Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Prelims: conquered. Now what?

Everything should be downhill from this point. And I mean downhill as in coasting, not the crash and burn or decrepit old git kind of way. I passed all three of my prelims - bacteriology, immunology, and virology. I'm honestly shocked that I passed all three. I was pretty sure that I'd have to retake the immunology prelim, but I guess my committee members decided that they had better things to do in August than to roast me over the coals again. I am so relieved and happy that I don't have to worry about prelims anymore. I've been officially vetted and shouldn't feel the need to keep proving myself to everyone ad infinitum. The operative word there is "shouldn't", because I probably will anyway.

This afternoon, Chris, Elliot, and I went to the Immuno & Micro department picnic held on Belle Isle. Poor Elliot was the only kid, so I guess I should be grateful that he only drove me a little nuts. Chris got to put names with faces and I got congratulated by faculty and other grad students on passing prelims. I got roped into playing volleyball (!), something I haven't done since 8th grade gym class. I even managed to hit the ball a couple of times, so I considered that a total success and quit before I could fuck up my sterling record. I also managed to get a splinter in my foot and a nice sunburn on my chest and arms. That's a first for me - the sunburn, that is. We didn't get lost getting there or coming back; it was a pretty good time.

I've chosen to do my dissertation research in the cholera lab, but the only catch is that the whole lab is going to the national ASM conference in San Francisco next week. I guess I get to relax a little bit longer and catch up on vibrio literature. My actual start date is tentatively June 25. I'm kind of excited. We'll see how long this lasts...