! Then this whole send-proposal-tomorrow happens evening after that dream. 😫

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*I guess my life is really average these days. Nothing special - neither horrible nor extraordinary. My goal is to keep it this way. 

* I wanted to study a little today, but it did not happen. I had a VERY slow start, and grading is just so energy-draining that now my brain is completely dead. Tomorrow, I will study in the morning, work (=grade) in the afternoon, and then take some time off to watch a movie in the evening. THAT would be an A+ day. Let’s see how that goes. 


1) TA duties: Graded 32 papers (42/62) 

- I absolutely hate grading. It is not only boring but also stressful. Now I need to go and find something well written. 


1) Finish grading 

2) Start on the last problem set !! 

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Congratulations @teamkorie and the Class of 2020

#Repost @teamkorie
This morning, I was supposed to walk across the stage and graduate from my PhD program in Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University.
COVID-19 prevented that, but I’m gonna wear this well-earned robe and cap no matter what! #wipeitdownchallenge #yougogirl
Doctor Grayson loaded. 🍾
* I do not own the rights to this music*
#Graduation #Phinished #Dr #PhD #PhDone #thisiswhatascientistlookslike #redefiningtheimageofascientist #phdjourney #phdlife #covid19 #phdisbae #blackwomeninstem #womeninstem #phdwoman #gradschool #drbae #sciencebae #done #dissertation #firstgen #phdfresh #representationmatters #wocinstem #geeksquad #blackgirlmagic

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Day 22/75


The long weekend really helped me to get into a good workflow again. I feel re-energized to write my literature over the next few weeks and tackle my other projects!


# Workout 1: A 45-minute walk with my dog

# Workout 2: Tai Chi

This session went really well! I fely super aware of and focused on my body.

# Reading: ‘Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future’ by Mary Robinson.

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the new trumpet rant is: “scientists need to stay in their labs and away from economic stuffs.”

and im over here: 


where is this actual real hub lab they speak of? is it where they cultivate scientists?

or do they not realize that Disease Control and other such districts have a bureaucratic division which monitors population and social trends in the general public, like the CIA monitors domestic and foreign activity for threats to the government?

why are trumpets so stupid?

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May 27, 2020

This is less a self-compassion journal and more a documentation of developments which happened yesterday. And how I felt.

1. Woke up to a text notification that grandma had been hospitalised. This is the second time in the last few weeks, and it worried me immensely. Low red blood cell count was the reason. (She was discharged today, thankfully.)

2. Received further information about my scholarship or bond to NUS, and there remains a great amount of flexibility as well as continued coherence in my plan: Do one or two post-doctoral stints from next year, going on the job market in the United States (with the NUS option as a safety net), and taking it one step at a time.

3. Close friend and colleague shared that she was just published in a very high-impact factor journal. (She received another publication in a very high-impact factor journal, again, today.) Another colleague has been actively published. I felt stunted in my academic development and feelings of regret, that I should’ve been writing, drafting, and publishing much earlier too.

4. Had good office hours and a tutorial session. Felt like an affirmation of my abilities as a teacher or instructor, even over Zoom.

5. Cried while running and listening to “The Daily”, over a story of a pair of DACA students who lost two of their uncles and were accepted to Georgetown University. Parts of their experience resonated with how I felt yesterday.

6. Shared all these with Martin, who once again reaffirmed my pride to be his partner. I tweeted: “My partner has been my biggest emotional support, advocate, cheerleader, psychological anchor, and counsel, and for that I am beyond grateful.”

Today, I want to take stock of my developments this year, and to organise what I plan to work on for the second half of 2020.

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Ran home from work today and had a surprisingly good one despite the heat. My commute is so beautiful! Being able to see the mountains in the far off distance at pretty much any point is still the best thing. And this is the longest I’ve run in a while too :)

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