I really enjoyed getting to attend Marly's defense yesterday. She didn't look nervous at all. Unfortunately, I got there a bit late, because I overslept (!! which never happens, btw) and then got lost. But, I did find the room eventually and got to hear at least half of her talk. Her laser pointer was the subject of much ridicule afterward (by her and other grad students), because it kept going out randomly, like it had a loose wire, and gave her undue stress. Ankit said it was the best pointer the genetics dept could afford - ha!
The talk was actually pretty interesting. And, some students asked some great questions about it. The most interesting factoid was that someone said during the Q and A - either Dr. Kushner or Dr. Fechheimer - that E.coli doesn't export. I wonder how then it can make biofilms. Bijoy didn't know. I'll have to ask Dr. Weinert. Maybe it's only a sub-species that makes biofilms - I'm just not sure how it could do that without exporting.
After the talk, I got to say hi to Bijoy, my old boss. He reiterated his opinion that he thought Emory was a better place to be than UNC, because it was a smaller environment and he had a lot of respect for them. I said I had been surprised and he said why? I wasn't really sure - only, everyone seems to like UNC better, when I ask them. He asked me a few questions. I told him a few things. It was nice to get to talk to him - though he was busy almost as soon as he got back to lab. :)
Got to talk to Khailee (undergrad I knew while I was there; we liked to discuss and loan books to each other) - she's finishing up her senior year next year and doing a thesis like I did. She's also so fortunate as to go to ENGLAND this summer!! I love England so much - such cool history there. I can't wait to see her pictures. We talked about books for a bit.
I found my thesis in Dr. Kushner's office among his pile of theses. I felt satisfied. Good. He did get that copy I sent him.
Dr. Kushner found me, was surprised and gave me a hug - that was nice. He congratulated me again. He said some nice words in a toast for Marly later when she got back. She passed, OF COURSE! Bijoy congratulated her and said, "You did pass right?" They laughed a long time about that. Marly said she'd be on a plane to Alaska if she hadn't. He said, no, she wouldn't give up that easily would she?
I got to meet her sweet son Lukas (I think that's how it's spelled) and her husband. Lukas was a total cutie. The cake was good. I can attest. They also had great fruit. Marly's family - parents and mother-in-law were there and had brought some of it. I got to eat real coconut, which I usually wouldn't eat. It tasted really oily I thought.
I retreated from the gathering after a while to finish reading the article I had been reading before I left. I found Bijoy in the same room, eating his lunch, so got to say a few more words to him. He seemed pessimistic about the funding research was getting, but I'm determined not to be. I think it'll improve. He just said to make sure that I did something new - like mammalian cells, rather than E.coli - and to do research that was applied, rather than basic research, because it looked better on your resume.
I intend to do that, as much as possible - I'm certainly intending on working with mammalian cells. I'll try to do something I can apply. But I'm also not giong to stress about it over much and just have fun with it. I know I'll enjoy myself.
I said bye to Marly, who asked me when I was starting and I said May 1st. She said I was a masochist. I said, yeah, I know - it's just a thing with me, I had decided. She said, yeah, it's called masochism! At least I had learned to accept it and move on, I said. True, she said. Then the discussion revolved around whether or not it was legitimate for me to complain if I did it to myself.
Marly said she would be looking for jobs in ATL, which made me happy. Maybe I'll see her around the science world. I like having friends I know in science.
I said bye to Dr. Kushner. He seemed the most positive, on the whole. He said I looked good, and thought I'd enjoy myself at Emory. I said oh yes - I was determined to. I told him and Bjioy both that I'd let them know what cool things happened! I can't wait to tell them stuff.
And that's how things were, in a nut shell.