Saturday, November 7, 2009

right brain update

long radio silence. been busy; been sick. 'cross season has been going well; that is, it *was* going well until i succumbed to ye olde swine flu. i've spent the last week mostly in bed. the worst part is the brain fog... even when i'm not on nyquil my brain is moving at about 1/25 normal speed.

i finished my NSF grant on time, fortunately before i got sick. i even turned it in a few days early. it feels very good to be done with that deadline... though the next deadline, the comprehensive exam, is imminent (contingent upon me recovering from this flu). i have a topic and i think i understand it pretty well, but i still need to pick which testable hypotheses i am going to propose experiments for. it's interesting, since there are so many unanswered questions in biology, it's like low-hanging fruit. which one of these will i test. and since it's a proposal exam, i don't have to have any intention of actually *doing * those experiments (in fact i shouldn't). so i can suggest expensive, or time-consuming, or radically new procedures, as long as i can defend why i picked them and what they would show. and so it goes.

a large part of what i wrote about in my nsf personal statement essay was how my... *ahem*... "unique" background has prepared me for studying and communicating science. i chose to draw (no pun intended?) from my background as a visual artist/designer - although not a very experienced or good one, since i tend to be way too self-critical to be good - to visualize and communicate science. and i've been doodling today with my new wacom bamboo. it's a really fun toy - opens up completely new frontiers. so far nothing i've produced has really been scientific at all, but i am having fun playing with my own perception of visual objects. the little picture at the top of this post is one of the things i've spat out - this one probably took 10 minutes tops. i'm not sure if she's princess leia, or if she's got huge ears, or even if she's human, but i kind of liked her and felt like i could maybe let the world see her too.

it's almost like the virus has shut down the left hemisphere of my brain. my right brain seems to be functioning just fine - or maybe even better than usual. without that annoying left brain timekeeper ruler metric voice i can just produce things that resonate with how i feel. hopefully later on this will translate to me being able to communicate the ideas i am nurturing that have to do with development and neural circuits.

i also expect there to be bicycles in the near future. a future without bicycles is grim indeed.

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