...and the livin's easy...
While I'm super excited that I can now wear my white pants to lab again--which I assure you is a well-reasoned, foolproof fashion choice--it's not like we're all taking 3 hour lunches and playing frisbee in the med campus quad
like I did in grad school. All semester long I've been looking forward to the summer so I can actually get some real work done around here. We're doing bona fide experiments now, and generating some preliminary data for my first R01, which I plan to submit in October.
I will say this: it is the absolute best not having to plan a lecture right now. I can go be in the lab with my students, watching their eyes light up the first time they see a Pipet-Aid work; I can chase down vendors, trying to get equipment loose ends tied up; I can log in to eRA commons multiple times daily to check the status of the R21 I submitted last October (currently: pending).
I've also been able to prepare for a couple of speaking engagements, most recently in New York at a School for Extremely Brilliant Children and Teenagers. The SfEBCaT has a science club, and through a couple of degrees of separation having nothing to do with my professional science connections, I was invited by their youngest member (12!) to come speak. They made a flyer promoting my visit:
I love everything about this.
It's not easy being an Esteemed Real Life Neuroscientist, but I did my best to tell them why I love brains so much, and not a single person fell asleep! On the contrary, they asked me a ton of questions, and not just "what is it like to touch a rat," but genuinely astute and insightful questions about my research, which totally made my day. Let me be the first to say that all hope is not lost re: the future, because these kids rock.
Finally, there is the matter of getting back to wedding planning, which is a truly revealing experience. The words that come out of your mouth/keyboard will make you wonder if you ever really knew yourself/your mother at all. For example:
To my bridesmaid: "The whole dress looked black to me in the pictures, not just the accents. Do you think it looks blue in person? Maybe see if you can find one that's a little navy-er, but hold on to that one if you can't find something you like better? Sorry about the confusion--I think that in the line that I showed you, their navy was called "midnight," but I really meant navy."
Who am I???
And then there's this gem of an email convo with my mom:
Mom: "Stamps for the engagement party invites are either butterflies, or a wedding cake. What would you like?"
Me: "Butterflies are fine."
Mom: " The main PO did not have the butterfly stamps, just service dogs, so will go back to the [hometown] one tomorrow."
Mom, next day: "They are phasing out the butterflies, and after searching 3 post offices, I could only get 60. So I got the service dogs as the others. They will be fine, I'm sure, kind of cute."
Are you really sure, Mom? I'm worried that maybe the service dog stamps will be a deal breaker for some people. Maybe put those on the envelopes addressed to people we think won't come anyway, just in case.