Back into the fray!

Hey everyone! I’m back from Germany! It was super fun! First of all, Heidelberg is an adorable town nestled in some mountains in Germany. You should be able to see that from that top picture here. The conference I went to was at EMBL which is a giant laboratory tucked into the forest above Heidelberg. I hung out with my friends as soon as I landed in Heidelberg (adventures will soon be posted) and then spent the next few days being bussed back and forth between the town and the lab for the conference. The conference was awesome. All of the talks were full of innovation and cool science (pretty sure that excitement was the only thing that kept me awake in the face of the death jetlag) and I made a lot of fun international friends! After the conference, I spent one day frolicking in Heidelberg and the surrounding areas with some of the cool people I met at the conference (again with the adventures being posted soon!).

Some more pictures:

Another favorite German word of mine is schloss or castle. I visited the castle with my friends the first day I was there and it was stunning. I learned so much European history… Look forward to a post on the schloss definitely. :)
My last day there, my new found friend T and I went for an epic hike (involving us getting lost a lot) in the mountain next to Heidelberg. The trees were so interesting!

Anyway, now I am back in Colorado. I’m super jetlagged still but life is insane in lab. I have to prepare (read: do multiple experiments) to give a presentation in a few weeks and if I really want to graduate at some point, I have to come up with what will ultimately be the “story” for my thesis. There’s actually a lot to talk about regarding my feelings about graduate school right now so I think maybe that will be in its own post soon.

Random questions below:
How are you guys? Is there anything specific you want me to definitely mention in my Germany (or Boston or San Antonio) posts? Do you want to know my favorite German word (it’s tchüss! – it means bye!)? I’m super frustrated with science/lab right now. Does anyone have any advice for relaxing/getting through hard work times? In other news, I am super excited that Allegiant finally came out today (where was it on my 10 hr flight back from Germany last week?!). Is anyone else a fan of the Divergent trilogy?

In other news, my blog is 3 years old today!!!! How did this happen?!

Next step: traveling!

A picture I took as we left France…

So… in addition to all the other craziness going on in my life right now, I am gearing up to go to not one, not two, but THREE consecutive conferences next week. First step is SACNAS, a conference for minority STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) students that is near and dear to my heart. I went last year to recruit people for CU and I guess I did such a good job that they asked me to go back this again year! Yay! I am super excited about that! Also SACNAS is in San Antonio, TX this year and I have never been there… oooo new place! Then directly after that, I fly to Boston to attend a conference about Salmonella (for those of you that don’t know, that is what I am studying for my research project) with my friend Titanium and my boss. I have never attended a conference with my boss before so that should be fun. Also, a lot of big name Salmonella people should be there so it will be awesome to meet them and hopefully they can help me with the still mysterious parts of my project. After all of that, I fly back to Colorado for ~ 48 hours before taking off to go to Heidelberg, Germany (!!!!) for a conference about new techniques in microbiology. It is going to be awesome because there will be scientists from all over the world attending this conference! I feel very lucky/excited that I get to go to Europe twice in one year but I am also super nervous because I know absolutely NO German. At least in France, I could read signs and talk to people in my sub par/super slow/sometimes Spanish French. So that will be interesting…. Seeing how I got slightly culture shocked upon landing in France, I’ve bookended my trip to Germany with people that I know in the hopes that that should ease the transition to visiting another new country.

Now it’s your turn! Have you been to/lived in San Antonio, Boston, or Heidelberg? What should I definitely check out/eat/do there? Any travel tips for traveling with a poster roll as my second carryon (thrilling…)?

In other news, what have you guys been reading lately? I just finished Patrick Ness’ newest young adult book More Than This and I am still reeling from the crazy ending! Whoa!

PS – Patrick Ness is one of my favorite authors if you’re looking for a new set of books to read…