Debbie Knight

An update on our graduate student candidate

In observation on May 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm

In a previous blog posting “The dance: the graduate student and the lab rotation,” I talked about a graduate student who was doing her fourth and final lab rotation with us.

Well, here’s an updates to bring you up to speed.

First, she came into our lab really excited about the multiple sclerosis research going on in the lab where she had just completely a rotation. This felt like strike #1 (if you’ll forgive the baseball analogy).

Second, that lab was in a state-of-the-art research building and our lab?  Well, let’s just say there’s been talk about razing our building for years.

Strike #2?

And third, the project we had her working on, a multidisciplinary project spanning biology, chemistry, and chemical engineering, started off on a slow note (but it’s been building steam with time). And, although she’s in a biology-based graduate program, she had to spend time in the chemistry department with the chemistry graduate student on the project.

Strike #3 and we’re out?

Now, if you’ve read my post in “About me,” you’ll know that I’m pretty long in the tooth when it comes to working in the world of research. And I’ve become a pretty good judge of character, especially when it comes to graduate students.

My “spidey sense” was telling me that while she’d be a great addition to our lab we didn’t have a chance in Hades of recruiting her to our lab. She was quiet, kept to herself, and didn’t share a lot of personal information. In other words, she was a tough nut to crack for me (and I’m pretty good at getting people to talk about themselves). She laughed politely at my silly jokes, she answered questions succinctly when asked, but she didn’t initiate many conversations (scientific or otherwise). And my “spidey sense” was telling me that she wasn’t being very interactive because she was going to bolt.

But guess what. My “spidey sense” was wrong.

Today, she officially accepted the offer to work in our lab.

It turns out that she likes the interdisciplinary aspects of our research. And apparently my silly jokes didn’t scare her off.

Wow, I didn’t see THAT coming, which just goes to show you that I still have much to learn.

One thing I am going to  remember from all this: Never play poker with this woman, especially for money! She sure knows how to hold those cards!


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