Another mundane Monday. I actually have something to look forward to since I started The Mundane Monday Lifestyle Series on my blog. It is something new, and I don't have the pressure of reviewing products. Last December, I went to New Orleans for American Society for Cell Biology to present a poster presentation on my PhD work. It was a pretty amazing experience in every respect.
Nobel Laureates James Rothman and Randy Schekman in Physiology gave a talk in addition Craig Venter, who is the guy mainly responsible for sequencing human genomics. His entire sequence was the first human genome that was sequenced completely, which is pretty crazy. After hearing these legendary scientist talk about their journeys, I realized they are ordinary people who do extraordinary jobs, which was extremely inspiring. I tend to put people like them in a bubble that is unreachable to me, but seeing them in person made me realize they were graduate students like me at some point. They all had their failures through out their careers just like us, and had no idea that their work was going to win Nobel Prize one day. Simply, these people have been doing what they love and passionate about and were rewarded for their invaluable contribution to the world.
In science, it is easy to get lost in your own little world of studying a single molecule that may or may not matter. Going to a conference like this that collects thousands of us in a single building was overwhelming. It is seriously geeks on steroid for a week, which I secretly loved. Nobody will giggle at me for making silly science joke, because that is the normal at conferences.
I had some time to explore New Orleans as well. Southern food was rich and very hearty. Tons of sea food which was a nice change for me. Weather was beautiful and I managed to escape the first horrible snow storm in North East with my trip. The highlight of my trip was French Quarter in New Orleans. It has so much character and history to it that you can't help but want to learn more about this town. I had the infamous biegnets at Cafe Du Monde with really good cup of coffee, and managed to have a drink at Bourbon street, which was pretty crazy place in a few words. On the other hand, Frenchman's street was a lot nicer with more locals and tons of live music.
Towards the end of trip, I was pretty ready to go home with science stuffed head and sea food stuffed stomach to my snowiest city in the US for my regular uneventful life. New Orleans was a nice refreshment, a reminder of how much I love to travel.