Lectures are done, but there's been no shortage of things that need doing the last couple of days. I've spent both afternoons the last two days interviewing undergraduate students for our HHMI undergraduate research program. I was really pleased that we had a bunch of good applicants, and it was kind of fun to talk to them all. And the interviews didn't stop there. I met with a candidate for Dean of our college this morning. Plus I was running around, getting passport pictures taken care of, and picking up birthday cake for fellow faculty member.
One of the most unusual tasks I was working on over the last couple of days, though, was writing letters. Some weeks back, as a spin-off of my Brain Awareness Week public lecture, there was a feature story in The Monitor. Some teacher apparently took that and ran with it in her grade five class, so I had this stack of letters from kids asking about the article, my research, and so on. Yesterday, I sat down and wrote individual replies to each one in the stack.
Interestingly, I also had another student who had come to my Brain Awareness Lecture, and was intrigued enough to come in and talk to me about neuroscience. It's great, because often you do these sorts of things and wonder if anyone notices at all. It's been a bit of ego boost this week to find out that my quickie jury-rigged talk made a ripple.