What I’m doing these days.
I recently accepted a position as a Fellow at Harvard University. So, I am in Massachusetts these days. I spend on the Harvard main campus mostly, although sometimes I’m at the Medical campus in Longwood. It’s all very new and so it’s much, much too early to claim there is any pattern yet, or that whatever patterns there are will persist. Although, it’s nice to be able to move around between both Campuses.
I’m currently a member of the Mango Lab, which is a relatively big lab run by Susan Mango. Susan is a MacArthur fellow also known as the ‘Genius Award’. She works primarily on C. elegans, which is the organism that I’ll be working on.
C. elegans is a worm (nematode) than some scientists have decided to understand the heck out of. When biologists really drill down deep in trying to understand an animal, they call it a model organism. I’ve started to eat and sleep these little guys; their DNA anyway.
Life in Boston
This morning was a delightful morning. The air was crisp and clean. I suspect, judging by the lack of people of the streets, many thought it wet and dreary. However, with the help of my trusty umbrella, the drizzle was held at arms length which left room to appreciate the weather.
Boston has fewer people than New York, but somehow feels more crowded.
I’m getting used to the buses in Boston. They can be quite crowded, but the places I get on and off are well positioned so that the bus is empty or mostly empty when it gets to me and it’s not too hard to pull out a journal article and start reading.
Life at Harvard
Harvard is fast paced, at least for me. I’ve worked at all sorts of places (in three different countries) and even telecommuted and I have to say that Harvard is a great working environment. The support staff at Harvard is fantastic. It never takes very long to get administrative stuff resolved. I usually just send off an email and within a day or two it’s done, with very little need for follow up. I don’t know if this is a Boston trait or a Harvard thing. I’m just used to longer lag times for these types of things.
I am spending large chucks of my days sucking down as much information as I can. As I mentioned, C. elegans is my best friend now. I feel a lot more energized; the atmosphere is very conducive to study and focus. I will have more to say about all this as I have more time to get used to everything, but this is it for now. I have work to do!