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Post Archive
2020 (0)2011 (4)
February (2)

PSA: It's cold, buy a Carbon Monoxide Detector.
Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cold Fusion
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
January (2)

Going back
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fun with Jackass
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
2010 (33)
December (4)

The 12 days of (Lab) Christmas
Friday, December 24, 2010

I really hope there isn't a number 3
Thursday, December 9, 2010

So why don't you have more papers?
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Picking a project
Thursday, December 2, 2010
November (2)October (7)

As promised: Geeka and A Cow
Saturday, October 23, 2010

Finishing something
Saturday, October 23, 2010

A cartwheeling Geeka
Monday, October 18, 2010

Some Classroom got funded, I get embarrassed.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bounty for Donor's Choose
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

If I couldn't be a scientist
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

That's not the shape of his head.
Friday, October 1, 2010
September (6)

Glutton for Punishment
Saturday, September 25, 2010

I talk to machines.
Friday, September 24, 2010

World's worst Journal Club.
Monday, September 20, 2010

The IACUC Chair
Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hell, I did know then, I just didn't know it until it hit me.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stuff Geeka Likes: The Toys Edition
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
August (9)

How I ended up a scientist.
Saturday, August 28, 2010

Monday morning crapped on my head.
Monday, August 23, 2010

Naming your equipment
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stuff Geeka Likes: Inaugural edition
Thursday, August 12, 2010

Silent Squee
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In which I come clean
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Having a bad day
Monday, August 9, 2010

My blogging philosophy
Friday, August 6, 2010

Balance? We don't need no stinking balance.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
July (5)
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Hi! I'm Geeka. I've been a scientist for, I don't know, it seems like forever, I guess since I started college, so, like 15 years? Anyhow, this is where I'm going to give my take on a bunch of stuff. I'm usually a little bit out there (that is, I don't see the obvious at the outset), which means that you are probably going to have to deal with reading such topics as: Interpersonal relationship training for scientists, my lab pet peeves, how to get along in business when you just came straight out of academia, trying to deal with having a life and being a scientist, really odd topics for a paper, random stuff I found on the internet that made me shoot coffee out of my nose, you know, (ab)normal Geeka. Why the title? Because at the very heart of me, I'm a virologist, and while I don't necessarily do that now, it's how I view the scientific world.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm actually friends with my post-doc advisor on facebook. He and I have kind of been going back and forth all day about different things. I checked facebook tonight, which isn't something I regularly do, and noticed that he posted about losing a friend today. This friend was both a personal and scientific friend to him, and while I didn't know him (he left the U before I started working for Tex), I heard stories. Occasionally, I trouble-shot something via email for him. He's probably best described as a "friend of a friend", but in the scientific world, aren't we all collaboators?

While I was in grad school, one of the faculty members died. She was the only female faculty member when I started. She was a squat old woman, long hair wound on top of her head in an amazing braid. She had rosy cheeks, large glasses, and a no-bullshit attitude.

While I have no evidence to support this claim, I imagine that she developed this attitude because she got her degrees in the 50's. She was married, had 4 girls, and an amazingly dutiful husband. She was really big on understanding where things came from. When she taught in lab, you needed to know what RPMI was made of and what the RPMI stood for.

She had an office that looked like it could collapse at any moment. Her labs were full of aquaria. If you talked to her for more than 20 minutes, you knew that her dream was to go to Tahiti.

For the first couple of years, she would putter around the department using a 4-pronged cane to get around. Then, over a break one year, she finally got to go to Tahiti. The plane ride was a little much for her, and she fell asleep with her head forward, and ended up in a neck brace. The neck brace and cane was a little too much to handle, so she ended up in a wheelchair. A wheelchair that I never saw anyone push but her husband.

She was teaching a class. A class that she had pushed for in faculty meetings. And she wasn't really feeling well on Tuesday, so she cancelled class. She came to lab on Wednesday. She died on Thursday.

I've always imagined that I'd leave this life working. She actually did. Scattered around the department are sea shells from her study species, and when I see them, no matter where I am, I still think of her. She did what she loved until her dying breath. We should all be so lucky.

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Blog Comments

Jason Goldman
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What GR said. Great post.

Dub C Med School
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Wow.  Agree with GR.  Amazing post.

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Clicking the "featue" button...Now.

Great post, Geeka.

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Fifth! Great post.

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Not just awesome. Awesomely beautiful.

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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Yes, beautiful story, Geeka. Well done.

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Really great post Geeka.

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