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Monday, June 12, 2006

Weekend at UWO

I spent the weekend at UWO to attend a conference for Let's Talk Science, the program that sent me to judge a science fair last year. This year I am the new coordinator for the biotechnology program at the UofT, and the objective of this conference was to give me a clearer idea of challenges and goals of the program. For three days, representatives from almost all the big Canadian universities got together to talk about science outreach and to design activities to get kids excited about science. And it is without any hint of sarcasm or irony that I tell you that I had an absolute blast!

Quite often, the long hours I spend in front my computer crunching numbers and writing reports take the fun out of the science I do. Some days my work feels no different than any other boring desk job, and that is quite truly a terribly draining and depressing feeling. But spending time with other grad students, building model rockets and assaying for amylase activity by spitting into vials of colourful liquids is an excellent reminder that science really is a lot of fun. I've been quite blessed to be able to do something I love--late nights churning out committee meeting reports not withstanding--and I'm glad I've been given this opportunity to spark an interest in science among kids. But if I see another "Three States of Water" exhibit, like the one I saw last year, I will mock the child who made it--mockery is a part of the scientific process, just ask any grad student after his/her re-class or qualifying exam.

Your Favorite Jerk


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