wife, mother, ph.d. student, hot stuff.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I did the first (and hardest) part of my thesis proposal defense yesterday; a 1 hour oral presentation to 2 out of the 3 profs on my committee. That was followed by 3 hours worth of lab meetings - I guess that's what I get for joining two labs, not just one. After that, I met with one of my advisors. And after that many hours straight of science.... I'm still really really excited about doing my projects.

I know, I know, I still have about 4 more years of grad school during which to completely wear myself out on the subject. But it's so gratifying, after a month of stressing out and reading and working hard, I still want to be here, and I still want to do science. This whole thing has been a validating experience, which I did not anticipate.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

As you might have guessed from the lack of posts, school is keeping me busy. At this moment, I am sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of wine, working on my thesis proposal, which is due in about a week, which will be followed by a 1 hour proposal defense. In the meantime, we've moved into our new home, painted 2.5 rooms, installed a new stove, acquired some new furniture, scheduled a handyman to alter our closet for a washer/dryer, purchased and moved a piano, and attended Robin's cousin's bat mitzvah on the East Coast. I've also gone on three trips to scientific meetings, been sporadically crocheting hats with kitty ears for cousins and friends, applied for two fellowships, and been doing my best to keep up with WoW guild officer duties. Whew!

All in all, I've managed to keep my head above water. I'm really looking forward to having time to enjoy life with Robin again. Last week, as we were driving home from a potluck Thanksgiving feast, Robin grabbed my hand and said "I'm thankful for you." I wish I felt like someone to be thankful for, I do nothing but work or whine about work these days! So here's hoping I can get my work done in a timely fashion such that I can really feel like I deserve Robin's praise!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

So far, it's been a hectic, stressful summer. But I've passed my written quals, finished rotation presentations, and started in my thesis labs. I've had the support of so many people, my labmates, my classmates, my friends. Most importantly, Robin has kept me steady and moving, as he always has the entire time I've known him.

I've known Robin for almost 10 years now. We've been through 4 years of college, a master's degree, a ph.d., 2 cross country moves, 3 cats, and various family crises on both sides. Together, we bought the first car I've ever owned, and just yesterday, we got the keys to our first home, a 2 bedroom condo here in the Bay Area.

Last night, when we finally were both home from work/school, we packed up our first boxes to bring to our new home. At the last second, I pulled our Ketubah down from the wall. We were really happy with our Ketubah; not because of any religious significance, but because it is a beautiful symbol of our two families coming together, and of the new family that we have formed. So it seemed appropriate to place this symbol in our first home, on the eve of our 4th wedding anniversary.

Robin, thank you for encouraging me to be my best, supporting me when I'm at my worst, and being such a blast to be with. Happy 4th Anniversary, love, and may we have many many more!

Friday, March 09, 2007

I'm nearing the end of my second quarter back in grad school, and so far, so good. I'm certainly not making the sort of money I could be making if I'd just headed into industry right after I finished my MSME, but I think this is a damned good gig. I'm getting my tuition paid for at a first class university, and being paid to do nothing but learn things about a subject that I think is fascinating.

The next step, figuring out how to identify interesting problems and actually solve them, that's a bit more intimidating. That gets tied in with social responsibility and science, which I also find to be an interesting topic. Should researchers really be recreating polio virus? How vocal should we be when it comes to government policies that are affected by the science we do? Does the public even trust scientific opinion? With the current environment (so many labs are having money trouble because of the current administration's cuts on NIH funding), I wonder if I will be taken seriously by the very people that I want to help with immunology research. What good is finding an interesting problem when it won't get funded?

On the home front, it looks like Yuna is growing (slowly) to be a petite cat; she's about 6 months old, but is definitely smaller than Wirt was at her age. I know she still has some time before she stops lengthening, but she really is leeeetle; her head is teensy, and I've the impression that kittens grow into their heads. It would certainly be amusing to have Yuna (who's maybe 6 pounds after eating) paired up with Wirt the 15 pounder.