Sunday, March 27, 2011 Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Moving forward

I am spending my last days in Boston. In the past couple of weeks I have been disposing of things that at one time seemed so essential, but now are just dead weight. Bed, bookshelf, pots, pans, plants... At first I thought that letting go would be difficult, now I am enjoying tossing things in the trash, knowing that I never have to think of that item again. I am sure that I will miss none of it. Among the piles of stuff I found this bit of writing that I did to inspire me in dark times.

Reasurance for a weary heart and a fragile psyche

It's OK...
...not to have all the answers --- not knowing is the drive to make the next step have an imperfect experiment --- serendipitous results arise unintentionally repeat experiments --- results must be reproduced and it's OK if the outcome is different the second time

...not to agree on the interpretation of results with others --- many points of view provide a wider perspective feel scared --- It is not OK to let fear inhibit/prevent action make mistakes --- learn from them and move on get negative results --- ponder on it and move to a new experiment feel overwhelmed, sad, discouraged, stupid, and incompetent sometimes --- just remember that a mood passes, but the goal remains: keep your goal in mind and heart - like a beacon of light - and make steps toward it, however small even when all around you is darkness and despair

Carry the light with you. Let it burn away self-doubt and fear. Let it guide you toward your goal. Let it remind you that you are smart, strong and capable and can easily accomplish any goal!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Skill and passion

I have had a lot of time in recent weeks. As I unwind after a very stressful final year of graduate school, I find that I experience periods of apathy, anger, depression and hopelessness. Was it worth it? Should I have spent my time doing something else? Is this what I want to do with the rest of my life? At the same time I feel a kind of inner calm and confidence. I accomplished something very difficult. It took a lot of work, nerves, sleepless nights, and other sacrifices. I didn't know if I could do it, but I kept moving forward and I did it. I can feel proud of my accomplishment. Even though at this stage in time, I am not sure how my future will unfold, no one can take away the fact that I how have a PdD.

Interesting yoga related site to peruse:


Friday, May 14, 2010

I did it! What now?

In the past month, as I completed the revisions to my thesis, got them approved, printed and bound the thesis, and finally submitted, it the fact that I AM DONE WITH GRADUATE SCHOOL! has slowly started to sink in. I have been a graduate student for eight years and so I am exhilarated and nervous at the same time. Exhilarated, because I have finally achieved a doctorate degree. Nervous, because the eight years in Boston is the longest I've lived anywhere as an adult. Because in two weeks I will be leaving behind the life I had here, my friends, all the familiar things and places. I have an exciting future ahead of me. It is filled with unknowns and although I am optimistic about what is to come, I am a little sad to know that some things that I've gotten used to I will never experience again. Life is constant change, I do know that. It just seems that things are changing very quickly all of a sudden and my futile attempts to slow it down are resulting in a waste of time, instead of a productive use of my last few weeks in lab and in Boston.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Post-defense blues

My thesis defense was last Monday, almost two weeks ago. It went well. I passed, with more minor revisions to do. I thought that what I would experience would be a sense of relief and all my insecurities and bad habits would become a thing of the past. What I found is that I am feeling a little lost.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Good enough

As I am nearing the deadline for submitting my phd thesis, I am constantly battling with the thought that it is not good enough. That it could be so much better if I had more time to work on it. I found this great quote today from Scott Gilbert, author of the text book Developmental Biology and it gives me comfort.

"As Ian Wilmut (2001) said, "Life is messy, and science is a slice of life." If you seek perfection, go into math. Evolution and embryology make do with what they got, and "good enough" is indeed good enough."

All I really needed to know I learned during gastrulation.
CBE Life Sci Educ. 2008 Spring;7(1):12-3.
Wilmut, I. (2001). Wilmut I. et al. The Second Creation: Dolly in the Age of Biological Control, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University


William Earnest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.