Sunday, July 08, 2007

The '7' Years - Part 2

No especially fond memories jump out from 1987. I was in graduate school in the middle of learning to cryosection (make sections about 1/10 the thickness of a human hair from frozen tissue samples) and gathering data for my thesis work. Is this what a chemist is supposed to be doing? You section using a glass knife (we couldn’t afford a good diamond one), looking through a microscope. The sample and knife are in a very cold chamber to keep everything frozen while you work. You pick up the sections with an eyelash to place them on a support for viewing. That was tedious work! It was also cold on the hands. Even though I grew up in Minnesota, I never had frostbite until I was doing cryosectioning. In the summer it was humid and everything frosted up so bad it eventually blocked the movement of the sectioning arm. I had to put the whole thing in a glove box purged with dry nitrogen to keep the frost from forming. Ugh!

That year was also the start of several years of a long distance relationship with Dianne. She graduated and was off to grad school on the West coast. That stunk. Phone bills were high. Too bad there weren't things like Skype back then. Not a banner year in Earl World.

And 1997? Although most recent, that year seems like the biggest blur to me. I had recently changed assignments at work and was in the middle of helping prepare osteoporosis study reports that were used later to get Actonel approved for the treatment of osteoporosis. I was working on the bone densitometry (measuring bone density changes using an x-ray beam) and bone histology (measurements of bone tissue sections – fortunately I didn’t have to cut the sections) parts of the work. It was a stressful time but rewarding knowing that you were contributing to something that’ll help millions of people.

I believe that was also the year I took my first woodcarving class at University of Cincinnati's CAS using my tuition remission obtained from teaching at Raymond Walters. The class was part of the woodworking program and was geared primarily toward carving for furniture makers. However, for those not in the program, the instructor showed how to carve other items like caricature figures once you had the basic techniques down. I haven’t made time to carve lately, but I’d like to pick it up again.

1 comment:

~Carla~ said...

You're not supposed to sound so depressed when you write this stuff! It's all this cool stuff you've done before that makes you such a cool person now. Yes, I realize I said cool and you together. :) Pretty impressive stuff you've done!

Enjoy your yet another day off.. :) BAH!
hah .. I'll try to hold the fort.