Hello Lady! Yes, that salutation is a clear act of thievery from my favorite New York radio host Elvis Duran, but I just had to include it. The first three weeks of the new term for the downtrodden PMCB firsties have passed, and with them came new classes, new rotation labs, and slushy-experiment-gone-bad-weather (here’s a little present for all you closet Gleeks out there). Instead of Biochem and Genetics, we are now being navigated through Cell Biology and Bioregulation. The routines we each established around our last term rotations have been blown to oblivion and replaced with new schedules, new demands, and new expectations. In short, we are all Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade, trying to find the clues leading to the grail. For us, however, the grail is a lab to call home and a project we can sink our scientific teeth into.
Another upcoming event which puts everything into perspective for us is recruit interviews. Yes, it is that time of year again when PMCB hopefuls come to campus, talk to PIs, and pepper current students with questions about graduate life, classes, expectations, campus life, and general life choices. Having been one last year, it is a bit surreal to think that a year ago I had no idea where I was going to land after the graduate school hunting process ended. If you had told me then I would be at OHSU now, I probably would have applauded your sense of humor.
But change happens, the world turns, and right now I can not imagine being anywhere else but right here, sitting in my new rotation lab on the sixth floor of BRB, wading my way through overlap extension PCR and waiting for our new PCR machine to come. While there are things about the past few months I wish I could change or do differently, I am glad I did not know a year ago the lessons I have learned. I keep reasserting that graduate school is about learning, experimenting, and making mistakes, not about coming pre-assembled. Indiana Jones never knew what barrier would meet him next, be it Nazis, double agents, or aliens, but he always reached the end with hat on head, whip at side, riding off into the sunset. He never started pre-assembled.