Thursday, May 7, 2009

End of an Era!

 I can't belive it but it is actually happening.. everyone is leaving me~ lol! I say that because so many of our little group in my grad program are finishing and moving on to their fancy new jobs, it is going to be so strange in the fall. I think we will have 5 incoming new students this year and there will only be a few of us originals left. Sarah of course finished last summer and is up at Johns Hopkins now and as of last weekend Virginia, Sunghee, Lisa, & Alyssa have all graduated and accepted their new positions and Kim has started her new job and will graduate in the summer. It is so sureal to me, and makes me wonder if getting this dual degree was worth it, lol. Seriously though, we work so hard for so long- 5 or 6 years and so it seems like the end will never come and now that is has for so many and my own graduation is close, it is a little overwhelming. I was reading some job postings for Research Scientist positions and it was so strange to think that yes.. I can do each of the resposibilities mentioned and do them well. Apparently my friends have all already experienced these feelings and assure me it starts to feel more normal soon but the best way I can describe it is sureal. 

   We had so much fun a couple weekends ago at Sunghee's (ahem.. excucse me, I mispoke. I mean Dr. Ahn)'s baby shower and as we were all sitting there laughing about somthing or other in dawned on me it is one of the last times we would all be together like that! I am excited for everyone of course but it will be the end of an era. Doctorate programs are obviously hard and each has it's own unique challenges but I think no matter how well I describe it to my fam and friends and even Sam, nobody but these select few women know how truly challening and demanding it is. We have gone through a lot together- births of new babies, deaths of close ones, marriages, divorces, and many other trials.  I really couldn't have joined a better program, one reason I selected UF was because the department had a family type of feel to it. Some of the programs I was deciding betweeen seemed so competive and although ours wasn't completely without that it was somehow kept in check and we all rallied around each other and cheered for each other along the way. You always hear professors saying that although grad school was tough it was some of the best years/times of their lives and I failed to see how that could be, but now looking back it is true. I know we will see each other at conferences and events here and there but it is sad to think of how we will each go off in our own direction. I just hope and pray that I lived faith outload and lived my life well infront of them.

  Anyway, thought I would post up some pics from our last conference, it was the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) in Denver. This was my first time ever seeing snow!! The first day we were walking up to the conference center and it wasn't snowing but there was some on the ground and seriously, I waited 29 years to see that.. I was not going to let the whole being professional thing stand in my way! Katherine said I was like a giant 5 year old, I just ran over to it knelt down and touched and played with it and  yes.. screamed a few times too. I have no shame. =) It was just great! I had 3 presentations that all went wonderfully even the one I was nervous about, the prenatal cocaine exposure work. It was so great to catch up with Sarah again and I had so much fun exploring downtown Denver! Keith , Terry, Joe and I all went out after our presenations to a German restaurant and I tried all new food, delicous! The next night all us ladies went out on town, it was beyond freezing cold and we walked miles upon miles only to finally taxi to a cornor shop(Long story there) but had a blast. Then, the day we were to fly out, a snowstorm hit! I was so happy when I woke up, ran to open the curtains and actually saw snowflakes. I met Joe on the corner and he said "well Teri, you got your wish!" I seriuosly just stood there and stared up at the sky for several min. It was beautiful. I even skipped out of the conference and walked around for an hour in the snow, how I didn't get sick I have no idea but I just walked around the city all alone, me and my snow. I enjoyed every single moment of it! Thank you Jesus for my snow! I loved it!!!

The first few snow fluries, I was just amazed!

Me and Sarah.. together again! I miss ya lady!
Pizza time!! Deep dish.. yummy yummy
Yay! We did it, in the room before our celebratory dinner, we were all done with presentations except poor Lisa who had one the next morning

Dr. Behnke and Dr. Eyler who I work on the prenatal cocaine data with and could not be more supportive and encouraging
with Katherine, Lisa, and Sarah... Congrats on a symposia well done!
at Virginia's poster
from left to right- my academic fam, lol. In the research world it is all about what advisor you have and there are actually such things as academic grandfathers, etc when you trace back who your advisor worked under. So, this is Joe, my academic big brother who is the best co investigator, Dr. Terry Bloomenthal who is one of Keith's former students, and Dr. Keith Berg, who is the best advisor in the whole world.  
Me and Keith... Kim, this one is for you. NOW whose shoulder is he squeezing more?????
After our poster
Jen & Katherine, all cramming night before Katherine's presentation to get her all set. Here Jen is coloring her white buttons black with a sharpie, there were outfit malfunctions to say least.
My first ever snowballs!
Touching snow for first time!!! It was so spongy and smoochy, very very different from the cotton feel I expected!