thanks for all the notes; movin' right along

S. Boomer sarai at u.washington.edu
Thu Jul 24 13:35:05 EST 1997


Hello all,
	
	I have been fully distrated the last month and didn't get a chance
to thank all the fine individuals who wrote fantastic notes after I went
on about the undulations of my career etc.

	Just wanted to catch up with everyone and say I've been moving
right along.  Yellowstone with my old mentor was a blast - professionally,
scientifically, and personally.  In some ways, it was a working vacation
because I had a chance to spend two weeks helping out, networking, but
actually spending focused energy on developing my courses/lectures - all
under the tutelege of a mentor who had lots of great advice based on her
twenty five years in the small college setting. We met up with my boss'
old PhD advisor, who is in Eugene (an hour from where I will be teaching),
which was nice because now I have someone really local and in the field. 
Several of his students are doing 16S cloning and so we have a great
collaboration in place once I get my research going. 

	I travelled to Oregon for three days and was put up by the dept.
head and his fun family - set up my office and met with realtors.  Found a
brand new house, was pre-approved for a mortgage, and made an offer.
Things close Aug. 18.  Pretty darn exciting.  It's my first house (I have
owned a condo in Seattle for years and will either sell or rent in the
meantime).

	My teaching schedule is pretty heavy the first quarter but eases
up considerably.  I have to co-teach a general biology for majors (it is a
class I JUST finished teaching here at the U, same book and everything -
which seems less daunting, somehow).  I am also fully in charge of a 300
level micro. for majors class and have taken great pleasure in designing
this - although my old boss was right on when she said plan to take 6-8
hours per lecture when designing it for the first time.  Yup - it's a lot
of work but it is so exciting.  That's sort of what I get off on - writing
lecture notes, putting together things like that, organizing stuff.  It's
an odd statement but when I was in college, I worked in a public library
for 5 years and I didn't think it was anything more than a job but
something about organizing information and writing and whatnot has always
appealed to me and I think it's because of all that - and the subject
matter, of course.

	I am still working part-time as a post-doc in my old lab.  While
in Yellowstone, I received word that my final publication, that which all
my thesis work really rested, was accepted outright without changes.  I
was pretty stoked because they actually said it was well written and solid
- something I have not come to expect after years of - hmmm - arguing, I
guess - with my boss about *my* goofy writing style (or lack thereof).
I was actually a double major in college - biology and literature.  My
boss once laughed at me nd said - I thought you were an English major,
Sarah (this sarcastically in response to my outlandishly indirect
style and interesting punctuation).  I laughed right back and said -
Julie - I majored in modernist literature.  My speciality was James
Joyce and a quick read will show that neither spelling nor punctuation
counts much in stream of consciousness.  Oh well - over the years, I have
kept more personal writing and this has allowed me apparently to focus my
scientific style better.  Either that or I'm just growing up.  Ha ha.

	My would-be NIH boss has been totally cool about me not coming out
and I am wrapping up expts. right now that we would have worked on for a
new publication.   I was actually terrified to talk with her but all is
well and we are excited about finishing this paper.

	Anyway - I'm still here but pretty darn distracted!  My best
friend here just bought me some huge gardening bible and I am already
fantasizing about gardening my little soul out in Oregon as my meditation
at the end of the day.  With 6000 square feet of unlandscaped land, I've
got a blank slate!  

	Cheers,  Sarah




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