As it turns out, I do in fact have a small amount of terminal ileum inflammation, but not enough to stop me from eating salads on a near-daily basis. Or biking after boozing on Friday afternoon...
After an agonizing week of general grad and departmental orientation, I am pumped to actually start in with courses and a regular class/research schedule. The little that I've gleaned of my incoming classmates has been stellar; we are all from different backgrounds and excited to share our expertise and learn from that of our peers.
It also turns out that 3 of the 5 of us (and one other incoming in another department) want to rotate with a particular assistant professor who was just given a lab just this summer and who I just learned about last week (more on his situation after our meeting next week), so my rotation schedule has been jostled into upset and I am just shy of frantically lunching and coffeeing with PIs and grad students in order to re-prioritize. My 3 comforts are as follows:
1) schedule upset is a defining characteristic of academia, and this compulsive organizationalist naively invites the challenge as if she might actually conquer it;
2) I am confident enough in my enthusiasm for finding a rockin' project and publishing/collaborating through it that I don't feel reliant on a PI having an established and renowned publishing record;
3) I have a NSF grant, ergo, I'm a free-be, ergo, I'm not in the same kind of competition with other graduate students for space in a lab of my choice.
After four days of mind-numbing introductions, patronizing trainings (and I was prepared for this process, but having your entire breadth of background disregarded and being made to start back at zero is frustrating no matter how prepared you are), stressful reconfigurations of research rotation fates, and a Remicade infusion, there was Neurobeer.
Yes, I am part of a neurobiology program that treats its family to beer and free cuisine each month. And by cuisine, I don't mean wraps and cookies -- I mean Mexican, Indian, Asian cuisine. And by family, I don't just mean the grad students -- I mean us, recruits, post docs and PIs. All chillin' in our courtyard with a beer (or wine, or soda, as you prefer). I lubs it.