Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Life's a moving target

     We just moved into a new townhouse this past weekend. Yaaayyy moving! Moving has got to be one of the worst things ever. Except for landlords. Landlords are way worse than moving. Our previous landlord is giving us all sorts of reasons as to why she doesn't want to give us our deposit back, all of these reasons being complete crap. Hopefully it will all get resolved. As for our new landlord, she seems nice and normal, but only time will tell.

     On the bright side, the new townhouse is so cute!  It's definitely smaller than our last place, but we gained a garage which I love.  Also, we moved from Uptown to Old Metairie which will take some getting used to.  I'm going to miss the vast array of restaurants and shops withing walking distance uptown, but I'm not going to miss our old neighbor who sold drugs out his backyard. Complete with drug-related arguments at 3am.  Oh, New Orleans...

     Here are a couple pictures of the townhouse.  The upstairs bedrooms are a complete disaster still...I'll post those after I motivate myself to unpack all the boxes.  Don't hold your breath.

Loving my new kitchen
TV mounted over the fireplace 
Living room

Monday, January 23, 2012

On the road again

As many of our family and friends know, Jeff is currently in the process of interviewing for fellowships! It's crazy to think that we have finally made it to this point and only have a year and a half left for his residency and my grad school here in Nola! Jeff has been on 4 interviews so far and I thought I'd share some pictures...

First was Minneapolis and I was able to tag along.  The program is called TRIA and don't ask me what that stands for!  The building was beautiful and they took all the applicants to a Timberwolves basketball game the night before the interview.  I was pleasantly surprised with all the great shopping and cute suburbs! I don't have pictures of the Orthopaedic building, but did snap some pics of my shopping excursion:

Theme park inside the mall

Next was Gulf Breeze, FL (The Andrews Research Education Institute or AREI for short) which Jeff described as looking like an all-inclusive resort.  Jeff sent me some iPhone pics of these next 3 programs since I wasn't able to go.

Just a waterfall in the lobby.  No big deal.

This program makes a killing, can you tell?

Immediately after the Gulf Breeze interview, Jeff had to drive up to Birmingham.  The Birmingham program just so happens to be affiliated with the one in Gulf Breeze (American Sports Medicine Institute or ASMI).  Cool fact: they did Drew Brees' shoulder surgery before he signed with the Saints!

Some pictures of the Birmingham program:

Drew Brees!

Both Gulf Breeze and Birmingham had jerseys lining the walls of all the athletes they've treated.

Finally,  Jeff flew out this past Sunday morning to go to Houston.  It used to be one big program, but recently split so Jeff was able to interview for both at the same time- The Methodist Hospital and Baylor/UT Houston.  Sunday afternoon they took all the applicants to all the major sports stadiums they work with before interviews today:



The massive Houston medical center
Reliant Stadium

Texans locker room in Reliant Stadium

Jeff standing on the field in the Astros stadium

Applicant with one of the basketball players' crutch

Houston Rockets locker room

View from the clinic window- not too shabby!

Jeff said that he really liked all the programs for different reasons so I'm sure this will make for a difficult time making his rank list!  Next up, Jackson...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

There's a light at the end of the tunnel...right?

My manuscript was rejected.  Rejected. 

For those of you not involved in science, probably everyone who reads this, let me explain...  All the research a scientist does has the same intended results- to have it accepted into a peer-reviewed scientific journal.  If you're not published, your work is basically meaningless.  As a grad student, being published is your key to graduating (besides the monster I call my dissertation...shudder).

For the last 2 years I have performed the research that went into this manuscript, slowly losing my mind and my love for neuroscience along the way.  I've spent countless hours on weekdays and weekends alike watching rats run around a maze in a prison cell of a room.  I've dealt with undergrads driving me out of my mind by not doing something I have patiently explained to them how to do five times.  And more importantly, I've dealt with my boss continuously teasing me with the prospect that "I promise you'll be done with this experiment after you try just this one more thing..."  So imagine my relief when, after finally writing up this manuscript, we submitted it to The Journal of Neuroscience.

That was the problem.  The Journal of Neuroscience is a really good journal.  Too good.  They took one look at my manuscript and scoffed.  It's not all bad though, because I can still rework it some and resubmit it to another, somewhat less prestigious but still very well-respected journal.  The problem is that the never-ending project from hell is not over.

To most people, the rewarding feeling of being published is worth all the frustrations and failures that come along with a life of research.  I guess I can't comment on this until my manuscript is actually published, then I'll let you know if I feel any differently. 


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Here we go...

As Jeff and I are about to undergo some big changes to our lives, I thought it would be a good time for me to get on this blog bandwagon.  Hopefully this can help us keep in touch with all of our family and friends scattered across the country without boring everyone to death.  I hope to be able to use this blog to vent my frustrations with grad school and document our journey as we figure out where this orthopaedic gig takes us in life.  Happy 2012 everyone!