TGIF/Where I am at these days…

It’s not so much a TGIF for me as much as it is a where has this week gone?!

My allergies have been horrendous this week… I ran and hiked outside early on this week. And I was passing out by like 8/9 because of exhaustion and I couldn’t figure out why. Then Wednesday I noticed my car coated with tree pollen and I’m like wow, you idiot you’ve only been suffering from spring allergies for decades but still seem surprised every spring?! To be fair, I start taking my allergy meds in March to stay on top of it or else there is no catching up. But since they seem to be hitting extra hard I’ve upped my meds and have been avoiding the outside and I seem to be feeling a little bit better but I’m still fairly low energy.

I threw my May 2nd deadline out the window. It just wasn’t doable. There are other cycles I can submit it to in the future so I will get back to it eventually when it fits into my schedule better. I just didn’t have the energy (re: allergies) and I had to prioritize my research during the day and I don’t even feel like I accomplished much there this week either.

Actually, I am still in lab and will be here until midnight. I wanted to use the same equipment my boss was using earlier so I took the late shift on it. And I made it worse because I was running a gel for an hour and a half only to notice it wasn’t properly plugged in after an hour and a half… *facepalm

The worst is I have to be in by 8am tomorrow to finish an experiment so I can get to my partner’s place by 6pm in the city because they are cooking me dinner. I cannot tell you how excited I am to see them! Our mushiness for each other is actually quite disgusting so I’ll spare you.

I received exciting news in my inbox tonight. I was awarded a $5000 from an internal critical research fund! That means I can do the RNAseq experiment I’ve had my heart set on. Yay!

Also this week, GWISE selected their new executive board so I’m finally being relieved of my position as President. I’m thrilled because that is one less thing on my plate. And next week, I have the the capstone event with my high school WISE ladies and then I’m officially done with that. Next week, I also have my last class for the faculty preparedness course I’ve been taking all semester. And by the end of the summer, I will also be done with my Graduate School Organization senator role.

I really just want to focus on research. I would like to have majority of my data collection completed by the end of the summer so that I can get my paper submitted in the fall. That is my ideal timeline. We will see if that will be a realistic timeline as time goes on.

I got my crossover injection last Friday and I felt nothing. Nothing! No temperature spike, no fatigue, not even tenderness at the site of the injection like I did with my first round back in January. That has me heavily speculating that this round it was the placebo. But that’s just speculation. I get my second crossover May 14th so after that I can officially and appropriately claim to be fully vaccinated. But even when I am I don’t really plan on doing anything different – will be wearing my mask, no indoor dining, still mostly avoiding people.

Next week, I am going home to see my family. I am nervous about traveling because of the whole RAGING PANDEMIC that people have seem to forgotten about. And I’m not totally sure if I’ve been fully vaccinated. But I haven’t been back to Minnesota since April 2019 and haven’t seen my sister since then, I haven’t seen my dad since June 2019, and I only briefly saw my mother in June 2020 for her sister’s funeral. So I’d like to be home for his 65th birthday and Mother’s day. My family is all vaccinated, I will get tested extra (I already get tested once a week as is), and I will wear my N95 well fitted with a surgical mask over it and not remove it once in the airport – I’m just going to be hella thirsty but gotta do what you gotta do. I am both excited and nervous – I have no idea how Minnesotans are with the pandemic. Out here in New York, we wear our masks outside! I have no idea what kind of activities my family will want me to do. But whatever, I will get to see and hug my family so that’s all that matters. It’s already been too long and I am worried if I wait to long things will get bad again.

Speaking of bad, my heart goes out to everyone in India. I want to rant about inequities and privilege but really I have no words. But I have friends who have family there, some who have lost family there, and it’s just really fucking sad and scary!

I have no links for you this week. Just be kind to yourselves and hug your loved ones if you can.

Oh and thank you for the likes for my poem I shared on Monday. I was nervous sharing an unfinished piece but it was nice to get some likes. 🙂

TGIF

How is it Friday already? It’s late night and I’m still in lab and slightly freaking out because I’m not sure I really checked anything off my to do list this week. At least not research-wise which sometimes feels like the only thing that matters. I also have a May 2nd deadline for something I am not sure I can complete and I am overdue on a report for my thesis committee. Although they haven’t bothered me about it yet…

What are you up to this weekend?

The weather tomorrow looks nice so my roommate and I plan on going on a local hike on the island. Then I will pop into lab for a bit to run a gel that I should have ran days ago. And then I am telling myself it is okay to go to the city and have a movie night with my new boo (random thought: did boo come about because people couldn’t figure out how to spell/pronounce beau?) It was probably a bad idea to start dating someone that is an hour away while trying to finish my PhD but then again dating and doing anything during your PhD kind of feels like a bad idea. Actually dating even without grad school kind of feels like a bad idea. But dating my current boo does not seem like a bad idea because they are actually really fantastic! Then Sunday, I need to write, write, write.

Anyway, here are my round up of links for the week.

The House has passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act [Vox] Please call your senators and tell them to pass this bill! If you don’t have your senator’s number handy you can call 202-499-6085 and provide your zipcode and they will connect you.

The GWISE blog did a nice spotlight of me on their blog for my AAUW award. Thanks ladies!

So far, 5,800 fully vaccinated people have caught Covid anyway in US, CDC says [CNN Health] I’m not sharing this to scare you, most of the breakthrough cases were asymptomatic. I’m sharing this to encourage you to still wear your mask and take precautions even if you are vaccinated. Not to mention we still don’t know the risks of long COVID…

Scientists haven’t figured out long Covid. Here are 5 of their best hypotheses. [Vox]

More young people are getting hospitalized as a ‘stickier,’ more infectious coronavirus strain becomes dominant [CNN Health]

The Blood-Clot Problem Is Multiplying: So are theories to explain it [The Atlantic]

Why is it so hard to review the Johnson & Johnson vaccine? Data. [MIT Technology Review]

Lack of Data on Covid-19 Vaccines and Periods Inspired Two Feminist Scientists to Learn More [Elemental]

The COVID-19 vaccine and menstrual irregularities [Vagenda Substack] This is run by Dr. Jen Gunter, who I absolutely adore when it comes to women’s health

9 reasons why you should be doing science communication [Soph Talks Science]

Making Time to Think [How to Write a PhD in a Hundred Steps (or More)] “[T]he acts of reading and thinking are not quite as stress-less and straightforward as some may think.” Yes, yes, so much yes to this statement. “This invisibility to the outside may mean that we struggle to really make time for it and protect that time. We want to rush ahead to the parts that are visible.” Oh no, I am in this post and I don’t like it.

TGIF

Oh what a week! My experiments are not behaving and by that I mean they aren’t working. I had a failed microscopy experiment and a failed protein purification. But if failure isn’t science, I do not know what is. At least I’m not a failure (I say to try and convince myself) and I did get that fellowship. Not to mention me and that person made it official. ❤

What are you up to this weekend?

I need to spend some time in lab because this girl really wants to graduate. But I will be having a game night and dinner at my house tomorrow so that my boyfriend (I can’t believe I have a boyfriend, feels not real…) can meet some close and vaccinated friends. Dating is so weird in the pandemic. Anyway, I am really looking forward to them all meeting and of course, the games.

Anyway, here are some links that I think are really worth checking out.

Why would a Covid vaccine cause rare blood clots? Researchers have found clues [Stat]

Hard choices emerge as link between AstraZeneca vaccine and rare clotting disorder becomes clearer [Science]

Why Some of Your Vaccine ‘Side Effects’ Might Just Be Placebo [Gizmodo]

What the heck happened to John Ioannidis? [Science-Based Medicine]
I was never a fan so I’m happy to see that it is becoming clear my initial instinct was completely right.

Biden pursues giant boost for science spending [Nature]
I’ll believe it when I see it…

Your Favorite Boba Tea Shop Is Probably Out of Boba Right Now [Food & Wine]
Nooooo! I guess I’m adding getting boba to my weekend to do before it runs out. Also apparently the boyfriend has never had boba so that needs to change.