Thursday, August 27, 2015

Last days of disco

Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear... I can't believe how quickly August has flown by, and now I'm down to one single day left at the Hutch.

I don't know how to...I can't even...when did this...why am I...

...wait, what?

So I guess I'm leaving then.

My desk is cleaned, the drawers emptied. Files are transferred and notebooks archived. On Tuesday I gave my last lab meeting presentation, summing up my three years as a postdoc in about an hour—not an altogether easy task, but I felt really happy and proud afterwards. Satisfied.

What a great time I've had in the Press Lab! How wonderful everyone has been, and how lucky I am to have had such fun projects to work on. Not all results have gone my way, but I leave with two first-author publications and a number of co-authored articles in my portfolio. (A third first-author paper is currently underway, and will hopefully be finalized by the end of the year.)

There are not enough words in the world to describe my gratitude towards Ollie, who not only took me in as his mentee but also invited me without hesitation into the warmth of his family. Nancy expressed it very nicely at the official farewell party at their house, which was held after my presentation: ”Remember that you will always have a mother in Seattle.” How could I forget? In addition, my other mentor, Brenda, has been equally supporting and terrific, and it feels unreal to think that I won't be able to pop down to her office and have a chat about life and science and anything that comes to mind (my dating resume, mainly) from now on.

This is me giving a toast at said party—apparently whilst waiving. A royal touch?

Besides throwing me this wonderful soiree, Ollie and Nancy had also picked out an incredibly thoughtful parting gift: a silver feather pendant, handcrafted by a Native American artist in Oregon. I can't imagine a more suitable token to remind me of the Pacific Northwest and the amazing years I've spent here. Thank you so very, very (very) much—for everything!

Back home in Fremont, ordered chaos rules. My beloved chair is sold and gone, three bags of clothes and gear were dropped off at Goodwill this morning, and the rest of my things are either packed, waiting to be packed, or being left behind for the girl that's moving into the unit after me (an excellent solution, by the way!).

Tomorrow I go to the Hutch for the last time to send some emails, bid farewell to friends and colleagues, give and receive lots of hugs (I hope), and, reluctantly, hand over my keys and badge.

After that? Party time, folks. (She's going out with a bang!)

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