Well it has been quite some time since my last blog post, mostly because only a few short days after my post about the cardinal Open my house was broken into and my laptop was stolen! Only a few other things were taken (by some punk kids in a nearby neighborhood) and I got the majority of them back (see guitar, tv) but my laptop was not recovered. Luckily I have renters insurance and was able to get them to pay for a big chunk of my new laptop, a Dell XPS 12 convertible ultrabook 🙂 After the landlord replaced the back door and installed a security system in the house everything is back to normal, and put even more of a drive for me to move out in May.
In other news, just after this happened I went to the annual Biophysical Society meeting which took place this year in Philadelphia. This was a great time, and hanging out with two friends of mine from undergraduate made it even better! When I went to this conference in 2009 it was a huge part of what led me to believe that I could go to graduate school someday. Being back was fantastic, gathering in the same place as literally thousands of other scientists and seeing what everyone is passionate about is an experience whose importance cannot be overstated. And as I mentioned before I even got to be a guest blogger for them! (I’ll post those blogs here shortly). All in all it was a great trip and pumped me up for this semester, for research, and for trying to submit a poster to next years meeting, taking place in San Francisco 🙂
I’m currently in my fourth, and last, rotation before I decide what lab I will join to do my thesis research in and I’ve started to notice a difference between doing science that you really enjoy and are engaged in and just doing science. I’ve worked in a number of labs in my admittedly short time in the science world, two separate labs at UMass (one soft condensed matter and one Biophysics), then two and a half years at Mass General (Biology), now in the variety of labs I’ve been in for rotations here at OSU (Chemistry/Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics, Neurology, Biophysics). All the labs I’ve been in at OSU of course are Biophysics labs since the PI’s were all in the Biophysics program, but I put them in their respective categories. The difference I’ve come to notice is what happens when problems or hurdles arrive. Almost all science projects will run into problems of one kind or another at some point, it’s inevitable, and how at least I deal with them I’ve found has varied not based on the particular problem that I’ve faced but rather on the project or experiment in general. The longest I’ve been in a lab was at Mass General and once I had settled in a little I realized that when problems arose, while I would do my best to solve them, I wasn’t as fully invested as I needed to be. At the end of a long hard day, when I’d be on my way home at 7 or 8, I would be annoyed. That is, I would start to get a little angry at the project and once the problem would be solved I would have very little joy at it being over. This was one of the reasons that I decided to go to grad school, I wanted to face problems that mattered to me. Now that I’m in a lab that is doing work that is exciting me the experience is much different. Last week I faced my first problem that took me a few days to solve, but the experience was different, it was frustrating. I was being prevented from succeeding, from progressing, and once I broke through that barrier I felt great. Maybe this is just a honeymoon period, maybe it’s just me, but hopefully it will last.