"The methods and techniques covered in this volume encompass a number of materials including noble metal nanoparticles (Chapters 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 ), semiconductor nanoparticles (Chapters 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 15 , 16 ), magnetic nanoparticles (Chapters 17 , 18 , 19 , 20 ), and organic, polymeric, biomimetic, and biocompatible nanoparticles (Chapters 21 , 22 , 23 , 24 , 25 , 26 , 27 , 28 , 29 , 30 , 31 ). Nano-toxicity and nano-safety aspects are covered in Chapters 32 , 33 , 34 , 35 , 36 , while Chapters 37 , 38 , 39 , 40 , 41 , 42 , 43 focus on nanoparticle analysis. This volume will help the beginner to become familiar with this fascinating ﬁeld of research and will provide scientists at all levels of expertise with easy-to-follow practical advice needed to make, modify, and analyze nanoparticles of their choice and to use them in a wide range of biomedical and pharmaceutical applications, including functional protein studies, drug delivery, immunochemistry, imaging, and many others."
I got the Emory Visitation Photos from Rolando!!
I've been asking Rolando for these for some time. During visitation, he took pictures of the a few of us students who got there early, while he and Bryant took us on a scavenger hunt around the chemistry building and outside.
He said he'd post them to the Facebook group, so at first, I eagerly waited for this, but it did not occur. So then I began asking him for them every now and then. He said he'd send them eventually. A month passed. I began asking for them every time I saw him. Then I began *emailing* him every now and then about it, in addition to asking him when I saw him (which was a lot, since I was expressing protein in the Lynn lab over the summer). He kept forgetting. Eventually, he began hiding from me and/or pretending to duck around corners to avoid me. I was determined to be a pest though, as long as it took, though I felt kind of bad about it. I kept thinking of the parable of the persistent widow.
Why? Because the Emory visitation was such a life-changing event for me, I wanted them as mementos. But honestly, the picture I most wanted was the one of Dr. Salaita and all of us students. I don't have a photo with Dr. Salaita and me in it except that one.
The week before my birthday, I told him if it was too troublesome for him to send them all - at least send me just that one - and I'd leave him alone. This was actually the sole reason for my persistence. I liked the others too. But they weren't as important.
He tried to send me them via his iphone but it failed. I'm pretty sure it's because he sent them all at once and the signal in the building is terrible. Finally today, with our iphones 2 inches apart, he was able to send them to me individually! I can't describe how happy I was to get them - my eyes were shining. It's hard to describe. It felt like a very satisfying, overwhelming victory, and now, I have my precious mementos I've been waiting so long for. I knew it would happen eventually.
The photo I most wanted
Reflective Comments: Seeing this photo, it's really hard for me to believe how short a time ago that was - only ... 6 months ago? Man, I guess that is really long. It's long to me, anyway. Feels like a lifetime. I can't believe there was a time that I wasn't attached to the lab. I had no idea at the time how important Khalid and the Salaita lab would become to me. I had no interest in joining his lab when this was taken. It's terribly amusing. Getting these photos just in general put me in a reflective mood.
Things began shifting by the end of the evening. Talking to Dr. Salaita during that formal dinner and hearing about Kevin's project was the single event that resulted in everything else. It sometimes amazes me how often momentous things that happen to me hinge on such seemingly insignificant and improbable things.
I know I've said so before a lot, but it's worth repeating, that that conversation marks the crescendo of the single-most euphoric experience I've yet had, because - 1) I was surrounded by scientists, where I fit in - I forgot how much I'd missed science during my year off 2) a project was being discussed that encapsulated all my interests 3) Dr. Salaita was speaking really passionately and it made me excited in parallel 4) he was also talking to me like I was important and worth recruiting - all professors do that - but he does it best - to be valued by a scientist, a type of person I admire more than anyone else in the world - was overwhelmingly intoxicating 5) I realized I might be able to really pursue whatever project I wanted - not just *read* papers - but *use* them! 8) I realized that my lifelong dream of doing research was coming true and I didn't have to wait any longer - it was HERE!
I still haven't topped that. I'm not sure I ever will. I definitely can say .... this year has so far been full of such utter and complete euphoria and also periods of sheer terror and stress, in alternating waves, to create an unprecedented roller coaster of insanity unequaled since 2007 at least. That's probably the only year equivalent.
Since this photo, I feel as if my life is completely different and I'm somewhat of a different person. Emory visitation will forever be etched into my mind as if in stone, another mile marker of when everything changed again - and not all of it was due to Emory. It just all coincided there.. I'm really happy with the result so far.
Random Comments on the Week
Yuan found me and gave me a hug! I was so happy to see her - so VERY HAPPY!! She said she brought me a necklace from China, but couldn't find it in her luggage yet - that's so sweet! To me it's the thought that counts. She said she had been trying to gain 20 pounds while there but ended up losing 20 instead, because her digestive system wasn't working right. (!) I really hope she gains at least those back! I can't imagine her getting smaller. I haven't seen her much after that - I think that was Th maybe?
Figuring out my third rotation - general comments
I was trying to figure out what my third rotation should be this week. That was a really knotty problem. I was considering Weinert, Conticello and Hill. Dr. Dyer had dropped out in my mind, because while I want to know the information he researchers, I wouldn't enjoy researching it - because it's studying how things work only - not using it for any applications, necessarily. I've discovered I enjoy designing things and working on something that also have a direct applications I can investigate.
I had thought the Lord wanted me to be in the Scarborough lab for the 3rd rotation (mentioned in a post a long time ago). But lately, I wasn't as confident about what the Lord was telling me, and besides, I didn't see how the Scarborough lab could possibly be interesting - he's an inorganic lab, which I've no experience in at all, and his research talk wasn't interesting to me. I decided to myself, that, if the Lord had told me that, I wasn't really sure - but either way, I was totally rebelling against the notion completely. *stamps foot* No - will not go to that lab. No. It doesn't make sense. I don't like it. No.
Running from the inevitable
So I went about trying to go elsewhere. I did sincerely pray though that He would lead me, because I did want to do His will, whatever that was - I'm just not always great at discerning it. It turned out that every other option closed, or it became obvious it was not to be. At first, I decided with certainty to rotate with Dr. Conticello, but I emailed him and he didn't want to take rotation students due to funding crunch. I didn't know how to tell him that this didn't bother me and decided it wasn't to be.
Then, I talked to Dr. Weinert and some of her post-docs. But that just confirmed to me that no, she did not do the synthesis presently that I'd like to get practice in and I already knew I probably would not enjoy the type of research she's currently pursuing - the questions are interesting but not my favorite - and the process certainly is not.
Talking to Scarborough
I sighed and setup a meeting with Dr. Scarborough, expecting nothing. It turned out, talking to him, I realized at once, somewhat to my amazement and dismay, that I was supposed to rotate with him after all. It wasn't a thing I disliked - it's just hard to explain - and explaining how I knew is even harder. He told me that Dr. Hill's research was a lot of mixing things randomly and not very much design involved - which reminds me of Dr. Lutz and library making - hence, Dr. Hill dropped out as an option for me. Dr. Scarborough said they did synthesis AND inorganic, and designed things - two things I wanted, with inorganic being the wild card. The projects were a lot more interesting in person than in his talk.
Thoughts about what inorganic chem is
Until talking with him, I don't think I really understood what inorganic chemistry even *was.* I think I now understand it in a basic, minimalist form. It seems to be a more fundamental understanding than organic, looking at molecules more in detail, but avoiding a lot of the heavy equations of P-chem. In terms of least to most detail and least to most fundamental, the sciences appear go from .... biology --> chemistry --> physics --> math. And chemistry can likewise be broken up into ... biochemistry --> organic chemistry --> inorganic chemistry --> physical chemistry --> pure math. Thus, a knowledge of inorganic may well help me understand molecular systems at a more fundamental level, which is something I sincerely value. Dr. Conticello was explaining concepts to us in his molecular biochemistry class about DNA, relating to molecular orbitals, that I recognized when talking to Dr. Scarborough was a perspective directly out of inorganic chem. I began connecting some dots and seeing ways it was relevant and how it could help me.
Being overly honest, but I'm glad I was, even though I felt badly about it
I ended up telling Dr. Scarborough up front that I was planning on joining the Salaita lab but was interested in his chemistry and thought it would be helpful to me - and was that ok with him? I want to be an asset, but the fact is, it's just very unlikely that I will be, as I'm not planning to join and have no inorganic experience at all. I didn't want him to not know what he was really doing if he agreed to sign me on - if he took me as a rotation student, I wanted to him to have no misconceptions, and factor that in, so he could refuse me up front if that bothered him. I don't want to cause him difficulties or be a problem.
He was very gracious. He didn't seem upset at me and said, no, this didn't bother him - his job was also educational, not just an attempt to extract the most productivity from everyone. Nevertheless, I felt horrible the rest of the day for saying that. But I don't regret it. I feel like, I had to tell him, because I didn't want anyone I rotated with to be under any false impression about me and I wanted to be honest. He deserved that. Dr. Scarborough is also someone I feel much more comfortable talking to than some - many people have mentioned the same thing to me. So far, the people at Emory with whom I've had the most synergy are, in no particular order: Khalid, Scarborough, Christian (grad in Scarborough lab), Daniel (in Heaven lab), Nina Mace, Anil, Kevin, Yuan and sometimes Dr. Weinert.
Talking to Christian
I finished talking to the Weinert people and talked to Christian in the Scarborough lab later - he's a grad student, roommate of Daniel in the Heaven lab, someone I know who's been really nice to me. He and Marika both. He spent about 40 minutes explaining more in detail aspects of inorganic chemistry - some of the details of d-orbitals and how the metals interacted and what his project was about - which Scarborough shied away from. I got to ask some questions. Combining what he said and Scarborough said gave me a more complete picture. I actually do find it a lot more interesting than I thought I would. I talked to him also about my insecurity of being there if I came. He made me feel a lot better. It confirmed everything. Thursday night I knew what I had to do.
There were departmental awards given out today and the recipients had to present 5 minutes about their research. I've always thought that was one good deterrent to getting awards. I enjoyed them, but my mind kept wandering - it's a bad habit I have to nip in the bud now. I used to force myself to focus so effectively and I've allowed the discipline to degrade, somewhere in undergrad, junior/senior year. I have a lot of thoughts that can lead me into rabbit trails if I'm not careful and then I forget I'm not listening - something the speaker says that will set me thinking about some random thing, for example. The most common non-speaker related ones are organizing what I'm going to do later, what I'm going to read and when, planning experiments, thinking philosophical thoughts about life, about John or wondering something about Dr. Salaita.
That last guy, who won the award of the best grad student in the department - really was incredible. It seems he's won this award at least three years in a row. He's like a super student - stunning number of publications, over 120+ citations of his work - I'm just super impressed. I got to meet him later and that was cool. He told me the name of the founder of the quantum dot field - Paul Alivsatos. I'm going to look him up later.
The room was entirely too noise though. A316 always is when they do 4th Fridays there. It makes me want to go escape and hide.
I got to talk to Khalid about the DNAzymes, which was much fun. He seemed happy, but later, when he left, he seemed annoyed. I wondered what changed.
Extraneous and Random Observations
Silly Stress and Fears
At the beginning of the week, I was really stressed about everything - organizing things, reading, classes - and kept finding it hard not to worry frantically yet again that - maybe - Khalid was really planning on not picking me to join the lab. There are so many first years competing.
I'll cycle through this fear periodically - it tends to descend on me most when I haven't talked to him in a while - hence, usually the beginning of the week. If I talk to him at least sometime during lab meeting at least or some other random time, it'll fade and I'll feel better, which is what happened this week. If Khalid did end up deciding not to pick me - then the Lord would give me grace and I'd survive, but it would be very hard. I can think of few things more devastating. It'd probably take me about two months before I could think again and a year not to be depressed. Based on how I felt about the one lab that turned me down, I'd probably never get over it completely, unless God did something to help. That lab wasn't near as important to me as this one is. Because of that, despite the likely illogicalness of it, I'll still sometimes find it hard not to get nervous anyway.
On Tuesday was when I saw Hyun Min (Ace) in Mol Biochem and how beat up he was. I almost missed it - he was wearing a mask, and I thought maybe he just had the flu or something. But I looked at him closer... I've never seen - anything - like that. I've never seen anyone beat up before and I'm pretty sure his was a bad case. His arms, neck and face were black and blue. His whole face was swollen and black and blue. His left ear was swollen shut completely. His eyes were hemorrhaged red. No one really knows what happened. No one was with him at the time. It was some fight in Atlanta. It turned out that it happened sometime late Friday early Saturday and he *still* looked that bad after four days.
I went into a state of shock. I don't feel as if I'm supposed to say much about this here, except, praise the Lord, he's going to be ok! The doctor said that his eyes were not permanently damaged and would return to normal eventually, maybe in a month. He definitely got a concussion but it wasn't life-threatening either. I updated Ann with everything I knew or found out. I thought it was important someone from Emory know and she's the most central, important grad school person.
I went to Ashley's defense today (Lutz lab) and enjoyed it. She's staying on as a post-doc in his lab - I'm so glad - I like her and she's a wonderful resource and it encouraged me that there was some precedent for that kind of thing and not all professors just wanted to get rid of you after five years. Dr. Lutz was very happy about her staying.
And that's all the time I have to write. Sorry for this being so wordy and long and disorganized. I just wanted to write a bit tonight to relax some. I wish it was better quality. John's been playing Sentinels of the Multiverse with the Warmachine crew here at Brian's house and I read a paper. They're setting up a new RP scenario that Walter's going to lead. And I left both my laptops at Emory, so I'm using John's - grrr. I was so annoyed. But overall, I'm very happy, because the Lord is good to me. I get to sleep in tomorrow and then finally do a lot of organizing, reading and wonderful stuff I need to do. It'll be a great weekend!