A Story A Day: Part 2

**This is a continuation from my previous post**

Tuesday

I spent my Tuesday morning putting together my presentation. The seminar series I participated in sources its speakers by assigning students, trainees, and postdocs one day a year where they are required to present their work in front of other researchers working in stem cells or regenerative medicine. Normally, only about a dozen people show up but, it seems the entire group of ~40 people came down to hear my talk.

I’m convinced that people don’t attend more often because it’s a 12-1PM seminar that doesn’t provide food. As a poor graduate student, anything required in the noon hour but doesn’t provide any sustenance should be considered cruel and unusual punishment. To rectify this, I brought homemade shortbread cookies decorated with random patterns (holiday-themed, science/math-themed, polka dots, etc.) for attendees to consume.

I sped through my presentation because people, who I needed to wait for, were running late and I needed time to get across campus for my class at 1PM. Thankfully, both the presentation and the cookies went over well, I got some good feedback, and the higher-ups in our department seemed to be impressed by the work (judging based on the number of faculty who stayed after to speak with my PI about the project).

Wednesday

My passport was ready Tuesday afternoon, but I didn’t have time to make it downtown between my presentation, class, and dinner plans with a friend. Instead, I went into the city Wednesday morning, waiting until rush hour had subsided, to pick up my new proof of legality. While waiting in the lobby, I received an email congratulating me on receiving the 2018-2019 Steve Lasher and Janiece Longoria Graduate Student Research Award in Cancer Biology from my graduate school. This award is typically given in recognition of a student whose research aims to improve the knowledge or treatment of leukemia and other blood cancers. As someone whose work could lead to a new cell therapy source for many different blood cancers, my work qualified.

I had applied for several scholarships/fellowships through my graduate school at the end of October but, as a second-year student, I truly did not expect to receive anything. To say the least, the award was a surprise and an honor. I sent a letter of gratitude to the sponsors of the award and hope to meet them sometime in the spring to tell them about my research.

While mentally processing my award notification, I was given my new passport and forced to drive home while still in moderate shock. I had planned to stay home Wednesday to finish my Bioinformatics final, ultimately a very good idea because I could process everything from the morning at home on my couch. I find it much easier to process unexpected information while laying on my couch.

**Continued on A Story A Day: Part 3**

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