When I found out that I would be attending two scientific conferences back-to-back in D.C., I have to admit that I wasn’t initially excited. At the smaller conference, ISDP, I would be presenting a poster, which was essentially a sad story about how my rotation project didn’t work out. The second conference, Society for Neuroscience, I knew would be huge, exhausting, and potentially extremely overwhelming. It honestly seemed kind of unappealing.
Now, waiting in the Washington airport for a flight home, I can confirm: yes, it was exhausting, enormous, and overwhelming. But it was also just what I needed.
There were 30,000 people at the Society for Neuroscience conference this year. We filled the entirety of the Walter E Washington convention center with posters, talks, nanosymposia, and exhibitors. At the smaller conference, I had the opportunity to meet and converse with developmental scientists from all over the world. I met and bonded with former lab members. My poster presentation went very well– much better than I expected.
These conferences gave me two things I had been lacking recently: inspiration and confidence. I walked away with so many ideas, so much new knowledge. And, for the first time, I actually felt like a competent scientist.
I’m actually excited to get back to the lab.
from you we have come to expect only
the semi-languid espousement
of revolutionary psalms and
you are still hailed as the black messiah. Continue reading
(such as when I look at you),
I wish I could reach
a hand into my chest,
squeeze, and menace dearly:
“Be still my fucking heart.” Continue reading
“Death is still a distant drum
And yes, my friend, we are still young.”
This past Sunday, October 15th, I got up at 5:30 a.m. I drank my morning cuppa joe, and spent the next two hours stretching and hydrating. At 8:30, I biked to downtown Iowa City. And at 9:00 am, I stepped over the starting line to begin my first half-marathon.
your picture goes up on the wall.
your picture goes down on the wall.
(get your mind out of the gutter.) Continue reading
There are certain experiences one is bound to have only as a graduate student in Iowa. Witnessing the Northern Lights is not one of them.
Still, the forecast promised us a chance of seeing them much farther south than usual; we could hardly pass up the opportunity to make an event of even the most elusive of spectacles. Continue reading
The first cool day of the season comes
in early September, and the single dim hour
before dawn sees me rise and ask
a simple task of my sleep-laden limbs:
let’s go running.
I want you to ask me something outrageous.