You know another thing no one tells you about graduate school that I just learnt the past couple of weeks? MOVING COSTS A LOT OF MONEY!!! I had to move from the location of the national lab to my home institution to take my classes for the year and then head back to the national lab next year to stay till i graduate. The moving ran me dry… so dry I didn’t even have $10 to get my eyes checked – Thank God for broke days in college that taught me how to eat my dry bread in my room and not complain LOL. Anyhow, I moved. It happened. And I avoided showing up at my department at all costs until I had to because I needed my brain break especially after my first rotation… and about that, I have bad news. The PI told me he couldn’t take me on as his student because he lacked the resources. It was disappointing… no, let me re-phrase that – it felt like I had just been dumped out of a relationship that I had high hopes for. I was crushed. It made me realize that being in graduate school is now exactly like ph.d comics said it would be – a marriage to your work, the expectations and the hopes that comes with being in such a relationship. Anyhow, I got over it… but not before one of the heads of my department said something to we the newbies about how communication is VERY VERY important in conveying how our rotations are going – the good, the bad and the very ugly. The PIs definitely can’t guess what is ongoing in our minds. It made me think back to the rotation – I never outrightly told him before the last day that I really liked it there and wouldn’t mind coming back… I didn’t make it clear to him that I was having a good time learning and getting to know some of the lab members… Maybe my lack of communication made things worse? Could I have abated this if I had been more vocal to him about how I felt about the lab environment?

We will never know now will we? Moving on.

Graduate School Orientation – AMAZING! I don’t know if it’s just at my institution, but coming here, I’ve gotten a feeling that during the graduate school interviews, it’s harder to gauge just how chill some students are with each other and how helpful the Professors are – you get just a tip of the iceberg. This past week has re-enforced the fact that I do LOVE the fact that i’m here and that more than anything else, I have made the right decision. The close-knittedness of my department is one that I’m really looking forward to. And another word about the free food and drinks galore in grad school… I still don’t know if the objective is to get us obese or drunk lol… but regardless, I like the fact that a long time ago, someone thought it up to make satisfying the palates a part of the grad life.

I’m up for my second rotation – this time it’s a lab that uses electrophysiology to study calcium ion channels and their spliced isoforms. I’m excited because it’s something different from what I am primarily interested in doing, however I am pushing myself to explore other areas of neuroscience in this year of classes and my second rotation… who knows, I may just turn into a channel neuroscientist! We’ll see.

One of the older graduate students told us the happiness and hopeful glares in our eyes will fade out by the time we are fourth years… I plan on proving that wrong.

That’s pretty much all that has happened between my last post and now… I should update more frequently… however, the tire from my first rotation and just trying to recover from moving took a toll on me 😦

p.s. if you are a fellow grad student or even post-doc, don’t be shy to drop in a line or two, and even the link to your blog if you have one. I’d love to hear your feedback on posts, and even get to know you more on your blogs!

Cheers and have a great labor day weekend.