Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Whole New World

Don't you dare close your eyes - because you might get run over by a truck.

Remember Super Mario Brothers Three? When you were young, and you finally..FINALLY get past the first world. You thought you beat the game, right? Then all of sudden, you are in some fucking desert with MORE goombas to jump on and turtle shells to kick.

Sure it isn’t that creative..but this is what it feels like to me right now. I graduated a week ago, feeling like a wise old man amongst a sea of undergrads. Now I find myself in Chicago, a plethora of new faces, places, and all of the above. I still haven’t gotten used to the traffic or random people asking me for money, but I guess that comes with the territory. I feel little again, lost, terrified - yet content with the change.

Learn by doing - it's my new motto. Can't fit your car in the spot? Keep trying, that is what bumpers are for. Can't find an address? Go around again. Can't find your research mentor's office while being stared at by a hordes of dental students on lunch break? Suck it up- you will be making an ass out of yourself eventually anyways, may as well begin early and get used to it.

You know what makes you stand out in a room full of people wearing scrubs? Oh I know, not wearing scrubs...gah!

Nestled away within a maze of concrete and drywall, I did eventually find my research Mentor – a periodontist whose work revolves around wound healing. He seems friendly, although I felt completely out of place once we visited the lab. I am the only pre-doc working in the lab and will be surrounded by PhDs and DDS/PhDs – so much for being ‘at the top.’ Everyone seems nice, but the place just seems a bit unfriendly for newcomers – simply because I have no experience and will probably end having to be babysat by a post-doc to make sure I don’t destroy some expensive piece of equipment. They have had students before though, so hopefully I will get assimilated without too much trouble.

It sounds as if I will be doing some rather rudimentary tasks, but hopefully I will find the work interesting. My mentor also made it sound as if I could work on a number of different projects, so who knows what will happen.

I felt like a total idiot when he talked with all his other lab workers, they were just throwing around terminology left and right that was clearly above my current level of understanding.

Luckily (or maybe not), I was provided with about 10 articles relating to the lab research that will “bring me up to speed.” I fortunately did learn how to read in college, so mayhaps I won’t be as clueless on Monday.

Orientation is Thursday and lab work begins on Monday. The best part about this orientation is that it will get me out of some of the D1 orientation business in August (or so I was told).

I have also declared that moving will be a summer long process. I already have the essential stuff set up…but there is still much to do. Having the TV just sitting on the floor is soooo very un-cool.

As mentioned in a previous post, I have been pretty busy moving and tying up loose ends, but fear not, I have stories to tell when I have time to tell them. So do not forsake me.

Now I need to transfer the last of my money so that I can survive until loans arrive.