PCR and a Happy Masters Student

Plymerase chain reaction, PCR

Plymerase chain reaction, PCR (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been a little while since I posted. My b. I’ve been trying not to freak out over being back at one of my favorite places among some of my favorite people. My birthday was this wednesday and I got to spend part of it brushing up on PCR! I’ve found that I really enjoy it. That’s probably good since I see a large amount of it in my future. Despite the tedium of pipetting sample after sample into teeny tiny little tubes, you can get some pretty cool stuff out it. My favorite is loading the gels. I got the astounding compliment from the PhD student directing me that it was the best first load attempt she’d ever seen. I then went ahead, and had a poor second attempt (it did settle itself out). Too excited about compliments. My birthday was spent in as crazy a fashion as possible. It was a wednesday after all. No one was out really. But I did get to play bingo in a bar while wearing an epically cute dress…Round 2 of festivities start tomorrow!

I am currently in the process of waiting on my “big girl” gel to run. My lovely PhD student had to run off to complete her TA duties and I was left with the knowledge from wednesday as well as my lab journal full of protocols. I tried to remember as many subtleties as possible and not screw up too badly, so we’ll see how that goes. She should be back in time to help me with the part I remember least which is the actual reading of the gel.

The first week of class is done as well! I had none today, hence the PCR project. I have only 2 graded classes, 2 seminars, a journal club, a class to audit and random training obligations. From 9-5 I am either at one of those things or in the lab gettin muh science on. One of my classes, cross listed with a vet school course, doesn’t even start until late next month. It’s of course subject to a change in class time, so that should keep me on my toes. I’m, thankfully, getting acclimated to long days sitting in a chair waiting for things to run. There usually seems to be someone around to chat with when you’re bored to the point of propping your head up with objects found on your desk.

Next task? Try to finish this horribly boring training full of more typos than my brain can handle.




Firstly, today was my last day at work. Went alright. Lovely year at a lovely hospital where I learned a lot and met some of the sweetest people (and their pets!) who I will miss soooo much.


On July 24th, I got an email from the Graduate Program Coordinator at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine Office of Research and Graduate Studies. (Basically the Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences program at Tech). It listed a few questions but really said nothing of acceptance. I emailed back answering her questions and basically fell right to sleep. Bright and early the next morning, before my second double in a row, I got an email that…sort of said I was accepted, but that I needed to get in contact with a BMVS faculty member to act as my advisor and in whose lab I could do research. I had an idea of who I wanted. A lovely gentleman who guest lectured my Introductory Parasitology course in the fall of 2010 and happens to have this lovely parasite tattooed on his arm:

This little thing is giardia. I figure, if you’re hardcore enough to get this tat, you’re strange enough to jive well with my level of crazy. So, on July 25 I sent an email. And I waited. And waited. And started to freak out a little. Considered looking up another professor. Posted a sad status about how I wished he’d email me back. And wouldn’t ya know it, IT WORKED. Yesterday (August 3rd) I got the email that changed everything.

Hi Tiffany
Congratulations on being accepted. I am at the American Society of Veterinary Parasitologists meeting until Wednesday. Let me know when you can come and meet with me about my research program and my expectations.
David S. Lindsay, PhD
Short. Sweet. And enough to make me start crying. I also got an email from the grad program coordinator, again saying what I just learned, that he’d agreed to accept me into his lab. More crying. Ran in to tell my dad. Called my mom. Texted half a dozen of my closest friends. Freak out level to the max. Never in my wildest dreams, would I have thought that I’d both get into the BMVS program (for which I retook the GRE) and also get into the lab of such an accomplished parasitology professor. Now I get to brush up on Toxoplasma gondii and a couple other gross things. SO EXCITED TO LEARN AGAIN! Soon, my stress will be more about how intense research is. Little scared about it. Knowing me, I’ll attack it and win. Looking forward to some big things.
Laides and gentleman, it is once again time…for the snoopy dance…
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Alphabet Challenge :: Z :: Zany Life

Pitiful Posting and the Alphabet Challenge


Z is for ZANY ya’ll! That’s my life. Without going in to too much detail, things are going bizonkers. Thankfully, I have mini getaways planned for the next 2 weekends. EXCITED! Just a few more weeks at work too until it’s time to pack on up and move. I hate packing. It’ll probably go a little something like this *warning: some naughty language*:

Man, I love Jenna Marbles.

I think grad school decisions are this week…so, obviously, I’m wide -eyed with terror every time I check my email. Should be horrifying!

I somehow had time to do this:

As per a challenge posed to me by a co-worker, animal print nails! Peacock, zebra snake, giraffe, fish, cow, tiger, leopard, turtle, and butterfly.

Enough about me, here are some animals that start with Z!


Giant Zonure aka Giant Girdled Lizard


Zebra finch

Zethus Wasp


Alphabet Challenge :: M :: Myopia and a Manatee

Pitiful Posting and the Alphabet Challenge


When put in terms of eyesight, myopia is nearsightedness. As an adjective, myopic means “lacking understanding”, or “shortsighted”. Personally, I don’t understand how people treat one another. How can you go from sweet to completely ignoring someone? Not something I felt like going through recently, but I did. You make a decision (or pretend to…who knows) and follow through to the annoyance of the other person. In this situation, I was the adult. Not sure how that one happened. I’ve always sought to be sweet to people. It’s just who I am. In this case, I could have thrown the book at him, but chose to avoid it. He can go ahead and make an ass of himself. And now we’re back to square one. On the prowl again. And better for it.

Now this may not be the best post…but here’s a picture of a manatee to make it better…cause everyone loves manatees…

English: Manatee at the Sea World Exhibit in O...

Manatee at the Sea World Exhibit in Orlando Florida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alphabet Challenge :: I :: Indecisiveness

Pitiful Posting and the Alphabet Challenge


In my search to find something to write about, I shuffled through animals, quite a few of which were birds, and diseases, some pretty gross, and found nothing that piqued my interest. I have been struggling over the last week. My mood went from elation at earning the scores I wanted on the GRE to devastation at the loss of a dear friend. Since I found out, I have been keeping as busy as possible. I hung out with as many people as possible for as long as possible. On the day of her funeral, I got a beautiful new tattoo in memory of her and in honor of TWLOHA. I, myself, am no stranger to a struggle with depression. The main thing that people don’t understand unless they’ve been there, is how it controls you. You can hear sweet things from people and never believe their words. Be at the brink of hurting yourself, say “NO!” and a stronger force convinces you into doing it anyway. Depression is pain. Depression is longing for something more than yourself. It is a battle of insane measures that few can grasp. You can’t always win. All that’s left to do after loss is hang on to your good memories and at times, re-evaluate yourself to celebrate the life of your loved one. Guilt, though many of our first instincts, isn’t always justified. There is often very little one can do. After love, comes hope. Hope in the fact that the lost friend finds peace. Hope that others will know their own worth and not succumb to their pain.

TWLOHA posts Fears vs Dreams.

My Fear: That I will fall back into my dark place and never reach my goals.

My Dream: Earning the privilege to write “Dr.” in front of my name and practice veterinary medicine. Touching the lives of others and never losing my love of helping someone in need.

For now, I wonder about the future. Either tomorrow, or in the next 5 days afterward, I should receive my official scores online for the GRE. I can then finish my application and ship that out so I can make sure all of my reference letters are in by the 1st. Then I play the waiting game. Not being accepted is a possibility, but if I’ve learned anything from rejection, it’s how to pick up the pieces and try harder. I like a challenge. School is one of my favorites. I will never stop fighting for that one.

If anything, I just want to believe that Hope is Real. That Love is strong enough when all else fails. That my DREAMS outweigh the force of my FEARS.

Grief – In Loving Memory of Heather

Grief is a reaction to a major loss. We all handle it differently. It occurs in 5 stages:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

This time, I grieve for my friend who lost her battle with depression. Tomorrow is her funeral and I am in no way prepared to say my goodbyes. Though I didn’t know her for very long, just the prospect of working with her the next day made going to work enjoyable. She brightened every one’s day, made the workplace so easy-going and was always willing to stop and help someone, no matter what was going on with her. In my short time with such a beautiful person, I grew to love her as my friend. Saying that she will be missed is an understatement. I find myself wishing she’d pop around the corner and bust out into one of her patented dance moves. Her laugh keeps circling through my head. If anyone deserves heaven, it’s her. I don’t even know what else to say besides, I love you HMoney, with all my heart. ♥