The pre-PhD-defense months is a taut period of overwhelming stress owing to the reason that these few days govern the route of what we entirely pursue in the future. Saying that, the age at which most PhDians try to direct the future also plays a role in adding salt to the wounded stress. I am no exception to this rule and am going through my fair share of stress. But, experience of a not so sparkling PhD has also taught me the virtues of patience and calmness of mind. What lacks the most in times of such strenuous workload is a 'true' reason to shed out a heartfelt smile.... Fortunately, every now and then, I send out and receive a few quips that snork my way into a good mood. Here are a few unintentional quips that occurred in the past one month that lead to an intentional progress, both in work and play.
These are excerpts from a bunch of emails between self and my advisor/collaborator
1. Sub: 'The' Lunch Plan
Guess today is your last day as Assistant Professor. Wondering if the lab gets free lunch anytime soon celebrating your promotion to Associate Professorship? :D
Hari (on behalf of the lab members and my tummy)
Re: 'The' Lunch Plan
That is awful nice of you to offer to take me and the rest of the lab out to celebrate my promotion. It is greatly appreciated, and we definitely need to get it on the calendar.
2. Sub: Extension
Thanks Dr. H for the letter.
PPS - I did walk the team through winning at the end.
Thanks a lot
Re: Sub (modified): Butter Fingers
What is with the gloves butter fingers? Man up and catch like every other player in the team.
3. Sub: Paper Draft
T and Dr. L
Attached herewith is the first draft on our NEP work. Please advice based on your initial review.
PS - I have some updated plasma results (also attached) that might interest you.
Thanks a lot
Re: Paper Draft
Hari, let's meet on Tuesday to discuss on my comments on the paper. The results are pretty interesting. You just gained your way into in vivo studies as per your wish. T will be sending a protocol for some mice studies. Discuss with him to finalize the protocol. Also, ensure that you continue with the Midas touch. The worst thing that can happen if it disappears is that the mice may croak. Grribbbbbit!!
4. Sub: H6 Macromer
We (D and I) are out of isobutyl amine and PEG400DA.With the new in-situ precipitation working in the H6 matrix, we need to synthesize more macromer. Please advice. Thanks a lot
Re: H6 Macromer
Please jab D prepare an order form, and we will get it ordered.
Re:Re: Will do right in the ribs where she feels the pain... :)
Re:Re:Re: Jab = have...please do not hurt D. Got to love autofill typing.
Re:Re:Re:Re: (D's e-mail to Dr. H): Dr. H, I need half a day holiday tomorrow to see the doctor. Hari's jab has opened some of my past surgical stitches.
Thank a lot
Re: ... Re: Very funny Ali. Next time don't include your signature of "Thanks a lot" from her mail box. Can you send me the KSEF grant report by morning tomorrow? If not, I'm going to bite your ears of in the boxing ring.
Labels: PhD, Usual Craziness
Here's an interesting find from personal experiences"In this fast upgrading, multi-routed, first come first serve/steal world, the best picks of a better opportunity for the good future are those, which knock second, silent to those that bang first with a drum roll"
The challenge is only in the second. The first has greed written all over it.... :)
After teaching the real way it is supposed to be, I looked at the bystanders surprised stare. The questionable nod about the reason for the stare brought back her reply, "Seeing a ten year old in you all the time, I sometimes forget how good a father figure you really are." The immediate nautanki brought a dejected facial transformation and the comment, "And the ten year old is back again. sigh...."
The short sprint back to the occupation was long enough for an anonymous feeling to set in. And I knew instantly from the single past experience, the perils of an open book.............. Things will be the same - "to keep things different" :)
Labels: Blurry eyes and lucid mistakes, child in us, Irony of life, slumber along shadows
It seems to be ages that I penned a post on something thats apart from the random glow bulbs of philosophy, and especially on something that would become a grain of memory in the vast sands of a memorable life. Anyways, digging into the reel......
The train of life has brought into perspective many travelers with whom I've spent quite some time. In the context of showing emotions to bugs/insects/animals specifically, I've seen a myriad of villainous characters ranging from stone kill a stray dog to electric heating a bed bug (both by very close friends). But rarely I see a few who really care about their living non-human neighbors. One of the cricket games from the past few weeks was a special one in witnessing such a character.
Handling my batting stance with calm composure, and meditating the phrase, "Move your feet and watch the ball" like for the millionth time, I watched my first tap of the bat on the pitch. My eyes caught up on the moving speck, and the realized mind stopped the meditation, broke the composure, and eventually halted the arm in doing the second tap. Obviously, I moved from my stance, and palmed the bowler to an abrupt fitful stop. To the sudden roar of the mind-game sledging, I went onto my knees, arched my back, and blew the speck to 'repeated' safety. Then rose up to the opponent captain and apologized for delaying the game. There was one fielder - soft in his youth, hard in his voice, and confident in his character who walked up to the turf, squatted on the crease, watched the ant completely walk out of safety, rose up, said to me, "Nice save yaar!!" in the typical cricket jargon, and smiled back to his fielding position. While, the mind was playing games in deciphering the intent of action as, if it was sledging or genuine character, the friendly heart hoped that it was the latter. To my surprise, he reached his spot and then wished me "Good luck!" just confirming that the heart won yet again over the stuffed mind.
For five straight years, I've been prodded by my own team mates for wishing my opponents good luck as I keep. I've even been lectured on the disadvantages of doing it - the main point being that it shows our weakness. BS is what the heart muted my mind with when I hear such conversations from my own pillars. And in five straight years for the first time, I was not mocked in my attempt to save one of the several ants that pass over the batting crease at the home field. After the single I took from the very next ball, I felt like I just had a century to my belt. I was happy for witnessing something genuinely good after a really long time in life. And am grateful for being instilled with such a character. To whoever you were, and whatever was your name kiddo, I honor you for proving me with this memorable moment....... :)
Labels: baldy logs, cricket