March 13th: Ronald Raines visited Emory and ... Oops
On Tuesday, I tried to run two gels and unfortunately, only one of the three I poured worked (i.e. gelled correct, with nice wells to hold the samples etc). I hadn't slept much, and pretty much worked myself into the ground. I was trying to get extra data for the meeting - didn't really work out like I'd hoped. Then there was lab meeting, which went late from 7 - 9:40 p.m., instead of just 9 p.m. I had to get up at 6:30 a.m. to get there by 9 for the meeting. I was glad I made it to school ok, because had serious trouble staying awake as I drove. I was so grateful Khalid moved our meeting to 9 instead of 8 a.m.
The meeting went well, I think, though I bumbled some of my story. *headdesk* I was embarrassed about this, but all things considered, it was ok. The nervousness of being there talking and meeting Raines woke me up. I felt like I was meeting and performing for a celebrity. Kevin's spiel was fun to listen to - I love listening to his research. I hadn't seen the video of his walker particles (they roll across a surface) and it looked SO COOL! Oh man. Amazing. It looked like a pac man eating fruit - the small particle rolled and made this black path wherever it went, like a snake.
The lunch was even better! We got to eat lunch with Dr. Raines - Kevin, Yuan and I, Pravin from the Lutz lab, Ben from the Weinert lab and Lisa from the Lynn lab. Dr. Raines tried to include everyone in the conversations and I even talked! I never talk at these things. I prayed a lot about this lunch and meeting and things, it turned out better than I expected. I got to ask him about his other rtcB research (the protein I work on) and he told us such fascinating tales of it. His seminar in the afternoon was also quite good. He spoke about orbitals in a very down-to-earth manner. Later, I got the honor of walking him to biochem for his last appointment, which I thought was cool. I was worried it would be a pretty silent walk, and prayed about that, because I'm bad at small talk, but thankfully, we found enough things to say.
Afterward, it was about 5:00 p.m. and I went home. Oops. I crashed like a meterorite. I worked myself too hard and didn't get any sleep, Wedneday was tiring as well, and then I felt like total crap, weak, really sick and a bad fever - which I profess is because I was sitting in bed covered in blankets, so of course, I was hot. I also tend to get fevers when I'm tired.
I'm still recovering for now, and will be trying to write my paper, first draft due tomorrow. I need four more pages, so pray that goes well. Dr. Conticello is letting me take the cume tomorrow at noon instead of tonight, so I can rest. Ms. Harmon visited this morning along with Ian, her son. I had the best time showing them around the lab, as well as some other labs at Emory. We ate lunch at Rise and Dine. She always makes me feel so happy when she's around. Today was really a great day because of that. I turned in my rec letter just now that is due tomorrow. YAY! It was the first one I've ever been asked to write. I felt honored. That is a very short account of things. I feel like this writing is boring, but ah well. Now you know.
March 7th: Funny Things I Saw and What I Did at Emory
2. Biker with umbrella strapped to back under backpack: This bicyclist was wearing his umbrella underneath his backpack, parallel with the ground, so that it stuck out on either side of him. It looked dangerous. I could just see him biking into a narrow alley, the umbrella catching on the walls, and his backpack pulling him from his bike onto the ground. BOOM. Yep. Dangerous, I say.
3. Construction proceeds: Loud construction continues in Dr. Salaita's old office across from the lab. Now construction workers are frequenting our floor where before there were none. Windows are now going up on the new building! It's kind of exciting.
4. What I am doing: I'm trying to figure out why my RNA is degraded, a.k.a., why it's languishing and dying, getting minced up in tiny pieces and becoming useless to me. Contamination can come from anywhere, from hands, to dust particles. The microscopic things that like to cut up RNA are ubiquitously everywhere. If dust floats into a solution - KABAM!! RNA dies. It's a very finicky, princess-y molecule.
I am ALSO trying to run gels that don't suck. Gels = a kind of sieve you can put DNA or RNA through, that results in it sorting out by size. My RNA has a fluorescent dye on it for visualization. I use this technique routinely to tell what my RNA is doing. I'm trying to join strands of it to other strands with an enzyme.
March 5th, Thought for the Day: Why Grad School Appears Hectic, Even Though It's Not
As an undergrad, I did my research: BAM BAM. I went to class. Then I studied every SCRAP of the time in between. Here, it's much, much, MUCH less efficient, because I talk a lot more. I have to interact with people more and that takes time. LOTS OF TIME. I wonder, am I doing it wrong? Maybe I could be more efficient. I also have to think out and through every single thing myself, which takes time. I think that's maybe why I'm so crunched, but also, not as busy. I will meditate on how to fix this but I'm not sure I can. That's today's thought.
P.S. I like interacting. In some cases, A LOT. So, I'm not complaining, but observing a puzzle. Maybe it's a good problem to have. Makes me less isolated.