Fortune Favors the Latecomers

The last week has been a blur. An experiment that spent the last year not working suddenly decided to work. This propitious occasion heralded a race against time where every moment was precious as I pushed inexorably toward the end result because, gosh darn it, if science decided to start working for me, I wasn’t going to waste this opportunity! Success came at the price of forgoing relaxing dinners at home with a good book for staying in lab late with only my proteins for company. Yet, I was glad to do it. After all, I am pretty sure my forehead was beginning to develop a dent from where I had spent the last year banging it against a wall, and this glimmer of success was enticing (and hopefully not as ephemeral) as a mirage in a desert to dying man.

Yet, my success had to come at a point where my margin of error was thin. If I messed my experiment up, I wouldn’t have new data for my poster. If I messed it up, I would have to wait until I got back from LA to repeat it when maybe my proteins would be less cooperative. If I messed it up, then all this work would be for naught. I couldn’t mess up.

That is how I found myself at ten o’clock at night on Thursday, staring at a gel with bated breath, crossed fingers, and flittered heart, barely able to believe my eyes. That is how I found myself at 2am on Friday, editing figures on my poster while simultaneously trying to pack and clean my apartment. That is how I found myself eight hours later the same day, literally running around campus trying to get my poster printed before my flight left at noon. That is how I found myself, landed in LA with a poster in hand, in open awe that I had somehow survived and things had worked out alright in the end.

Things actually worked.

With that auspicious start to my week in LA, I am excited for the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, I am excited to hear about interesting research, and I am excited to do it all with my sister, Monica.

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