Sunday, June 10, 2007

40 Days

Let's see. It rained on Noah for 40 days and 40 nights. Moses was on the mountain for 40 days. Jesus fasted in the wilderness for 40 days.

I am also on a 40 day journey.

First, some context: As I type this, I am eating my ninth consecutive meal at the lab. You know work is busy when the porcelain is replaced with tupperware in the dishwasher at home. I now know the relative distances, operating hours and selection-economy axis of the three grocery stores closest to my lab. I am friends with Abdikadir, the late shift custodian in our building. I also know when to move from my lab bench to tissue culture to avoid being "mopped in." (10:30 pm)

The motivation for these recent developments can be traced to two dates: May 22 and September 13. On May 22, my advisory committee agreed that I could defend my dissertation on September 13. Of course, I do not have quite enough data to complete the scientific stories I am trying to tell. I presented an ambitious plan to finish all of my wet experiments (which for me includes those involving cells and animals) by July 1.

That puts me today at number 19 of a 40 day flood of experiments. Just like the one described in Genesis, this rain falls day and night. And while it may sometimes feel like I am in the wilderness, I am not fasting, nor do I expect at the end of it all to be tempted with world domination or anything like that. No, I will be tempted to embark on a second flood. One of words. That's right: I hope to have a draft of my dissertation, (and two accompanying articles for submission) by August 9.

Now that this information is out there for all 25 of you readers, I will have to commit to it. For you locals, here are the specs.

"Reducing Fibrosis and Cell Death in Transplanted Cardiomyocytes"
Thomas E. Robey
September 13, 2007
3:00 PM
Hitchcock Hall 132

By the way, you could select another "40" for me here or here.

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