Im not gonna lie.
We got a lot of shit to put up with in Oklahoma.
Batshit insane politicians trying to ban scientists from the state, make federally funded research illegal, hold up HIV/AIDS funding for personal religious reasons, post medical identifiers of women who have abortions online… yeah, theyre just pretty much insane.
So a question I get rather frequently is “Why the hell did you decide to go to grad school in Oklahoma??”
Some might assume I only put up with ‘Oklahoma crap’ because I ‘had to’, which is certainly not the case.
The University of Oklahoma is actually a really great place to work (when I was a technician), and its been a great place to go to school! My professors are demanding, yet supportive. Knock on their door wanting their opinion/help on X/Y/Z, and they drop everything to help (though its probably better to email first to set up an official meeting– just manners 🙂 ) I have also seen the way my professors interact with one another, and its nice! Theyre always collaborating on something, happily letting other labs borrow a reagent or use an expensive piece of equipment.
Its very cooperative.
Which I love.
I dont want to worry about people putting sodium azide in my coffee, aright?
The standard of living in Oklahoma also helps 🙂 The $1600 a month I get as a student takes care of my car, a nice apartment (no roommates) walking distance to work, tons of Arnie goodies, tons of Abbie goodies, and I still put money in savings every month.
Do not underestimate the value of not being stressed about money during grad school.
Anyway, I was happy to see my Oklahoma decision ‘vindicated’ (as the CFS people would say) by The Scientist. University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center campus is #4 on their ‘Best Places to Work in Academia’ list. The institution that hosted the viral evolution conference I went to last fall? The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, Oklahoma, middle of nowhere. Theyre #9!
So… thats why Oklahoma. 😛