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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Story of a role model. [20051119|12:46]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Once upon a time, there was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed first-year graduate student in chemical physics at UCSD. She was fortunate to work with an energetic, ambitious, good-spirited and very hip post-doc on her first experiment. This post-doc happened to be an English woman from London. The two of them got along rather well.


Me and Julia, 1997, San Diego, California
At the beach


Eventually, the post-doc returned to her homeland and a second post-doctoral position while she looked for permanent work. She kept in touch with the graduate student, though, and when an opportunity came up for the latter to attend a conference in York, England, the post-doc invited her to spend the preceding weekend in London. The post-doc took the grad student on a whirlwind tour of everything, maintaining both of them in a near-constant state of inebriation.


Me and Julia, 2000, York, England
Some random grad student's flat

Okay, so you can't see me very well in that picture, because everyone was mind-meltingly pissed, including my advisor, who was holding the camera. But the black-stockinged leg in the foreground belongs to me.

They lost touch after the graduate student obtained her degree and went on to a post-doc of her own. Eventually, though, they were reunited in London, where they live approximately three blocks from one another. Yesterday was the post-doc's thirty-sixth birthday, and below we can see her former student showing this brilliant lady (who's now a staff scientist) her gratitude and appreciation for her continued friendship and mentoring.


Me and Julia, 2005, London, England
Pubbing it
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: becala
2005-11-19 17:33 (UTC)
Am v. sad becuase right now none of the images are showing up. I think it may be a temporary belch by livejournal, but am not sure.

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-21 11:26 (UTC)
Yeah, if you want to see all of them, you have to keep re-loading. I'm bored with this intermittent access to the Scrapbook business. I don't like being deprived of things on my friends page. HELLO I AM ADDICTED.
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[User Picture]From: becala
2005-11-19 17:34 (UTC)
.. of course now that I said that they have suddenly appeared.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-21 11:27 (UTC)
That one of me in 1997 cracks me up. I'm wearing an army surplus store jacket. I'm so industrial, raar!
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[User Picture]From: ironed_orchid
2005-11-19 18:16 (UTC)
That's a very nice story and I'm loving your short hair. I forgotten that you'd cut it.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-21 11:30 (UTC)
Thank you! I'm a bit sweaty from dancing around the pub in that picture, but I figured it was still cute even though my hair's all plastered around my face.
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2005-11-20 07:28 (UTC)
Alas, I can only see the last photo, but it's awfully cute, you know. I find myself somewhat petulant and pi*ssy over the fact that I've yet to see a dodgey photo of you--you *always* look good. *eyeballing* Are you one of 'those girls'? One that even makes tossing yer' cookies 'cute'?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-21 11:34 (UTC)
You might be able to see them now, although the Scrapbook is still serving images erratically.

I don't always look cute, no, and I do have bad pictures of me. I do tend to post the good ones, because I'm at least that vain. :-P In that last photo, I'm kinda sweaty and a little drunk.
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2005-11-21 17:41 (UTC)
Ok, I just caught the first photo and it cracks me up a little. I mean, black tights at the beach? *chuckling* You were so very darque...

Mmm-hmm. You're three shades of adorable and sexy in that last photo. Don't even try. ;/
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[User Picture]From: lesyeuxouverts
2005-11-20 13:49 (UTC)
I've added you .. hope the rest of the evening was good !
Sarah
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-21 11:37 (UTC)
Hello! I added you back. Yes, it was fun, although we didn't outlast you by more than an hour. Next time, I think I should probably eat less and drink more so I don't get sleepy. ;-)
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[User Picture]From: omniana
2005-11-20 14:55 (UTC)
Hurray for small worlds and conferences! I have yet to have the pleasure of getting pissed alongside an advisor. Mine have all been careful to get drunk (if they do) out of sight of their underlings. That and, well, I don't get piss drunk very often...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-21 11:43 (UTC)
I think conferences were my favorite part of academic science. Of course they could also be nerve-wracking (when preparing to give a talk or a poster), dull (finding creative ways to stay awake during boring talks) and gross (being hit on by married men, ew). But I think I cemented more than a few friendships through conference attendance.

I have enjoyed getting drunk with nearly everyone I've worked with. I don't know if I would call it an unmixed pleasure getting pissed with my Ph.D advisor though. I mean, we had fun, but it was also slightly weird, because he had this fatherly protective attitude towards me.

BTW, I totally can't picture our former boss drunk.
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[User Picture]From: omniana
2005-11-22 00:39 (UTC)
Me neither. :) I figure he's had his wild days (the picture of him when he was long-redhaired and 17 is quite spectacular) but I can't imagine it. He exudes responsibility these days. I totally agree with your assessment of meetings. It was such a revelation when I realized I should just go to the talks I wanted to instead of sitting in my session all day falling asleep. The making friends, having fun in a new city, and completing the presentation is such a great high after the stress. I wonder if most women in science have a gross story to tell about conferences. My first conference talk, a man seemed interested in my work, but said he wanted to slip into something more comfortable before talking to me. What does that mean? Uh, just give me your email and I'll send you the preprint.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-21 11:45 (UTC)
Er, and also, for the record, I always got a lot of intellectual stimulation out of conferences as well. It wasn't just about getting drunk and making friends. Oh, no. ;-D
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[User Picture]From: omniana
2005-11-22 00:48 (UTC)
Oh, but of course! The drink and fun helps clear the brain for the next day's onslaught of fine scientific information. It's a necessary purge.

I wonder how many collaborations originate from this. "I like hanging out with you, what could we possibly work together on?"
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[User Picture]From: seismic
2005-11-20 17:55 (UTC)
I find myself returning to this post and just smiling. It's just neat.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-21 11:47 (UTC)
It's not like she and I hang out on a regular basis, but when we do meet up, it's always good. She's lovely and inspiring and ever so smart. And she taught me loads, both about science and about surviving in the research environment, without being pushy or preachy or anything except herself, really.
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