Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tennessee Report

I had a great time in Tennessee. The science went really well- it was very helpful learning from an actual person, rather than just trying to perform experiments based upon published methods. I learned a new technique and came up with a couple of ideas for experiments that should help me make a final push at finishing up grad school. Best of all, I'm feeling more optimistic and motivated about both my project and science in general- maybe all that I needed were some helpful suggestions and positive feedback.

Eastern Tennessee is a pretty area, but I didn't get to explore all that much of it. ETSU's medical school is located on an old VA hospital campus, with ample land and trees- it looks more like a golf course than a med center. My one excursion into Johnson City took place when I met up with friends of an internet friend (way less creepy than it sounds) for dinner and beers at Cootie Brown's (way more delicious than it sounds). I tried the Loose Caboose Lager from the local Depot Street Brewery and liked it very much. On Friday, I drove to Asheville, NC to visit my college friend Heather and her family. The drive down I-26 was beautiful- the road passes through the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Heather now has three kids, and yes, they're adorable, but holy cow do things get hectic. I think the chaos level of a household increases exponentially with each additional child. We all went out for pizzas at the Mellow Mushroom, then Heather's husband took the kids home so we could catch up. And where would two Notre Dame grads from Boston go to have a chat? An Irish pub, naturally. Asheville has a cute, hippie downtown filled with shops and restaurants and coffee houses, and I had heard great things about it, so it was fun to visit, even if I was only there for a night.
After that, it was back to Tennessee, where I packed up and flew home to Boston. I was worried that the vials of bacteria cultures and peptides in my luggage would arouse suspicion, but I made it through just fine. Here are some pictures from the trip:

New friends Shelby and Jeff:

New friend the fraction collector:

Me with old friend Heather:


bigglesworth said...

man, your new friend the fraction collector is hot! is she single? do you think she'd be willing to transfer out here for me? i'm a scientist too you know, and i'm soft and cuddly, not like dem hard scientists ...

HH said...

so great to see you! thanks for making the drive!

Kevin said...

Eastern TN and western NC are quite pretty. Some of the locals look at you a bit funny, though.

Loose Caboose? Are you serious? That sounds like it would give you the squirts!