Esa, on Rebirth

March 26, 2010

This feels a bit like walking into a confessional and preparing to utter “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned”. Interesting that I should feel trepidation and associate it with this, as I have not been to confession since the sacrament was required of me by my family, at an age before I could fully comprehend it. Nonetheless, though I have counted myself an atheist (or something akin to one) for nearly a decade, the old Catholic guilt lives on.

And so I ask: Forgive me reader, for I have failed you. It has been nearly nine months since my last post. My promise to chronicle the graduate school experience has failed in a big way, as I have neglected to share the all-important beginning. But soon that beginning comes to a close, classes and lab rotations end, and my blogging begins anew. Much has changed since I last wrote here, and I look forward to sharing my experiences of the past school year with you in the weeks and months ahead.

Fondly,

Esa

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A bit of a personal post today…

So, as you may have gleaned from my previous post, I have only just started working at my graduate institution. My program is part of a larger medical school which, in turn, is only one of many medical schools and hospitals in the area. I have lived in major cities before, but this new place is particularly daunting. There are people of all different backgrounds, speaking numerous languages. There are doctors, nurses, students, administrators, scientists, volunteers, patients, visitors… the list goes on and on. I can’t help but reflect on how there must be a certain camaraderie among those around me. All of them are working toward the same goal of improving human health – and this is a brotherhood I am now a part of. However, I still feel like nothing more than a face in the crowd, on the outside looking in, so to speak. I don’t like to think of myself as a shy person and, to be honest, I probably have more self confidence than is normal, but this is a challenge like I’ve never faced. Classes haven’t started yet, and everyone in my lab is in a completely different stage of life than I am and knows I will be here for only a few short weeks before school begins, so making new friends has proven to be difficult.

Here’s where the irony comes in… Read the rest of this entry »

Esa, on Lost Time

June 24, 2009

Hello again everyone,

I would like to apologize for my absence over the last month, much of which I was without internet access for.  My life got more than a little busy and, as I had not yet made a habit of writing here, it fell by the wayside.

Where have I been? Well, graduating from college, visiting old friends, moving to a new city, and starting graduate school is the short list. However, in that time, I have also been making plans for a collaborative series of posts with a fellow blogger and outlining future posts.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m back, and just as determined to make an impact as ever.

Best Always,

Esa

If you’re like me, then all of your life has been a giant question mark.

The answer: 42.

No, but seriously, there was never really any doubt that I’d become a scientist. I can remember being four years old and wandering around my yard examining plant life and watching animals interact (usually my dogs tormenting a squirrel, but still…). There was also little doubt that I would be a skeptic – at five, after getting home from Easter Sunday Mass, I tormented my mother with questions about how we know God exists (she couldn’t answer my questions very well and I didn’t go back to church much after that…).

How I got from those preschool days to applying to Ph.D. programs would make a very long, boring book, but here is some interesting trivia:

  • I grew up in an average conservative town in New York.
  • I could talk about anything with my parents, but they taught me that politics and religion are societal taboos – I didn’t often listen.
  • The first thing I ever wanted to be was a detective, then an astronomer. (Now I am neither, but a lab rat instead.)
  • My favorite question was “How does this work?”. Followed closely by “But how does THAT work, then?”.
  • Evolution was taught at my school – and no one complained.
  • The question was always “WHERE are you going to college?”
  • My little cousin was diagnosed with autism at age 4.
  • The most important phrase I learned in college was “It depends”.
  • Statistics has always been my forte.