I was discouraged and depressed originally this morning. I can’t now remember why that was. I think I was just worrying about my reading papers, writing proposals and stuff.
Talking with the Lord
I love how when I look for the Lord, and tell Him where I’m at, He knows exactly where and how to meet me and what to say. I asked the Lord to speak, even though I am not very good at hearing Him and He did! That always amazes me. It was obvious to me that it was Him and, it profoundly touched me, because He really spoke over me such comfort and reminded me of His plans – it was just what I had been missing. I read some great Psalms too – I *love* the Psalms – they are SO amazing!! I didn’t used to understand why they were so amazing when I was a kid – but now – I love almost every one.
I felt so much better after that. The day just became a good day, instead of a depressing one. It turns out, I can’t leave that out, if I want to be sane. I just can’t. The Lord is an infinitely better organizer, focuser and producer than me anyway. I realized later today that I had no trouble at all focusing, even though I was in the lab all day, and everything just felt happier.
Paper work makes people’s hair catch on fire
There was this *evil* paperwork I had to do (is there another kind?) for the NSF proposal – I had to sign up for fast lane access, to be able to submit it to NSF, which apparently also entails signing up for the “Emory grant module,” which involves more paperwork and training about how to enter grants into the module. The training was a little ridiculous – it showed you how to move your mouse and click every single button.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I went to talk to the magical office people – Stephenie Thioubou is particularly magical – and I brought her my computer and told her these problems I had.
This guy Garry Prine sent me a user name and password to access fast lane, but it wouldn’t work. I emailed him about it several times, but he didn’t know how to help me. Then, this other lady told me I needed to do this EPEX grant module training, but the windows wouldn’t come up when I clicked on them. So I was really confused.
Unfortunately, when I tried to show this to Stephenie, the wifi refused to work longer than one minute – which was just long enough for me to find the email I needed – click on the link – and get to the training to show her the problem – at which time the computer connection would promptly die. This continued for some minutes (like 15 min). I sighed and said I guess I should break to eat lunch and come back and then we could have RENEWED efforts, on this frustrating problem. She agreed. See. I should have listened to the Lord the first time – I’m always doing things the hard way sometimes.
Ann was annoyed – you people, don’t make the Ann annoyed
Somehow this turned into a discussion about how faculty were irritating. I was grieved by this idea – I like faculty, I told them – so they’re not allowed to hate them. Oh, they said, they didn’t – they liked them – as people – but as faculty, they were really annoying sometimes.
This just made me sad. I hope every faculty gives Ann and Stephenie lots of thanks and flowers and chocolate or something, and minimizes being irritating – and Emory should give them LOTS and LOTS of money! Because, they literally get paid to take care of the crap I truly and utterly despise (and I’m sure, lots of crap the faculty despise also) and rescue me from this horrible seeming endless stream of meaningless paperwork, and help me when I’m totally confused – so everyone should love them and just treasure them like priceless gems, because that’s what they are. I’m not kidding! I love them to death. Now I have to figure out what to give them – something besides chocolate – they say they don’t need any more of THAT. There’s always candy or chocolate in the office though. I’m glad, because I like eating it.
Resolving the hair burning problem and more reasons why office people are magical
Somehow, the things got fixed! For some reason after lunch, the EPEX training module thing magically worked for no reason on my laptop, where it wouldn’t ever before on my ‘old’ one. And the wifi magically worked long enough for me to discover this fact.
So, I went back to lab and worked on the training. Good grief, it took forever and was really dull. But, I’m glad I did it, because I think it had some redeeming qualities. I think I know where smart keys must come from now. And I told Stephenie later, was it ok that I didn’t really completely understand what all those things I just did meant? Because I didn’t. This worried me. She said no, when I had to know, I’d figure it out – the training thingy was really completely unnecessary.
Apparently Garry Prine was in a real mess of hot water over something – Stephenie said “his hair was on fire” – hence, where I got this phrase. It’s not one I hear much. She also used “obstreperous” in a sentence, which I hadn’t heard in a long time – and she laughed and said, well, it came in handy occasionally. I looked it up – definitely a perfect word for the situation.
It’s obvious to me that Stephanie and the office people have a wonderful ministry of calming people down from panicking about their terrifying paperwork – I told her this and she said she’d never thought about it that way. Well IT’S SO TRUE!! Stephenie said she was going to work on dousing Mr. Prine’s head and then she’d get back to me about the fastlane access on Monday, and the training paper thingy got signed and sent to the mysteriously right people somehow.
Excellent. I gave her a hug.
See? See why office people are magical?
Just remember that, when next you step into the offices on the 3rd floor, you’ve not really stepped into the offices. You’ve really stepped into the domain of the Kings and Queens of Fairy-landia, the bulwarks against the evil hordes of red tape, paper work and MESS! Champions of all who are downtrodden, weak and confused! So, now you know. Offer appropriate tribute.
Khalid will randomly talk to peoples around the lab. It’s too bad – he’ll never have anything to come talk to me about probably, because if ever I have some new interesting piece of news or data, I immediately go look for him to tell him – obviously, talking to Khalid is fun! So, I never sit on any fun piece of news. But I always feel especially happy and completely special if he happens to talk to me about something – which is quite rare, as it’s unnecessary – ha!
In general, I feel very lucky to be in such a great place. I’m a very lowly student and not very important in the scheme of things at the moment, because I don’t presently know much – but even so, that doesn’t seem to matter to him and he will still talk to me about things. Not all professors do that, you know. It’s really so awesome!
Yimu came by to say hi to Yuan – they were eating dinner together and we got to talk while she waited for Yuan to finish something. I forget the exact connection, but somehow Yimu and Yuan knew each other in China! I was super happy to hear about this! I like Yimu a lot – she’s really sweet.
She said she was thinking of switching a rotation for the Hill lab – and I said – really?? *GASP* You should rotate HERE!! But I don’t think I convinced her. She likes synthesis too much. I told her, she could add to Yuan’s synthesis section! And sorry but I had to advertise, because I love this place and I’d wish she were here too – but the Hill lab is also right next to us – so that’s the next best place! We’re always eating lunch with the Hill people. They’re so nice!
Mischief is afoot, I can smell it
Kornelia is clearly planning some mischief, of what exactly, I know not. I will attempt not to spoil her plans. I hope this doesn’t make me an accomplice. Kornelia and Yvonne add lots of fun to the lab – they also add a lot of unpredictability – at least, for me. They are entirely confusing at least half the time, largely, I think, because I expect people to say what they mean, and they almost never do. Then I have to spend time puzzling out what they are really trying to say, which usually isn’t obvious to me.
I hope I add something good to lab dynamics – for better or worse, I’m just not a mischievous person, most of the time. Being mischievous usually makes me feel guilty. I am however, a silly person – in the absurd sense – or can be. This happens most around John. I’ve been in the lab long enough now so that – sometimes – I’m relaxed enough to be in my ‘silly mood’ – but it’s still not reached full tilt. ‘Silly mood’ is also very close to ‘excited mood,’ which I’ve attained several times.
When I was walking to my car, there was a car leaving that slowed to let me pass and the person behind the wheel was ducking, which was really baffling. Then they beeped at me! It was Kornelia – naturally! – she said she was trying to scare the crap out of me – it was less successful this time. I told her not to worry – I’d read her paper.
Cool Papers I Read This Evening
I read that paper that Khalid gave about writing papers. It was great! I completely agree with it, actually – it makes so much sense – and seemed to combine snippets of little things that many people have told me into one document. It also put into context some of the things Khalid said – and suddenly that made a lot more sense too.
I think I shall attempt to incorporate these ideas. The way he talks, writing a paper sounds like FUN to me, instead of work. I love organizing ideas – also analyzing data. It reminded me of some basic things I’d forgotten. It almost feels as if he’s treating writing a scientific paper like an art form! I’ve never seen that before. I love that – even scientific papers can be literature and of good reading value. It doesn’t have to be dense for the sake of it.
I wonder what else Whitesides wrote? I shall have to find out.
I think it’s great how it seems Khalid can tag things I should know or information that’s important, and I can then more quickly find and assimilate it – it feels really efficient and makes my job a lot easier – the job of looking for and assimilating interesting and efficient ideas – which I’m always doing. Having people, like professors, point out the interesting stuff really, really is a great time saver and helps so much! Dr. Weinert does this a lot with enzyme stuff too – I can’t wait to read the other articles she gave us! I wonder how she found all these great articles.
I should have gone to bed a LONG time ago, but I just had to write some, because I was excited about all the kinds of nothing silliness, and papers, and stuff and things! Stuff. Things. Papers. Yes.
Have a happy weekend!