Monday: random impressions
I met Dr. McCormick today. He seemed strange to me – he wore plaid pants, earrings, slicked back hair, looked in his forties, with a sixties kind of air. It wasn’t any one thing that made me think he was odd – it was everything subtly combined, including the way he talked. But he was really nice and seemed passionate about labs. He asked if I was in the Ms. Harmon fan club and I said oh yes.
Dr. Kindt and Dr. Scarborough spoke today in the talks. Dr. Kindt mentioned a peculiar phenomenon in which, upon raising the temperature above the Tm of a lipid, it melts and becomes more permeable to whatever drug a micelle might be carrying, but above a certain point, it becomes LESS permeable. (???) This fact is not well-understood.
I asked him about it after his talk, but unfortunately, what he discussed didn’t make sense and I kept getting confused about what he might really be meaning. *sigh*
I’m hoping to talk to Dr. Scarborough more about possible projects in his lab, but I’m by no means sure I’m going to choose him as a third rotation. I was thinking today – Dr. Hill – he might be cool to try … O.o That would be the fifth person I’ll have considered. *headdesk* That he’s on the same floor as the Salaita lab is … nice – it makes me like the idea more, because I could be closer to the Salaita lab – and then the fact that I think that makes me like the idea less, because maybe I shouldn’t feel that way and should explore other floors of chemistry – floors 1-3 or Emerson. I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t matter which floor I’m on.
Got to organize today which is great. I did finally get an email back from the Tech guy I met at TATTO. He was just indisposed so couldn’t answer me right away. That’s a relief. I hope to visit his lab to talk about their Cas9 research.
Tuesday: Last Day of Orientations
Today started out pretty ok. Unfortunately, orientation wasn't very interesting. We had a group orientation for the entire graduate school - all the subjects. I felt badly for not finding it interesting, because I could tell that Sarah Peterson, Dr. MacBeth and others could tell that the students were bored and they probably didn't want to be there any more than we did anyway, because it's a lot of work to put on all that stuff.
A poet read some poems - I think everyone's most memorable/favorite part of that orientation was his "Ode to Chicken." It was absolutely hilarious. Some of his others were ok, but not my favorite. I guess I'm too classical to appreciate modern poetry. I do recall liking some of Billy Collins though, from Dr. Hawley's class.
After that, Wallace, Keon, Greg and AJ asked if I wanted to go to lunch with them and I said absolutely. We went to a place called apple's tap I think. Greg drove us. The conversation on the way was highly amusing. Wallace said he loved listening to Dr. Blakey talk because of his accent. Keon said he was planning to make all the 1st years shirts to show our spirit and I approved of this plan. I told him about shirts I made John on Custom Ink. He said he loved my enthusiasm and that I was enthusiastic about anything. I could find happiness even in death, and I'd probably say ... "oh this person had such a great life! He did such awesome things for me!" And I laughed. He said, "See it's true!" Wallace said yes, I would be happy even in hell, saying, "It's not that hot guys!" I'm glad to be thought of as a positive person.
The restaurant had really good chicken melt sandwich. It ended up that AJ, Keon, Greg, me, Morgan, Heidi, Matthew Jones, Haitou, Robert, Victor and Wallace went. It was Victor's birthday today.
Sitting there and eating with everyone, it was kind of odd, because I realized that with this group of folks - and actually - with the Salaita lab - I felt like I had friends, like I was part of a group, and was thinking - wow, that's odd. It surely can't last long. I feel as if I should explain that.
The last time I felt like that was when I was part of a home schooling group as a kid. The other time was at Oxford and all my professor friends - but that was different, because it was more like having a group of mentor or parent friends, rather than co-equal friends. This is a group of co-equal friends, which I typically just don't have - mostly because I don't seek people out much and/or am not around them - I've typically stayed at home a lot, read books, studied constantly - activities that don't lend themselves to people. I don't mind it whatsoever - it's what I'm used to. But suddenly feeling as if one has friends *is* kind of cool and rather nice.
Dr. McCormick was going to cancel doing a melting point with us today but I asked to do one since I hadn't done one in a while and Greg said he wanted to as well, so we did one - and that was fun I thought. You can see the construction really well out those windows in the labs we were in.
I talked to Dr. Salaita about my project. He pointed out some very good points I hadn't thought of. I'd only outlined thoughts for it for about 2-3 hours on Monday and suddenly wished I could have spent longer on it before talking to him but even then I don't think I'd have figured out all the flaws in my quick and dirty sketch. It was a good talk.
I like Dr. Salaita's biochem book, with the too much detail and structures. It is too much perhaps - maybe I wouldn't like it if I actually read it, and it's more in depth than an undergrad needs to know, but perfect for grad students! Or at least, very interesting. long
I felt as if I was a pest to Dr. Salaita on the whole though, talking too long and didn't realize it because I was thinking too much. In general, I just felt as if I pretty much said nothing right today, from about 4 p.m. onward. Ah well.
Got to talk to both Kevin and Dr. Salaita more about the project and that was fun. I ended it by accident by mentioning the picnic. The picnic had great food. I really loved the beef and pork. By then I was feeling kind of depressed and I called John to see how he was - he'd called me in the morning to tell me that his grandmother had passed - she'd been in poor health all week. He wasn't doing as well as I thought originally and he'd gone home at noon - I was upset that I didn't realize he'd been home, or I would have skipped things to leave early and be with him. I don't
Unfortunately, there was nothing much I could do, in either case, which is intensely frustrating. I was pretty depressed after that. I feel as if there's a lot of spiritual warfare with this and I'm not where I should be. If I was, I wouldn't be writing tonight. But I don't know what else to do at present. We tried to watch Star Trek: Into Darkness, but it was too stressful for John so we stopped watching it. I walked on the treadmill - I'm planning to start doing that again even if it kills me - I just feel too lethargic otherwise.
I just want to help John feel better. He's very stressed because tomorrow is essentially "end of month" for him and now he has a lot to catch up on. He was hoping that Dragon*Con could be a happy time for us, but now, we're sad. We would all rather our grandparents to remain in good health longer. I'm very grateful to still have both my grandmothers, though my grandfathers are no longer with us.
I know everything will be ok. God is so good to us and I have peace about it. I'm just also depressed. But when I look back on everything recently, I can't help see so much goodness following us. That's all for now.
Sorry to write a random post about nothing.