I have yet again been absent from this blog. This time, though, it’s for (what I think is) a wonderful reason – I’m in the middle of a 2 week long intensive course on my favorite scientific topic.

Yes, I’m completely nerding out for two weeks. And I am loving it. I love that my calendar is largely empty, other than the sessions, which run from 0730-1630 (sorry, you can take the nurse out of the hospital but you apparently will have to rip her love for the 24 hour clock from her cold, dead hands…). I love that I get so into the lectures and discussions that I talk back to my computer. I love that I get to learn more every year that I attend this course. And each year, my mind is blown. It’s the best money that I spend all year.

And this is one of the reasons I love my job. I know I haven’t written about my weird job and how it’s just not like other jobs. But academia, for all its faults, provides me with the opportunity to feed my passions. To truly immerse myself in a topic that I love, regardless of why I love it. Of course, this will be a lot easier (and I will feel a lot more secure) when I achieve tenure. But even those of us who are earlier on the academic track are told to follow our passions. And to keep asking questions. A job that pays me to focus on what I love, and that lets me ask all the questions I want? Sign me up, even if the pay is the lowest I’ve received since graduating college lo these many years ago.

There is probably some way to do this in many jobs… but for me, this is the perfect combination of following my passion, immersing myself in the science of something I love, and giving myself the space and time to keep learning, to keep asking questions, to know that we don’t know everything. There is still so much to learn about this world of ours. I’m grateful that I get to keep learning.

Now on to week two of nerding out…

Just yesterday I watched an ant crossing a path, through the
tumbled pine needles she toiled.
And I thought: she will never live another life but this one.
And I thought: if she lives her life with all her strength
is she not wonderful and wise?

~Mary Oliver

Monday Morning Musings

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers use the “Currently” approach to outline what’s on their minds, or going in their lives. Since I can never quite follow the rules exactly – either a strength or a weakness, depending on one’s point of view – here’s my Monday morning look into what’s going on in my brain (always a scary place) and life in general.

Currently, I am…

Happy… that my parents are on their long-awaited beach trip this week. They have been looking forward to this for months. They go with another family – a big one – every year and they rent the same place, eat lots of food, go to the beach, and just relax. They need this so badly, and I’m so glad they’re finally there… even if it means I have to suffer through texts that will make me envious all week.

Grateful… that the family member who had the health issue is rapidly improving. Thank goodness for modern medicine.

Baffled… by learning that people apparently move with UPS these days? It’s move in season in my apartment complex. That’s what you get when you’re in a University town with a large academic medical center. July 1 is when residencies and fellowships in medicine start. So it’s a huge time of turnover around here, which is great for my people-watching habit. Anyway, I saw this when I went to the package room one day:

That’s the package room and the hallway outside. Yikes. When I went to tell the apartment managers, they told me that people are moving with UPS. Can you fathom how expensive that must be? I was completely baffled. Completely.

Looking forward to… the end of July. I have a two-week intensive online course at the end of the month that I take as often as I can (in person, if possible, of course it’s virtual this year…). I love it, and cannot wait to learn more about my favorite topic.

Feeling… a bit overwhelmed by the fact that I have not one, but two coffee dates, this week. Yikes. With people I like, but still. That’s a lot for someone who’s still feeling her way into the world post-pandemic. I am also planning lunch with my mother in law (much-delayed, and feeling guilty about that) so it’s going to be a socially overwhelming week for me. I might be a hermit next week. 😉

Ready… to get this week started! Have a wonderful one, whatever you are up to!