Afraid you might taste something, Lagerboy?

Today someone said that young scientists are cocky, thinking they know everything, and as they get older and experience failures, they become pessimistic. But at least I used to be very unsure about myself, especially when presenting my first posters. With time I have become more confident about what I can and know, but today felt like I had gone back to square one – or that graduate student symposium some seven years ago. Today we presented our poster on lipid behaviour in integrin clustering. For goodness sake, my background is in mitochondrial DNA. And suddenly I’m telling people about my work on transmembrane protein clustering and phase separation in plasma membrane derived vesicles. Ironically, in his grant application our group leader named my better half as his collaborator for the imaging of these vesicles. And better is the correct word here. But life works in mysterious ways, so instead of having someone who just published his work on confocal microscopy in Nature, our group leader was stuck with me to do the microscopy.

I have mixed feelings about poster sessions. I don’t like making posters, and you never know what to expect when you stand there waiting and dreading that people will come up and ask questions. Today was great though, and I felt like a star struck groupie, for I met the people who developed the method we’re using.  And they were so nice and helpful and encouraging. And I found myself speaking about liquid ordered and disordered domains, and loving it.

But after the poster session my mouth was dry and my feet killing me. So here we are, with our feet up, drinking beer at the hotel. The guys have made it their mission to drink as much American IPA as they can. (Finland is known for expensive piss also known as lager). Personally, I can’t stand the hoppy stuff. But with names like Raging Bitches and Ruination they make great entertainment even for those of us drinking Heineken.

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