Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I am back!


Alrighty... So. Yes, it has been two months. Two absolutely wonderful/crazy/bizarre/totally blog-worthy months. But I guess life kinda got in the way. That, and the fact that I was sneaking internet from our neighbors without them knowing, but it wasn't always so fantastic. So anyways..

I am back!

And D.C. was fabulous. Such a learning experience in SO many ways. Being dropped off in a new city for 2 months without a car is an experience I recommend highly. You learn a lot.

A list, I believe, is called for:

1. The social amoeba Dictystelium discoideum is an utterly fantastic model organism. So fun!

2. My charisma and enthusiasm about science will take me further than my actual knowledge.

3. There is a big age gap between 21 and 24. And between vet students and graduate students. But I still think I lucked out with a great roommate.

4. Wow, it is hot here on the East coast.

5. The NIH is the pinnacle of biomedical research. I feel SO fortunate to have worked there.

6. And perhaps I will work there again soon!

7. I am really, really, talented at making new friends when the situation is desperate. And there are some fabulous female scientists I am honored to have met up there. There is something so lovely about discussing PI3 Kinases in the same evening as dancing like crazy in Dupont Circle.

8. The Smithsonian museums and zoo makes me proud to be American. Seriously. Fantastic and free!

9. If invited on a rafting trip in Pennsylvania with 20 Italians... go. Your social calender will never be the same.

10. European men don't want to be "just friends."

11. I have the most fabulous boyfriend. And I really need him in my life. He is my keel.

12. My mom knows me perhaps better than anyone. And knows exactly what to say when I am feeling down.

13. I have a workaholic tendancy and I am very tough on myself.

14. Seeing your friends get married (Congrats Kristen!!) makes you feel old. Seeing your friends whose wedding you attending get divorced, makes you feel even older (I am so sorry Calen).

15. Having an excellent role models as a women in science is crucial.

16. Seeing a cancer biologist deal with a devastating diagnosis of a family member is heartbreaking. There is something to be said for naivete.

17. The field of cancer biology is at such an exciting crux right now, I feel very fortunate to be involved.

18. Catching up with my dear friend Jill was just lovely. We have both gone a long way since rooming together in Davis.. but we are both doing great.

19. Kayaking on the Potomac? Awesome. As is blueberry picking in Maryland and lots of homemade dinners. Thanks Hammonds for providing me a little slice of family life.

20. I can give a fantastic talk.

That is a good round up. In general, my time there was great. I loved my lab and had a great time learning about Dicty and all the cool questions it can address. My PI was a fantastic, successful, female biologist, who had her game together and will continue to be a source of inspiration. I worked my tail off up there, but loved it. At times too much which made me realize I need to really work on balancing my professional and personal life. I think Trent will be critical in this balance. People were amazingly dedicated to their field, but also quite insular, and I definitely missed my grad school community. So, although I was offered a position there, I am going to stay down here and be the best scientist/grad student/activist/mentor I can. I am starting to organize my desk and thrilled at the idea of applying the work ethic I learned up there to my slightly more laid back life here.

I have my written exam next week so have been studying my heinie off, but it is great to be around my fabulous female scientists again. We had a great review session last night. Trent's office has great little reading rooms that have been critical in my studying efficiency. He has also got me back in the pool and out on the beach volleyball courts, which is fabulous for my sanity. My social life up there was ridiculous, but awesome. I met some great folks but it was also hard keeping up that schedule of going out. I am loving Chapel Hill's mellowness.

So, in the days to come (well, more honestly, probably after the exams) I will be posting lots of pictures of our New England trip, my adventures in DC, and life in Chapel Hill. And lots more about being a stylish scientist, my blog comes up first on a Google search for that.. better make sure I share my wisdom!

Talk to you all soon, sorry for the break!

Jean

6 comments:

MissEm said...

Blogging! Yay!

Sara said...

Welcome home!
Sounds like you had a great summer. It is so wonderful that you found a successful female mentor (and also your fellow grad students), I think that is something I have missed out on. At least now there is a great online female scientist community but it doesn't compare to having it in person.

Looking forward to hearing more of your stories!

SciWonk said...

Good for you. Love the comment on European men.

Sara said...

and how slow am I? it only just occurs to me now that number 10. (European men don't want to be "just friends.") totally applies to me and The Husband. Ha, funny.

MissScientistSF said...

Haha, yes, but it seems to have worked out perfectly for you. Not such a great situation for me, but a definite learning experience.

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