Friday, May 30, 2008

i guess i'm gonna stick around here for a while, then.

Huh, funny. I forgot I had a blog for a while.

Well, let's see what Auntie Andrea has here in her bag o' updates....

First off, and clearly most importanly: I dyed my hair brown again. Last time I did it, it stayed "brown" for about two days, then it looked like my natural color for a week or so, then it all faded out and it just looked like I had cheap highlights-- which was exactly the case, mind you-- but it was still a thousand times better than the awful self-done highlights I'd dyed to cover up in the first place. Maybe this time it'll hold a little longer. All I'm saying is, could my hair just remain a color which actually occurs in nature?

Sunday I'm going to Boston for the ASM national conference. Missy and I are totally stoked. It's nerd heaven, really. All manner of swag, yes of course. But even more than that, the sessions, symposiums, consortiums, and all such what-have-you will be so interesting, and exclusively specific to the field I'm most interested in (which is, of course, microbiology).

Now, on to real business:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm thinking about graduate school. Only this time, I went so far as to meet with a professor of the program I'm considering. Let me lay a bit of background by reminding you that I'm a medical technologist. That's one of the programs I graduated from at OSU. What MTs generally do is become certified post-graduation, work in a clinical laboratory, and make a career out of it. There isn't presently too much of a career ladder-- you can become a manager or a senior technologist, certainly-- but your job doesn't change a whole lot over the years.

In terms of furthering your education as an MT (as scientists-at-heart often want to do just out of a love of learning and), there currently only exists an official Master's degree (MS)-- which is all well and good, but the opportunities for MT's with a MS are really not all that different from those for MT's who just have a Bachelor's (BS). This is a well-known problem that clinical laboratory associations and societies are working on to improve.

What we, the lab people, would really like is to have more opportunities for a career span, like pharmacy for example: there are pharm techs, and there are PharmD's. We want a clinical doctorate. Someone with a clinical doctorate could potentially be a real expert on the science while still having the experience and technical knowledge that a tech would. Presently we have three very separate things: we have techs, we have scientists, and we have doctors (although doctors, pathologists namely, do know their science). The techs know the tests that they run. The scientists are experts in the hard science, and what they know is research. The doctors know clinical care. Wouldn't it be great to have a position that a.) knew the technicalities of clinical testing, b.) knew an area of science REALLY well, and c.) knew how to work with clinicians to make good patient test choices? That's the aim of creating a clinical doctorate, from what I understand.

That's something I would really like to be. And it doesn't exist-- yet.

But the people in my profession are working on it. It's been a decade in the making, but they're getting close. And the likelihood is that it'd be available for me to start by the time I finished my MS in clinical lab science, and that my work in a Master's program could be counted as work toward the doctorate. I could be one of the first.

That's kind of exciting.

Monday, May 19, 2008

someone else "noticed"


*dies in peace*

Friday, May 16, 2008

ain't it grand

This article reminds me of the blogs I used to write while in college:

10 Items You Think Make You Cool, But Don't

I've got some mixed feelings, dude.

It's witty and acerbic, and hey-- it makes fun of people. I find myself equally perturbed by those stupid Fidel Castro hats and people who quote the same movies all the time.

Part of me is a little sad I didn't think of such a list first. I mean, that sort of thing used to be my mantra... those people who are so much in the pursuit of avoiding triteness that they themselves, their actions, and their fashions become trite-- ridiculous! Let us lampoon them.

But I just don't have the widespread angst anymore. Crap, where did it go? It was fodder for some great writing. I no longer have an axe to grind against anyone in particular. I'm just too darn happy with my own life.

Just another reason adulthood sucks: no more adolescent snobbery. Let the college kids wear their ironic belt buckles. Let 'em sit and ponder their existence in dark, smoke-filled bars as they swill an obscure micro-brew. Let them write slam poetry as they congregate in hookah lounges. Let the clean-cut mainstream kids continue to disdain the slam poetry writers and emo disasters. That's what the late teens and early 20's are all about.

If I weren't so moderately satisfied with the little niche I've carved out, I'd be right there along with them, saying, "what's the deal with American Apparel, anyway?"

Sorry, kids. Gotta disappoint you once again. Adulthood beckons.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Where the Rabbit hits the road

Eight hours by myself, on the road. That's what I have in front of me today.

With that in mind, I'll give myself license to indulge in all manner of Starbucky treats. Girl's gotta stay awake, after all. I'm kind of excited. The Rabbit's got cruise control, a six-cd changer, and as-yet unused air conditioning.

I've got plenty to think about, too. There's a lot going on-- mostly good, partly bad-- that I can consider and debate internally. What is the life I'm going to make for myself? Where does that highway lead to? Am I right? Am I wrong? I'll ask myself, "What will I be?"
Will I be pretty,
Will I be rich?
And I'll tell myself, tenderly...

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera

And then I'll feel like a prize idiot for a hot minute, having not only asked myself questions and answered them (aloud), but having answered myself in a Doris Day song.

Then I'll probably start singing another song. And it will probably be a Shirley Bassey number.

GOOOOOLD- FINGAHHHH (dun dunnn dun dunn)

It's so cathartic.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Yep, I must be in the middle of an existential crisis again-- I'm thinking about grad school.

The idea just comes up as a possible means to pacify that gnawing question, "what am I doing with my life?" which I believe I addressed in an earlier post. Is everybody else like this, or do I just have some kind of complex where I never quite feel like I'm doing enough?

Here's the internal conversation with myself:

What am I DOING with my life?
I don't know, but you could go to grad school. Then you'd have a shiny degree and more monies with which to buy knick-knacks.
I like knick-knacks.
They say grad school is a big bag of suck, though.
Ew, that's right.
But sometimes you think your job is a big bag of suck.
True 'dat.
So maybe you should go. You might learn more things.
Hey, I like learning. I like it even more than knick-knacks.
You'll probably regret it down the road if you don't go.
Also true.

I might really do it this time. Might not. Maybe if I go ahead and go, then later in life when that question comes back --because it will-- I can cope by saying to myself, "well, I may feel like my life meant nothing more than those of any of the other millions of peonic ants that populated the earth with me, but at least I went to grad school." (i.e., at least I tried.)

Seriously, though, every time I think about going back to school, the task seems a little less and less like suicide and a little more and more like a noble enterprise. I mean, shoot. I'm obviously not satisfied with my career as is, so I might as well ... I don't know... do something about it...

Other news: I'm going home this weekend. I am SO happy to see my old crowd. So I've got a massive solo road trip ahead of me, here. I have a PhD in self-entertainment, but there's a real chance I could get bored. Those are the breaks, though.

Clap your hands, everybody, if you've got what it takes-- 'cause I'm Kurtis Blow and I want you to know that these - are - the - breaks.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

significance is overrated

I lack inspiration lately. I hate that feeling!

I'm not very satisfied with my job. It was supposed to be a little more awesome than this. I'm not considering a career change, by any means, but there are just an increasing number of days where I wake up and say, "really, what am I doing?" and I don't have a very comforting answer to that question.

People ask me what I do, and by default I want to give a defeated sigh and answer, "that's a good question." But nobody's really asking me the deeper version of that question; they're just making polite conversation. The answer is, I squirt various liquids into tiny tubes and push buttons on machines, and at the end of the day, it really does not make a significant difference to anyone or anything. YAY ME!!!

I bet everybody feels like this at some point, though. I was just hoping this point would come, for me, around my mid-life crisis or whatever... and not within a year of my graduating college.