I think I would call this a very productive summer. I finished up my experiment pretty well, and I think I laid a good framework for my colleagues to follow up on. I’m excited to hear about their future experiments; I really think they’re on to something in the regulation pathway of Brucella.
I presented a poster on my experiment at a symposium at Cornell, and I was lucky to have plenty of time to explore the campus and sit in on a few lectures. The lecture series on infectious disease was really good. I even had a couple of “ah-ha” moments as far as the direction I want my career to go. Several people talked about how they turned their veterinary expertise into an asset that can be used to help build on the agricultural practices in third-world countries (in their experience, they had done some work in Africa). I’m not sure I have the vocabulary to describe my reaction to this series of lectures, but it made me think “that could be my life!” And it was exciting. As it stands, I’m still not sure of the career track I’d like to choose, but I do know I definitely want to make the most of my time here and do everything I possibly can.
I thought my poster session went well also. I talked to a lot of people, and a professor from another school asked some pretty good questions about my project. They were things I wouldn’t have thought of, but if would have been a good conversation for my principal investigator to be in on. It was a great opportunity to see what research is going on, meet some new people, and catch up with friends — and of course, it was a great opportunity to learn. It was definitely an awesome summer experience, even with all the blunders of my project.
By the way, if anyone happens to visit Cornell’s campus, they have an amazing art museum. Check it out!