Summer 2014

I spent most of the summer working in lab doing this:

Yup, 5% sheep's blood plate. In the words of the grad student in charge of me, "Do I look like I'm going to deal with ox blood?"

Yup, 5% sheep’s blood plate. In the words of the grad student in charge of me, “Do I look like I’m going to deal with ox blood?”

Well, sort of.  For the science-minded, I was trying to make a knockout bacteria.  The bacteria didn’t want to cooperate until literally the last day I was supposed to work–I went into lab a couple hours before I had to leave for the airport and to discover that indeed, the appropriate colonies were growing on my plates.  Moral of the story: real science is never as neat and tidy as you think it should be.

Since then I’ve been home in Seattle.  Is there any doubt that my city is better than yours?  (The answer is no.)

My best friend since kindergarten invited me out on her family's boat for a few days.  I flew out on a float plane with her brother to meet their family in the Canadian San Juan Islands.

My best friend since kindergarten invited me out on her family’s boat for a few days. I flew out on a float plane with her brother to meet their family in the Canadian San Juan Islands.

Even when it's raining it's beautiful.

Even when it’s raining it’s beautiful.

I’m thankful that my boss gave me an extra week off: it gave me time to go boating (doing absolutely nothing for four entire days is actually kind of a beautiful thing) and to have some extra buffer time at the end of summer before school starts.  In theory, the extra time was supposed to help reduce stress.  We’ll see about that.

Here is a current list of things that I find stressful (this is more for my benefit than for yours):

  • Buying textbooks: so. freaking. expensive.
  • My car: I need to do a lot of (hopefully) routine maintenance.
  • My foot: I had a surprisingly decent race on Saturday, but now I’m moderately concerned I have somehow got a stress fracture while I was cooling down.
  • MCAT/GRE/the future: I probably should pay more attention…
  • Work: There’s way too much to do.  I also haven’t quite adjusted to the idea of going off work/study next semester.
  • School starting/leaving Seattle: typical.

Whenever I come back home, it makes me homesick for Seattle even while I’m still here.  And stressed out about leaving.  I like mountains and hills and a temperate climate and trees and runner/cyclist friendly roads and yes even the rain.  I don’t miss a lot of people here, but the people I do miss I miss a lot.  In a way, I suppose those relationships are more special now that I’m gone, since I have to work actively to maintain them, but that’s not particularly comforting right now.  I love the people at my church at school, but I love my church here even more because it changed my life.

One of those friends just wrote me an email that said, “Remember God is right there with you…going before you, standing beside you, speaking within you and holding you up when you need to collapse in Him.”  How prescient that is.

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What Happens When Scientists Cook

After all the bad things that happened this week, I thought I’d post something on a lighter note.  One of the grad students in the lab that I work in had her doctoral thesis defense on Friday (of course, she passed).  Afterwards, the lab had a celebration for her, complete with Chinese food prepared by our honorary lab mothers (two of the staff scientists).  What happens when a bunch of microbiologists throw a party?

"Quick, someone take a picture: Maggie is cutting up cilantro with a scissors while wearing a lab coat and gloves!"

“Quick, someone take a picture: Maggie is cutting up cilantro with a scissors while wearing a lab coat and gloves!”

"Are the oranges *supposed* to look like DNA?" ~Everyone

“Are the oranges supposed to look like DNA?” ~Everyone

This is why I love scientists.  Also, in a more general sense, why I love where I work.  When I was first interviewing at the lab, the PI told me, “We’re really just like one big family.”  I was a little skeptical, but it’s actually true.  I’m so blessed to be able to say that going to work is actually one of the highlights of my week.  I love my job ♥