Today is the first day I've truly enjoyed and felt completely normal in about 4 weeks. I wasn't really stressed, worried, depressed or hurting - I was actually content and happy. Hopefully, if I'm careful, I can avoid further catastrophes. I've discovered some important things in the last month:
1. No contact with the Salaita lab for two weeks is insufferably BAD.
Completely sucks. Don't do that. Check. It just happened to fall out that way. I didn't mean for it to. However, things are finally slowing down now, so I think it might be easier for me to keep in touch. And now that I'm not in such agony, I can start visiting again without falling apart. I think, optimal contact I'd prefer is doing something with the Salaita lab twice a week, totaling 1-3 hrs. Minimum once a week. At LEAST visit. I'll pray the Lord works this out. I just have to remember to ask fervently for this. Perhaps, He'll provide. Perhaps, I don't have to suffer. If I do, I do. But - I'll ask Him if I could, please, not suffer. You never know. Maybe He'll say yes.
2. I don't have to feel cut off from the Salaita lab, despite the fact that I'm rotating.
This surprises me, but today, I felt part of them again. If I can keep feeling like that, and not like I'm cut adrift, it makes me so much more comforted, and it's easier to feel like - I'm in this other lab, really, as an agent of the Salaita lab on loan - I'm not really here. I'm really still there. It makes it a lot less painful and lonely that way. Armed with this new hope, I feel stronger.
After class, I went to talk to Mr. McCormick. I had a student complain about my grading - yes, the inevitable finally happened. Mr. McCormick and I discussed it, and I was relieved that he was very sympathetic to me and actually felt I'd graded generously. He's going to talk to him. That's good. I figure, if I talked to him, he might want to talk to Mr. McCormick anyway, since I'm not the official authority. Hopefully, it will all come to a good end and no hard feelings. I tried to be as positive as I could in my notes to him, so that he'd understand his concerns were being truly addressed. I take all such things seriously.
I saw a guy down there I've seen before - in his 50's, with a gray beard. He was there when I was there on Halloween. I remember him, because he always hails the employees like old friends somewhat loudly and enthusiastically and they know him by name. On Halloween, he was reading COMICS. An old comic book. I thought that was novel for a guy in his 50's and said so. He said yes, he'd never out-grown them. Today, he had a book. I like people with comics and books who seem friendly. He seemed interesting to me. I found out later, as we walked back to Emory, that his name was Brent, and he works in the bookstore in the Carlos Museum. That explains a lot. I'm glad that now I know. It's good to keep up with people who like books, I feel like.
After lunch, I went straight to the theology building, my hidey hole, and read three papers. I felt so peaceful and perfectly contented, sitting there reading. I don't like reading in the Lynn lab, because people are always coming and going from the offices, and it's distracting. I have a nice desk now that I like in theology - 3rd floor, back door, fourth shelf on the left - desk by the window. It's not too bright or too dark - just perfect. And no one seems to use the backroom desks. Maybe I'll switch it up now and then. And the ladies bathroom in there feels like a castle. Did I say that before? I must have. It's so cool. It has an openable window you can look out of and the floors, walls and ceiling are stone. It feels like a little parapet in some fantasy land. I love it.
Kornelia's 2nd year report
Kornelia had her second year report! I thought she did pretty well. I did have questions. But I kept my word and didn't ask them. She looked really nervous, but she spoke clearly about her work - slowly and clearly, as it should be.
I have difficulty understanding some of the things that are going on in her project, which is tremendously frustrating. I think I'll talk to Daniel about it next week. I might ask Kornelia, but I've already found multiple times that she won't really answer me. She'll disagree with my interpretation of what she said sometimes, but she won't give me evidence to convince me why my interpretation is wrong, or, if she does, sometimes I still don't see it. Daniel will tell me like it is - no Jessica - you're totally wrong and this is why - or something. I just want to understand it better. Sometimes, my questions are *really* simple and dumb. But they have to be asked.
I just hope that during my second year report, I don't have a panic attack. I think I can avoid that with lots of prayer and practicing a month in advance. John says he's not looking forward to my second year report already. When I had to present my thesis to Dr. Kushner and Dr. Terns at UGA, I felt like I probably turned pasty white, in a cold sweat. Dr. Terns has a reputation for being strict, demanding and somewhat mean. That was probably the most scared I've ever been - even more than the Cas9 presentation.
After her talk, most of us were sitting around waiting for Kornelia to get done from the closed meeting. Kevin was spinning the desk part of his chair around really fast and saying, it was good he wasn't leaning forward, or he might break a rib. Yang was laughing at him. Kevin and Yang once arm wrestled in lab. This amused me intensely. I was like... *eyebrow* You're ... arm wrestling?? They just grinned at me.
Yuan said she didn't notice, but it had been three weeks since I had rotated out and she couldn't believe it. [...] She didn't NOTICE??? O.o I noticed. A LOT. And I knew exactly how long it was. So much for not counting the days. It seems I have an internal clock.
Victor's end of rotation talk
Talking with Dr. Lynn
Dr. Lynn finally came. Unfortunately, I didn't have much good news. I think I'm just finally understanding the literature enough to get somewhere. Please pray that this weekend, I can REALLY read some papers and knock out a good proposal/connection to the literature for my project. PLEASE. I need this to get done.