Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Debut in the Smith-Brown Lab

Good day today. Classes didn't drag too much, I had some interesting moments of intellectual reflection, and I got some work done. Lunch was also amazing, because it was a repeat of the delicious soup that Matt made for dinner last night. I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when I got home, because he had made a big pot of egg lemon soup. I think it might be a new favorite, that man can cook!

I'm currently putting some finishing touches on a talk that I am giving tomorrow: the same talk I'm giving in a few weeks at a conference. Tomorrow, however, I am talking about my previous research to my lab group, which has me a little nervous, but excited as well.

I am one of a couple people in the lab group who regularly thinks about the fossil record. Felisa's advice for tomorrow is to be careful about what I assume, as in, don't assume that people in the lab know terminology, and all there is to know about my research. Odds are, they don't know. This is so true, I've been in the situation where I've been talking to very smart geologists who were clueless. I'm going to guess that biologists will have similar problems. What I study, and how I've been studying it, is very different from what they are probably expecting. Different questions, different data sets, difference data problems, and different analysis problems.

I have to keep reminding myself that this department accepted me for a reason. I have a different background; I think about time differently; and, therefore, I think about biological communities very differently. Not better, differently. And so I hope that makes me valuable.

If nothing else, this will get me warmed up for Pittsburgh in a couple weeks. And it'll let everyone know exactly what I'm about.

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