Thursday, June 26, 2008

It has begun...

I am know an instructor!!

I am almost one day into it and I'm loving it!

We have had the last week of Summer school and so far we have:
- Visited the University Athletics Facility (we got a tour from the "Strength and Conditioning Coach"... all 6'3" and 240 lb. of him!)
- Let the students work out at the student gym... The sight of 4 fifteen year old guys racing each other on Elipticals is just plain funny!
- We've taught them forensic blood detection (woohoo! for luminol!), PCR and DNA fingerprinting, nutrition, and analyzed biosoap (a by-product from diesel)
- Toured the General Research Facility (the have a sleep-study room, a bosy pod to measure lung capacity, BMI, etc., and the stuck me on a treadmill to measure my lung capacity... which was not that flash)

It really has been awesome!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

End of an Era...

My regular audience will notice the change of template... New times call for new templates!

I have worked my last day as a postdoctoral research fellow. Tomorrow, I start my new career as an instructor of science and math (the title doesn't give the position justice... it's very cool!). I would say it is a leap into the unknown, but having volunteered at my new job, and having spent some time with my new colleagues (including a mexican-themed potluck), it's more "known" than not (anyway, I'm not much of a leaper... more of a "cautious first stepper").

No more shall my hands be calloused by my pipettes. No more shall I be the man with the butter-yellow tape (yes, very natty!). I walk away from an office (shared in recent months, but still an office), a lab, and ultimately from research.

I leave behind a lab full of friends:

- The redneck/goth graduate student who is so good and so depended upon that I refer to her as "Postdoc Lite". A lover of angry German music, Russian horror films, Panera (especially their chicken and wild-rice soup), and the only person in the lab who was anal enough to understand my anality (and yet be impressed by its depths). When talking about the weird and wonderful animals in Australia she exclaimed: "That's because y'all broke off too early!"...

- Our research assistant from India. The only other person in the lab who understood cricket (and thus had a special place in my heart), she and I were so polite to each other that there were days when it actually delayed our work! She has a wicked sense of humor that is far too quick for many, but a joy to hear, and she cooked the yummiest smelling lunches. Her husband is about to join the lab as a research assistant ("I'm senior", she pointed out), which should be fun for all concerned!

- The graduate student who started just a month before I arrived. We attended classes together, ate McFlurries when the going got rough, I was the first non-family member to hear of her engagement, and one of the first to find out she's pregnant (a fact that many, including the boss, still do not know). Sweetie and I are having her and her husband around for dinner tonight. He's off to his army posting and she's almost finished. I wish her all the best!

- Finally, my minion... Well the research assistant who worked with me on my project for so long, and who will be finishing it up for me. After years of the senior postdoc in the lab having a number of research assistants to help him, I finally got one of my own. She promptly took off to Hawaii for her honeymoon! Still, she worked hard, made progress where I had got bogged down, and we became good friends. She's got some big plans for her future and I'm sure she'll do just great.

I look back at the past four years, at a job that bought me to the States, introduced me to my soon-to-be wife, and ultimately lead me to my dream job. It's been fun, but it's time for me to go.

Wish me well as I cautiously step into the somewhat known...