Monday, December 21, 2009

Researcher Q&As

I also did the Q&As with Xinzhong Dong and Mike Caterina to accompany the pain article.

Pain, heat, and touch article

I have to give my husband credit for the title, which is much shorter and catchier than the ones I thought of--he's my new title resource ;) The article can be accessed here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

little imagery fragment

As the rain falls in grays
the trees
spread their beauty on the grass
their heads

so slightly bowed

shy with sodden innocence

Thursday, March 26, 2009

where french fries come from

On Thursday mornings, I and a few of my friends from graduate school volunteer at a place called the Ark. I must say--sometimes, when your experiments aren't working and you're getting burnt out in lab, there is nothing like Play Doh, story time, and a hug from a four year old to brighten your spirits.

Recently, the kids at the Ark have been learning about ways that we can take care of ourselves. This week they are learning about healthy foods. Healthy foods give us energy and make us strong! :) Unhealthy foods make us tired so we don't have the energy to play. :( I was extremely impressed when Miss Sandy called on A. to tell us about unhealthy foods, and she immediately proclaimed, "We don't eat too much candy, we don't eat too much soda, and we don't eat too much snacks!" I think the girl has it down.

Also during circle time today, Miss Sandy took out a bunch of different plastic foods to have the kids pick out which one in each group did not belong. The first time, she took out an apple, a pear, french fries, and a tomato slice.

"Apples grow on trees," she told them, holding up the apple before putting it on the floor. "And pears grow from trees too," she said, holding up the pears. Then she held up the french fries and made a puzzled face. "I don't really know where french fries come from, though," she said.

She was going for the fact that french fries are not healthy and also do not grow out of the ground or on trees. The kids, though, immediately bounced up and exclaimed, "They come from McDONALD'S!!"

Don't you worry, Miss Sandy--we know where they come from!

And you know, technically they're right.

Also, in case you were wondering, bacon comes from Chick-Fil-A ;)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Beautiful morning

When I was growing up, my Dad would occasionally burst into spontaneous song (something that I truly miss hearing on a regular basis), and sometimes that song would be "Oh, what a beautiful morning" from "Oklahoma!". Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day! I've got a beautiful feeling...everything's going my way!

Mornings are the best time of the day for me, although I often forget that. I'll be tired, won't want to get up, would rather curl down under warm blankets next to warm husband for just a few...more...minutes. I am not even a late riser, but the real morning--the best parts of the morning--are the earliest parts, the pale, pearled moments wrapped around the dawn.

Sometimes, though, I will be up for the early morning, and I will remember how I love it. How I love the darkness shading through grays to lights. How I love the blue-white quiet of the waking world, and the gentle veil of peace that drapes behind and above even the most frenzied starts of days. I think I need that, almost like I need to breathe. I need that simple beauty.

I used to tell people that I chose to go to Duke for college because it was pretty. I wasn't serious, but then again, I never had a really good, true answer for why I chose to go there. Or rather, never an answer that felt completely true to me. Now, though, I wonder if perhaps there was more validity to the prettiness response than I had originally thought. Duke is beautiful. Baltimore, for all that I love her, is not.

She has her moments. I believe that there is beauty in everything, from mud to magnolias, and I enjoy finding that beauty. But sometimes I have to struggle to see Baltimore's beauty amidst her boarded-up buildings and broken concrete, beyond the knowledge of her homicides and drug trafficking and gang activity. Perhaps this is part of the struggle and the purpose of life--to see the goodness and the loveliness in the ordinary moments, and the painful ones. Yet sometimes, just as we long to have a day that is simply good, I sometimes long to be surrounded by beauty that is simply beautiful. Beauty that just is, quietly and naturally, without my having to try so hard to see it.

When I do find myself somewhere beautiful--the mountains of Washington state, the forests of Maine--it feels like a breath released that I hadn't realized I was holding. Can we drown without knowing it for lack of beauty?

I am not much of a city person. I want my sunshine filtered through canopies of summer leaves, my frost spread out like lace on barren winter fields. I want my skies framed in branches, not buildings. I miss being able to walk outside of the door in Sykesville or outside of my dorm room at Duke and being surrounded by unavoidable beauty. Beauty that made me rush to write about it in the backs of my spiral notebooks and the margins of my lecture notes. I haven't written as much since I started graduate school, and I wonder how much of it is busyness, and how much of it is that the beauty of my surroundings is less obvious. Perhaps I am looking for excuses, but perhaps there is a genuine correlation.

There are still beautiful mornings in the city, like this one. Blue and white and gray. But often, I forget that. I forget to notice the beauty in the ordinary things. Someday, I hope to live again in a place where beauty reminds me of itself every day, and in doing so, reminds me to see it in places where I might not have thought to look.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hopkins press release: New Hope for Cancer Comes Straight From the Heart

I had the opportunity to write up a press release for the Hopkins media relations office, and the link to the piece is here. I enjoyed it, and it was definitely an interesting experience to try to write something that was accurate and informative, without being either too technical or too broad of a summary. I have the urge to point out particular paragraphs and say, "I wrote that one!" but I'll restrain myself ;)