You know, I’m a very silly person - yes. I often think of this - that and how much I have to learn.
I was just thinking today about one of the risks of writing 'micro minutes' - the major one is that I'm writing/posting more frequently.
Why is that risky? Well, these days, I find that the Lord is teaching me new lessons each week. Sometimes I don't know what the whole week means until the end of the week. Sometimes while it's happening, I do not appreciate whatever He's teaching me at the time.
I also can have abrupt mood shifts from day-to-day, depending on whether or not I'm focused on the Lord that particular day or something else, in the Spirit or out of it. I'd like to be following the Lord perfectly, but I've not at all attained that yet - many times, I feel like I'm just beginning.
All that to say, bear with me if I seem depressed or annoyed or whatever it is in some of these posts. Not having yet learned the week's lesson or always reflected on things means that I might not be at the place God wants me to be when I post. I don't like that. But there it is. Just something to keep in mind. I'm learning things all the time in every area and will be until the day I die.
Today we had another TATTO session in the morning by Dr. Lang - that's his name. It was great - very interesting! Everyone seems to agree that he's the best part of the program.
As I was walking back to Atwood for the student presentation part of the day, a grad student came by and talked with us and said yes, it was all mostly useless information. I objected and got a 'look.'
This seems to be a prevailing opinion among some. I do not know why. I asked them if they had all TAed before and this is why they found it not useful, but no this was not it. They said it was all stuff you could pick up as you went along - that's what I think they were saying. This made me feel quite dumb, because I found it fascinating and about 70% useful at least. I wondered if this is because I’m just not a very intuitive person and maybe there’s a segment of students who just naturally pick these things up. I’ve always felt not intuitive and very analytical, so that long lists of boring information is interesting, or spelling obvious things out really obviously is helpful to me. I really don’t know. Well, I’m glad I attended it, because for us non-intuitive types, it helps I think.
Also, as intense as it was, I think it was good. It completely overwhelmed me. Now classes won’t seem so bad.
Heidi and Morgan were talking about how they wanted to be in grad school because they loved thinking about the problems more than actual bench work. I’m here because I want to innovate and drive my own projects, not because I want to only think about the problems. I really want to do both – bench work and thinking. I will stick to my guns on this.
The student presentations were great and quite fascinating – I learned a lot about my classmates. I wish I could share some of it, but there’s just not enough time. I really wish I could have absorbed more of the science. Most of it did not go in very well. We had a short break afterward so I got my computer and started tweaking my presentation slides for tomorrow.
After the morning presentations, we went back to TATTO for lunch – it was wraps this time. I had a turkey one. I even had a chocolate chip cookie again instead of raisin. There were more talks. It was really hard to sit up, I was so tired, especially after eating.
The topics were the library, digital media and … and … something else … wait for it … crap I can’t remember. Well anyway, at the digital media point, I was ready to fall over, when the speaker came and said yes, he knew we didn’t want to be here, so let’s have some fun!
And he RAN down the center aisle slapping everyone’s hands wildly. And then shouted “I’m COMING BACK!” and ran back down the way he’d come doing the same thing, got to the podium and said, “I bet you don’t think I can do a high kick!” And did this amazing kick in the air with a whoop. It totally woke me up and had everyone laughing hysterically.
His point was that when you were teaching, don’t be afraid to perform, because your energy and passion was what made people interested in what you were saying – I think that was his point. He continued to make amusing statements throughout his speech. I actually remember some of the things he said about computers. Amazing.
I was so incredibly tired after that I couldn’t do any more presentation tweaking. I had ~30 min before the next session of student presentations, so I went to psychology and stretched out on one of their big sofas and tried to sleep. I knew it wouldn’t work, but it was very nice to try.
However, these people came out of somewhere and sat down at a table a foot from my sofa and started talking to each other really loudly. One of them sat by my feet right next to me. It was kind of awkward, but I was too tired to care. I couldn’t believe they would sit right next to me and be loud. One of them said, “She’s really not waking up!” I got up and asked them if they wanted me to move and they said no. So I just leaned against the wall instead after that on the sofa and tried to sleep again and they stopped talking. Eventually they left. They were waiting for this room to be free. Grr. I was annoyed with them (they weren't from chemistry, they were something else). They interrupted one of my only break times to sleep in. It’s ok. I wasn’t going to sleep anyway. Kevin passed by me and whispered, “Jessica!” I wondered what he was doing in psychology – ha ha. See, he was being nice and quiet.
Observation about soccer
Dr. Scarborough was telling A.J. some soccer scores before the start of the second presentation session and Keon and Wallace and people were discussing this. I’ve noticed an *incredible* lot of soccer fandom among chemistry grad students and professors and I’ve begun to wonder if maybe soccer and chemistry somehow go together and I just didn’t realize it until now. I said this and everyone thought it was hilarious – but really – there’s something going on I tell you.
I’ve never in all my life encountered so much soccer fandom before in one place. Before I knew John, I didn’t know any soccer fans – only football and baseball – that’s it. But now, EVERYONE around me talks about soccer! It’s really intriguingly mystifying. Is it because international students enjoy soccer and there are a lot of them here? That can’t be it. Most of the soccer fans I know here are American. I for now acknowledge my bewilderment and have no answer.
More student talks
One of the guys from China loves photography and made his OWN postcards from scenery in China that were unique and gave one to each of us of our choice! That was SOO cool!! I chose a beautiful one of some rocks. Haitoa said the Chinese characters on the rocks (that I didn’t see at first) meant “rose.”
After Victor’s talk, he had lots of people around him asking him questions and he was drawing on the board. I really wanted to understand his research but for some reason, I just couldn’t understand it. It wouldn’t go in. Very frustrating.
The student presentations were all so interesting. I learned a lot I didn’t expect. A few of the Chinese guys like to play badminton! I’m so happy. No one likes badminton. I’m hoping they can re-teach me. I took a badminton course in sophomore year and it’s totally my favorite sport (even though I’m a horribly bad sports person in general – I was never great at badminton either) but I could never find anyone to play with me after that all this time, so I’ve never been able to practice for like three years and have lost all my ‘skill’ but I’d like to start up again maybe. Unfortunately the likelihood of that actually happening isn’t terribly high, but I’m pleased that it’s now a possibility. I might actually do it!
After student talks and the professor talks
After the student talks, I worked on my slides some more, then went to listen to Dr. Dyer and Dr. Hill. Something weird happened. I don’t know – but the whole day I was absolutely exhausted and feeling crappy and it was hard to listen to stuff, but for some reason, when Dr. Dyer and Dr. Hill spoke, I absorbed about 70-85% of what they were saying. This should not have been possible. It makes no sense. It’s not research that is ‘in my field’ so to speak. It wasn’t happening before. I don’t know why that happened!
Dr. Dyer’s work is really quite fascinating – he talked about how enzymes worked and how complicated it really was. His work is something I’d really like to read more about, but I don’t think I’d like to actually do that type of work. I plan on asking Dr. Dyer about bioconjugating proteins to QDs and NPs, because he said one of his projects dealt with that. I think it would be informative.
Dr. Hill is unbelievable. I had no idea he was such a big name in his field. And is work was actually quite fascinating – all of it was – and I don’t know why it was making so much sense to me, or seemed to be, despite the fact that my inorganic knowledge is so low. Maybe he’s just good at explaining it. He talked at a listenable volume and very clearly and energetically. I didn’t understand the inorganic stuff, but I got a good general idea of what he was doing, which was a lot more than I was expecting to get out of his talk. I do like alternative energy stuff. He’s doing such a LARGE variety of things!
It really started raining torrentially after the talks. I was feeling in quite a good mood, despite feeling nasty, and thanked the Lord for the cool rain. I love thunderstorms. I told Dr. Hill his talk was very interesting. He said thanks and to have a good evening. I believe that’s the first time I’ve ever spoken to him, in all the times I’ve seen him around.
I’m very excited to hear Dr. Salaita’s talk tomorrow – it’s bound to be really neat. Yuan was telling me how she was so crushed she couldn’t hear it. Yvonne and Kornelia are planning to sneak in to listen and she said this was her idea originally and now she’s going to miss it! But I told her I would record it for her on my pen, so not to fear. She said THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!! And that she had tears in her eyes, because she’d been so looking forward to listening to it for the whole year. I already know what chair I’ll sit in – I’m hoping it’ll be optimally placed for decent sound reception. The pen can get pretty good audio, actually.
I finished my slides. I’m not very polished. I could include more data. They could be better. I’m going to bring my lightsaber and my tribble to the talk tomorrow as exhibits of my hobbies. I think that will be hilarious. And that, my good peeps, is all. I’m SO excited about sleeping!!
Stay safe out there, stay dry, stay healthy and don’t cut yourself with any lightsabers. Life is good, even when it feels bad some days.
P.S. Written in ~34 min. Alas. More conciseness/speed will be practiced.