Monthly Archives: August 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Teach the controversy

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A little help from my friends…

Yesterday morning I posted this as my status update:

It is too early for this. I have not yet had my coffee and there is a paper in my inbox yet further complicating an already super complicated signaling pathway I’m trying to understand. One orphan receptor, another possibly de-orphaned receptor, both of which may act as co-receptors for other, seemingly completely unrelated and super complicated signaling pathways, regeneration in a variety or organs, overexpressed in a variety of tumors- overwhelming. I will allow myself this moment to be overwhelmed by the complexities and then I will get coffee.

After a few minutes of my mind reeling and feeling overwhelmed, I got up to go get coffee in the kitchen.

Shortly after that, as I sipped and pondered and PubMed searched I got a FB notification.  This was on my wall:

Instantly, a smile spread across my face.  Yes, it was my own words, but seeing it visually, in that way, knowing my friend had taken the time to make it and share it with me, really helped me shake it off and get on with figuring it out.

Kelly is such a talented artist, nurturing mom, caring friend, and brave person, that I was also honored that my words had resonated with her.

I’m going to let my words and her visual presentation remind me that I can take the moment to be overwhelmed, and then move on with the business of work/life/science.  I may have been talking about my research when I typed it, but it’s worth keeping in mind in any overwhelming situation.

Thanks again Kelly!

And if you want to see more Kelly’s work, her blog has lots of inspiring pieces (including this one I purchased for my mom a while back!)

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Wordless Wednesday: Open Up

Source: IFLS

Source: IFLS

 

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Everyone’s a little bit racist.

I live in the ‘burbs outside Manhattan.  The news has been inundated with stories about “Stop and Frisk” as well as the mayorial race, in which “Stop and Frisk” is a big issue.

Combine that with the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin, and there’s a lot of talk about race, racism, racial profiling, etc.

It reminded me of my own racism, which I wrote about here.  Knowing there’s a scientific basis to being racist, and little scientific basis for race itself, helps me to both not feel like sh!t for my racist ways AND helps me to combat them.

It also reminded me of this song from Avenue Q:

I wish that it were only just a laughing matter.  As a parent, I hope I can avoid raising kids who are ‘a little bit racist’.

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Wordless Wednesday: Curious about ideas

Source:  IFLS

Source: IFLS

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My first and my second

I read this piece on The Motherlode today and it resonated with me:  I don’t love my second child the way I love my first.

While I’m not generally given to self-analysis, I’m too practical for that, I can very much relate to this piece. I feel like I enjoy Nemo much more than I did Mabel. With Mabel I was/am learning, focused on figuring things out, getting through. With Nemo, I can do the drudgery of parenting on autopilot and leave my brain free to just enjoy him. I savor Nemo more than I did Mabel. I’m trying to remember to savor her too, even if it’s new, uncharted territory and thus harder to navigate.

Maybe it’s because Nemo might be my last baby, I feel an appreciation for the passing of time that I didn’t when I knew there’d be a sibling for Mabel. .  But really, I think it’s just that I could do so much on autopilot with Nemo- I knew how to breastfeed, I knew what to expect postpartum, I knew that sleepness nights wouldn’t last forever, etc.  So, I could just sit back, nurse him, and cherish him (on the rare occasion Mabel wasn’t around to distract me).  With Mabel I was thinking ahead- another child, a new job, a move, buying a house.  With Nemo, we’re settled, I’m settled, in a home, in a career, in a routine, and it leaves more time to stop and smell the roses

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I really want to be able to savor Mabel more.  She’s already grown into her own little person, she’s not a baby anymore.  I want to cherish her girlhood in a way I didn’t her babyhood.

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Little Cells: A science book for little scientists

We’re heading off on vacation soon- to Maine, a 6+ hour drive from home.  Being trapped in the car with two kids for that long can be misery.

Thus, for weeks I have been stockpiling stuff to keep my two kids entertained on the trip.

A couple of days ago I picked up “Little Cells” by Katie McKissick.

"Little Cells" Image Source:  Beatrice the Biologist

Little Cells” by Katia McKissick Image Source: Beatrice the Biologist

I read it to Mabel the moment I opened the Amazon box.  It’s a quick and easy read, you can see some of the images and text from the book here.

As soon as I finished, she asked me to read it again.  Then at bedtime, she chose it again.  So, it’s a hit.  It’s also a really nice introduction to what cells are, that they make up your body, that you have all kinds, they all do different stuff, etc.

Plus, as a person who does her fair share of anthropomorphizing cells (“I treated the cells with 5-FU and they were really unhappy” “I added the growth factor and boy were those cells happy.” “Contamination- cells hate that.”  “My cells like it when I trysinize them at 37 for 10 minutes.”  “Cancer cells love to metastasize to bone.” “These cells are pissing me off.”– You get the idea) I rather enjoyed seeing happy and unhappy cells doing stuff in a book.

I spoke with Mabel’s preschool teacher about coming in to the classroom this year and doing some science stuff with the kids.  I was thinking of bringing in a microscope and letting the kids look at some of their cells (cheek swab, ear wax, dandruff, etc) and some plant cells.  I think I’m going to bring this book- it’s engaging and will be a good ice-breaker to the activity.

Mostly, though, I’m hoping it helps keep Mabel occupied in the car.

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