Thesis Defense countdown!

Hello intrepid explorers.

This post's for YOU, Sacagawea!
This post’s for YOU, Sacagawea!

I hope everyone is having a relaxing memorial day holiday. Keep your friends close, your burgers medium-rare, and take a moment to give thanks for those who gave everything. If you’re looking for an excellent read today, I highly recommend this New Yorker Article about a man who helps veterans overcome PTSD through music. I’ve meditated on the meaning of Memorial Day before; I find the holiday deeply moving and deeply troubling. While I wholeheartedly support any man or woman who feels compelled to serve their country, I often question the decisions of the powers-that-be that call upon our young people to travel overseas. I’m a patriotic pacifist. I love America deeply, for all that our country represents; my patriotism is only matched by my extreme disappointment in the rampant inequality and government overreach plaguing our plucky little democracy.

Abe agrees.
Abe agrees.

I think that I’ll leave politics aside, for the moment, and instead devote this post to some VERY important current events: Paleontologists have discovered the first evidence for dinosaur fossils in Washington state!

About darned time!
About darned time!

In more modern news, scientists in Germany are adding their voices to the GMO debate by calling for products produced using GM technology to be clearly labelled as such. The german researchers believe that transparency about the ubiquity of these products will help usher in a more sensible conversation. I’ve outlined similar arguments in favor of GMO-labeleing (which I support, while not necessarily rejecting GMOs outright). Screaming at each other about whether these products are safe (yes) distracts from the more important discussion of what types of farming practices we wish to support.

I support any type of farming that involves pygmy goats
I support any type of farming that involves pygmy goats

Finally, I’m defending my Ph.D. thesis in T-minus three days.

I don’t know how this happened either! I’m still reeling from the fact that I managed to write a 157 page thesis.

Kiss my bibliography
Kiss my bibliography

I know that all of the words between the covers reflect untold hours of writing and experimental work, but re-reading the document gives me a distinct sense of reverse deja-vu. Distilling all of my graduate work into one package has me asking myself daily: “did you REALLY do all of that?” did a LOT of experiments did a LOT of experiments

I’m planning a few longer posts on what I learned during grad school (a LOT about bacteria, and even more about PEOPLE), and what comes next for a manic-microbiologist who is pursuing a (gasp) alternative career to the academic track. Suffice to say that there will be a lot less of this in my immediate future:

I really am going to miss doing experiments...
I really am going to miss doing experiments…

And a lot more of this:


For now, though, I’m cleaning out my desk:

I have to take down my beautiful decorations?
I have to take down my beautiful decorations?
Yikes. How much lotion does one person reasonably need?
Yikes. How much lotion does one person reasonably need?

I’m also reminding myself of this mantra every single day. IMG_7169

Have a happy Memorial Day Everybody!

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