Be warned, I'm once again kind of punchy so hopefully some of this will make sense.
Tuesday: went to the doctor - no strep
Yesterday, I went back to bed and slept from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., as long as the Nyquil lasted - and it felt SO good. Got to go to the doctor, who said I didn't have strep and gave me antibiotics for congestion. It was a bit of a fiasco but I'm glad it was accomplished. Mom worries every time I get sick that I have strep and I should check to make sure. I got strep a lot when I was a kid - about 5 times in a row at one point - and couldn't get rid of it, so that now when I get it, I don't have really any symptoms of it. She's worried I'll not know I have it, it'll stay in my system and I'll get rheumatic fever and a heart murmur like what happened to her.
I almost didn't take the antibiotics because I really honestly don't think I need them and, who wants to contribute to antibiotic resistance? But, John insisted upon it very strongly so, I did. If I get better faster, I have no complaints to that.
I learned today from Zed that Dr. Conticello's class yesterday was only 30 min long anyway and only went over the HW problems, which it turns out, aren't graded after all. I thought they were. I was so relieved. I told Dr. Conticello I wouldn't have a chance to turn them in. He said I should go to the doctor, because strep was going around. That made me feel a little better that I did the right thing.
So after the Weinert class talking about PLP chemistry, I drove Hyunmin to the social security office place thing to see about getting his card. He said he tried to walk there but it was too far and tried everything else he could think of before he asked me - he definitely couldn't have walked it - it was 24 min away from campus. I didn't mind in the least. I was sorry he had to sit in my germ infested car. And I was very glad I actually FOUND it. I prayed really hard about that. I'm terrible at finding things. We drove around where it was supposed to be until we finally found it. It took about an hour or so in the line - to be expected - I read over bioorganic notes. But it turned out they said he didn't have all the forms he needed and to come back another day - he was SO upset. And I told him not to worry about it - I got to study and nobody could complain at me for it - and now we know where it is! This is always how these things go - it's to be expected. We got to talk about the Weinert proposal and stuff. He said my review notes on his proposal were better than Dr. Weinert's, which was very sweet of him - I think what he meant was, longer, more thorough and more specific. She doesn't have time to write paragraphs on student papers because she reads so many. He said he was enjoying the synthesis in the Davies lab - he didn't think he was very good at biological things because he has no experience in it and doesn't know what he's doing even more - and it's hard to learn every single thing new when you're already in a new place, new country, new language, new classes - new stuff. That makes sense to me. I think he's leaning toward the Davies lab. He says he'd like to be a professor in Korea someday perhaps, but he's not sure.
After we got back, I sprayed him down with Lysol - this was not optional - fortunately, he didn't resist. I would have chased him with it, otherwise. This was because, he sat in my germy car, and that place - the social security office - was completely germ infested, I tell you. Everyone was coughing in there. It made me feel contaminated just sitting in there. I sprayed my jacket and my car and after that I was momentarily satisfied.
We ate at the hospital for lunch. He said he'd never been, so now he knows where it is. We met Kevin Yehl and Eric from the Liotta lab. They ate with us. Kevin told silly stories. I didn't realize that the Salaita lab had been his third rotation. I'll be proud to join the Salaita lab, it having been my first rotation. For some reason, it seems people expect you to join the lab of your third rotation practically, or it's a lot more common. I wonder how true that really is.
I was sad, I missed Ian's texts and didn't get back in time to meet with him before he left. We'll meet tomorrow instead to talk about more experiments. So much to do.
After that, I got back to the Lynn lab and talked to Lisa about the peptide nanotubes. I talked to Rolando briefly. He said his pumpkin had rotted already and what did I do to it?? That was an amusing conversation. I gave him another one. Why don't people associate pumpkins with Thanksgiving? I don't understand this. He asked random questions too. Rolando is a good one for asking random questions and you wonder why he asks them, but I just answer them anyway. I was surprised that he printed most of the papers I had sent him and was reading them all. He said there were several good ones, but he couldn't remember the titles off the top of his head right then. I told him to let me know his opinions later when he was done.
I talked to Tolu and she explained her project - it was quite fascinating - hers is one of my favorites. She explained it to me in between taking HPLC samples.
Yuan visited me! I gave her a hug. I was SO happy to see her. She asked me where the 10-well combs were and if I'd stored any gels, but I have not. She said they were missing and she asked Victor and Yoshie but they didn't know either. How odd! She thinks maybe they got loaned to someone. That's possible. I was troubled to hear this. They were there in their box when I left. I told her where to look for a gel, if I'd stored one. I might have stored one - I can't remember. She asked me if I was in love with the Lynn lab. I said no, don't worry, I'm coming back. She said, oh really?? I'll check back in two weeks. :-) I love Yuan. She's keeping tabs on me. :-) I send smiles and hugs in her direction.
I talked to Dr. Lynn for a second. He said he had more thoughts on the motor idea and I really liked his thoughts. I updated him on what I'd thought. He's going to China next week. I'll talk more about that later. I feel like it would require explaining and I'm too tired. He seemed excited about the questions we're thinking about. I'm pretty intrigued as well. I think this will be good experience for me.
Then, I talked to Anil. Anil is so much fun to talk to. I feel like I rediscover this every time I talk to him and then I'm like ... why haven't I talked to him more frequently? It always mystifies me. I have to remember to talk to him more. He says such fascinating things.
Then, it was lab meeting. Noel presented work for his second year report. Kornelia was there! That was nice. The Lynn lab had pasta. They seem to always have pasta. They ate pasta when I visited that one other time too. I ate a little of it. I don't like pasta much though. But they also had cookies. I ate two of those. And three Oreos.
But I couldn't understand very much of what Noel did. I sat in the back - which was the first error - I should have been closer - it was hard to hear. But there were no seats left up front when I came in. And Kornelia was in the back and I wanted to sit by her. And, I was so tired, it wasn't going in very well. I wasn't sure why he was doing what he was doing. I'll have to ask him later. Kornelia said I missed her talk and where was I? I heard about that from Morgan. I think she expects me to be at lab meetings. I'll probably try to come to some of them if I can manage it. I desperately want to. But I also have to triage my energy and time with John.
I was completely exhausted after lab meeting. I went home, got there at 7:30 p.m. and just lay on the couch. I was supposed to work. But I couldn't make myself do it. I felt like an idiot, because I worked just fine when I had mono - I just made myself work anyway. Why can't I do that now? I guess I'm ... not stressed enough? I have no idea. It's so wrong. I ate some chicken fingers that mom and dad made - a few small pieces. Then I decided I was just too tired and I'd go to bed after I wrote this. I'll do my best. I'll do my best to get the draft of my proposal worked up all of tomorrow. It's got to be done Friday morning.
Then, while writing this, I suddenly become STARVING for a Marie Calendar's frozen dinner, which was very illogical. I was going to ignore it ... but I was so, so hungry, I decided to cook it and eat it, and apologized to mom and dad for being illogical, but they said, no that was fine with them, they were just glad I was eating something.
Philosophical Thoughts Had Today and This Week
Embarrassed at my aspirations
I was thinking today about wanting to be Dr. Salaita's research scientist - and then I thought - how completely ridiculous - I'm not worthy - Khalid deserves someone amazing - who am I to even aspire to that?? I'm just a first year student - I can't believe myself - *hatehatehate* I'm such a terrible person for even thinking it. AHHH!! *panic attack* I'll never be good enough!! *headdesk*
Then I calmed back down. And I realized, the annoying fact, that I simply can't push myself to be a research scientist in a day. There's no button for that. I would have found it by now if there was. I can't put too much pressure and stress on myself or I'll just die and not enjoy myself. So, I should just enjoy having fun with science for now and do my best. If I think too hard about what I want to do in the future, I start to panic. I have to cut that out. I'm just embarrassed to have such high aspirations, being a nobody. I hope nobody notices. Nobody probably minds. I'm a silly person anyway, so, so what if I say silly things? People will just ignore me, which is good.
Thinking about Kelly Burke, storms of self-doubt and reconciliation
I talked to Kelly Burke over facebook a few days ago. I like to keep in touch with her. She's working at Caltech now for Long Cai, an assistant professor, doing single-molecule microscopy! Fascinating. I thought she had gone the physical chemistry route. It made me happy she had chosen an assistant professor to work for.
She's one person I truly admire, but that I slightly envy - I don't know if that's even the right word. It's hard to explain. She's a genius. At UGA, I gave up on being the smartest. Hard as I tried, I could never make it to the top of my classes. So, I just satisfied myself with doing the very best I possibly could manage and being surrounded by very smart people. That is also satisfying - to be so challenged - and it stopped bothering me that I wasn't the best. But Kelly is different, somehow. I continue to desperately hope that I'm at least AS smart as she is.
She was a freshman when I was a sophomore at Oxford, and we were classmates for Dr. Jacob's biology I. I recognized at the time that she was super smart and enjoyed interacting with her - I thought we were equals. And then, she surpassed me - won every award there was, which I did not do. I wondered what I did wrong - was I just not as smart? And I started doubting myself. There are two possible explanations - 1) she's smarter 2) she hit the ground running, being very outspoken asking questions and pushing to know things immediately. I did not do this. My first year at Oxford, I was a shy mouse who never talked to anybody and scoured textbooks before I dared ask a question, for fear that my question was already answered and I was inconveniencing the professors. I tried to hide and observe in corners. But eventually, I discovered I couldn't hide at Oxford, no matter how hard I tried, and Ms. Harmon drew me out of my shy state, until I started having more confidence in myself. In my second year, I was more proactive. I hoped that was the difference between Kelly and I, but I don't suppose I'll ever know. I always wonder.
I hear she leaned toward physical chemistry, which to me, proves her undying genius. And she now works at Caltech. This also proves her genius. She's a second year while I'm a first year grad student. The roles are reversed. I don't know why it matters to me whether I'm as smart as she is or not. It shouldn't. But for some reason, it does. I don't even care to be smarter. I'd just like to hope, I'm on her level somewhere.
But, if I'm not, that's ok. There's a lot of people smarter than me everywhere. Ms. Harmon has talked to me about this before. Being smart or the smartest isn't the important part of life. It's what you do with it and the whole you - the person you are - everyone is unique. We can't all be computers - though that would be nice. I've reconciled to that for everyone and everything else. It's just her that's left. Someday, I hope that the Lord will reconcile me to that as well. I think He will. He's good at that. I just love science. And I shall continue loving it, until the day I die.
I have the best life in the world and it's only getting better
I was thinking the other day, how lucky I was, and thanking the Lord, for the 500th time for bringing me here to Emory. I feel like everything I've ever done has prepared me to be here. And, that my life didn't really make sense as much, until now. And suddenly, everything has come together. And it makes sense. And I've seen a glimpse of what the rest of life could be like. And it's ALL beautiful. From here on out - nothing but things getting better and better, more beautiful, more exciting, forever. A marvelous, breath-taking adventure with the Lord and with the people I love. That's what I see, when I look at life. A beautiful mystery. And I'm SO happy. I'm so happy the Lord gave this to me. I don't understand why. But I'm ever so thankful and grateful for it. I wish you could see it from where I'm standing. It makes me want to cry.