14 October 2004

I've been looking at cleavage today, and I'm very excited by it

By "cleavage," I mean "cell division." I'm running an experiment on the development of ascidian embryos. What did you think I meant?

Lots of promising things have been going on. The ascidian species I was working on last year finally showed up again, about a month later than last year. I was getting so scared that they wouldn't, and my student Anna and I wouldn't be able to complete the experiments we started last year. But they've shown up, we have plenty of animals, and I'm feeling optimistic that we'll be able to pull together the experiments and get a manuscript together in fairly short order.

And I actually had supplies get ordered and arrive promptly for once. The supplies were things necessary to do the experiments I mentioned above. Some of the material arrived packed in dry ice. I never get tired of tossing it into the sink, turning the water on, and watching the fog roll over my lab bench. Also very fun to scoop up the mist in beakers and laugh maniacally. (I mean, you've got what looks like a smoking beaker in your hand, what else are you going to do?)

And I had some promising staining results last week with a new technique I have a student trying.

And two of my students got selected for Howard Hughes Medical Institute undergraduate research fellowships. Only one can officially work with me, but it's a good thing for both of them, and will be a good thing for me.

And I finished a short grant proposal for a new program called SOMAS. My grant paperwork is now making the rounds for institutional approval.

And I'm meeting with our new president, Bambi Cardenas, tomorrow, as part of a representative group from the Biology Department.

And my student Sandra is just about ready to provide me with some final data for my neuroscience poster (if all goes well).

The frustrations I have? One is that my colleague Virginia will be down next weekend, just when I have to leave for the Society for Neuroscience meeting. ANd all of my students who are working on our collaborative projects are also going out of town for things like medical school interviews.

And I have to finish a bunch of marking before going to the Neuroscience meeting.

And I've been waiting a week from someone from the computer helpdesk services to come and type in a password on a class computer so that I can install a simple driver for software.

And there just aren't enough days in the week to get things accomplished.

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