In 2009 I traveled to Italy for the Gordon Research Conference on Dendrites. On my last night in Florence, I planned to go out to dinner and then to the opera. I ate a rich, decadent dinner at Il Cibreo, drinking a glass of wine with every course. I was dining alone but was enjoying my food so thoroughly that I had no concept of time. When I got my bill (€94!), I looked at the ridiculous large alarm clock I had bought and saw that it was 9:30pm. I had been sitting there, enjoying this meal by myself, for two and a half hours.…

PierreMy daughter is one year old today. I wrote her a letter when she was just a little gummy bear of unknown character tucked away in the confines of my body. While re-reading the letter, I realized that she has indeed given me an incredible gift: I care!

***

My dearest,

You are only 10 weeks old, unaware of your existence, but with all vital organs in place. The most important thing I can do for you now is to take care of myself. I must treat my own body as sacred, for it is doing its most important work. I will be housing you for the next 30 weeks.…

BSR_HiggsI have a new title to add to the list. I am the Director of Outreach for the Berkeley Science Review. Have you heard of the Berkeley Science Review? No? Well, that is why my newly created post exists. The Berkeley Science Review is a gorgeous magazine with well-written, fascinating content focused on recent scientific advances at the University of California, Berkeley and beyond. The magazine has been published every fall and spring semester since 2001. The Berkeley Science Review now regularly informs you of current science news via their blog, established in July 2010, Twitter and Facebook.…

The first chapter of Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg, made me cry. I haven’t spent much time thinking about myself as a woman in the world, and yet everything she wrote felt familiar. We are taught how to behave with many verbal and nonverbal cues throughout our lives, and it seeps into our psyche without conscious recognition. The passage that got me was the following:

The danger goes beyond authority figures silencing female voices. Young women internalize societal cues about what defines ‘appropriate’ behavior and, in turn, silence themselves.

I cried because I recognized that I silence myself, but I also cried for the loss of the person I was as a child.…

MBL_Marine_Biological_Lab_collage_neuro_2009

In 2009, I took the nine-week neurobiology course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. I came into the course as a fourth year graduate student. Getting my Ph.D. was a fantastic experience, and I often referred to myself as the least bitter grad student in the room. That said, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue on in academic science after grad school. Other avenues were calling me. Taking the course at MBL was a test. Can I have fun doing science for 15 hours a day? The answer was an overwhelming absolutely yes.

I have returned to MBL every year since, to do some work or reunite with some of my favorite scientists in Boston and Woods Hole.…

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