2011
04.26

Awakenings

It’s April 26th and I haven’t posted since last December. So much for keeping to the New Year’s resolution of posting to my blog on a regular basis. O.o.

Maybe it’s because of I’m jealous of relatives residing in warmer climes (read: anywhere but Chicago), but I feel as though this my fourth winter in Chicago has been especially long and arduous. It started with a rapid temperature drop shortly before Thanksgiving 2010 and continued through the Blizzaster of February that included a bout of thundersnow and created apocalyptic scenes on the city’s famous Lakeshore Drive. Winter is far too slowly melting into spring. Compared to historic records, Chicago has seen a marked drop in the level of sunshine (nearly half the sunny hours it normally receives) and a considerable dearth of warm days (only two days reached 70 degrees Fahrenheit since January 1st).

Am I bitter? Not really. It was 8 degrees when I set foot in Chicago for my recruitment weekend in February 2007 and I had no illusions about Chicago’s climate. I have a naturally high capacitance for patience but nearly two weeks of below average April temperatures and a cool and rainy start to May is finally breaking down my mettle.

(non sequitor: I was once part of a conductivity test and the lady passing low-level current through us exclaimed that I was quite the resistor. That may explain a lot).

On the bright side, there is abundant evidence that spring is surely on its way. The tulips planted along Michigan Ave are almost ready to open their buds, green is returning with a quiet fervor to trees in Hyde Park, and birdsong once more greets my ears as I walk around campus. Hibernation is nearly over; spring is on its way.

My research project is also awakening and I’ve been a virtual flurry of analytic activity for the past several weeks. I’ve grown more confident in my coding abilities (though I still rely on Google to help me do silly things like grab a header from a file) and my understanding of how to interpret my data. I’ll eventually post my code here so that it may be of use to others doing GWA studies.

This week will also see some big changes in the lives of two people near and dear to my heart. First, I was lucky and proud to attend the thesis defense of a best friend of nearly 12 years, the newly minted Dr. Kevin James Henderson. He did a fine (though rather fast) job of talking through his thesis presentation and I was pleased to understand about 90% of it. I guess it took five years of explaining triblock copolymers before I could pronounce “polymethyl methacrylate” without hesitation. I expect great things of Dr. Henderson when he continues his polymer work at Dow Chemical outside Philadelphia.

Second, my dear sister Sachi is going to graduate from nursing school this weekend. The kindest and gentlest of the Vora triplets is officially entering a vocation perfect for her. As someone who patiently kept peace between two opinionated and stubborn siblings (and occasionally hot-tempered parents) for over two decades, I’m sure Sachi can handle anything her patients throw at her. Literally. She has the reflexes of a cat from her days of Frisbee playing and soccer goal tending. Though one day (hopefully next year) I’ll be the first “Dr” in our family, it will always be Sachi who can actually help people with their ills and complaints. She earned “top student” honors for her brains and will earn the love and respect of her patients for simply being who she is: a loving, caring, compassionate person who is and will always be the best sister in the world.

Congratulations to my dear friends on your accomplishments!!

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