Little joys

Kayly Lembke“One can have, it turns out, an affection for the war years.” – Steve Martin

Listicles are often berated as lazy, short, psuedo-pop articles not worth the time it takes to spell check listicle. Short? Yes. Pop? Sure. Lazy? But effective. I am, by nature, a list maker. As this is my fifth fall at OHSU, and fall is my favorite season, I have naturally been reflecting back on my time here as a Ph.D. student. For all the hard times in graduate school, for all the times the world was ending, or inspiration was gone, or hope had faded, there are some times to which I will always return with fondness, and some memories I shall always cherish. Here is a list of those memories, those little joys.

Things I love about graduate school:

1. Getting into lab before anyone else. Joy cannot begin to describe the emotion of being the only person in lab. It is perhaps the most liberating, and productive, feeling in the world.

2. The moment you finish a successful seminar, regardless of the questions asked, and then going for margaritas with friends afterward.

3. Walking home in the first nights of fall, when the leaves are red and the air spicy from wood-burning stoves.

4. Seeing friends at Sam’s.

5. The Graduate Student Organization (GSO). Every meeting, every coffee hour, every trip to Cash & Carry for our BBQs. If you are a graduate student and you have never been to our meetings or events, COME! Be part of the community!

6. Jackie Wirz, assistant dean of Graduate Student Affairs – she is a national treasure.

7. Rick Goranflo – he is more than a national treasure.

8. The inevitable jokes that come when someone asks me what I was up to today and I reply, “Oh, just doing [Drosophila] courtship assays.”

9. The moment you realize you are part of the research community. It can happen anywhere – on campus, at a conference, at training course….anywhere.  That moment is empowering, inspiring, and humbling.

10. The GSO Spring BBQ.

11. The campus Fall BBQ.

12. Finishing the last required class.

13. Opening a new box of gloves. I don’t know why it is so satisfying, but it is!

14. The “click” of my micropipette puller.

15. When the MacHall fountain is turned off in the fall and then turned back on the in the spring.

16. Walking into lab on a snow day, when the entire campus is blanketed with snow.

17. Finding random jokes and puns in old journal articles.

18. Person: “Do you want to [insert anything] tonight?” Me: “Sure, but I have to collect virgins first.”

19. Going to conferences with my mentor (and getting to eat an entire lobster!). I learned more at one conference than I have in years of classes.

20. Morning coffee with the post-doc.

21. Being surrounded by people (i.e. my wonderful classmates) going through what I am going through, who can relate to me on a level no one else can.

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