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A Little Silence Would Be Nice....

This semester's courses can be summed up with one word: meh.

Neuroscience is pretty exciting. It's tough...but it's the only class I've really been enjoying lately. The material is fascinating and the professor is fantastic. I even like the TA in charge of recitation for this course. He's smart but not pretentious...and he even brought in a special guest speaker today. This guest speaker was a bit of a celebrity because he was a co-author on a paper that was published in Cell. In the science world, this is like winning the lottery. Getting published in Cell will make and break the guy just oozed badass intellect as he casually explained a paper that took me hours to read...and even longer to understand (I still don't understand it completely).
I want stained glass! Lots and lots of stained glass!

 Journal club is tolerable. Everyone else seems to be hating the extra work and impromptu assignments during class...but I think the subject (Fukushima-related radiation) is pretty interesting.

The mandatory research conduct/ ethics course is pretty redundant and...dare I say it...pointless.I have already learned (quite a few times) what to do and what not to do in the laboratory in the 7 odd years that I've spent in school. Don't make up an animal protocol as you go along, don't make up results, and don't steal other people's ideas/work....etc....etc...etc... On top of that, my Catholic guilt would never let me live with myself if I ever had an ethics violation under my belt. Ethics is ethics is ethics. If you can follow the rules from a Catholic should be golden when it comes to ethics from a researcher's perspective. Needless to say, this class is pretty boring.

Give me art from the days where artists cared about realism!
I am still on the fence with Epidemiology. On one hand, the instructor can certainly keep an audience listening. She's got quite a presence at the proverbial podium and her course is pretty interactive. On the other hand, my molecular science-heavy background puts me at odds with some of these new-fangled epidemiological methods and ideas. There was a row earlier this week regarding mutations and what sort of "effect" they have on phenylketoneurics. You could tell who was who in that class based on who sided with whom. The people with the genetics background (myself included) argued one thing...the instructor (and her TA that kind of had a grasp on the genetics concept) argued another thing...before turning a deaf ear and moving on. Sometimes I think epidemiology is a useful science...and other times I consider it a pseudoscience with only one purpose: Find a way to make numbers support your theory. Maybe I am being harsh here...but this class is definitely torturous at times.
Yes! What my Catholic conscience wouldn't do for a good
confession in thisbeautiful confessional from
the forgotten days where carpenter and sculptor
alike took pride in their well as time!

Between this and a few other things going on in my hectic life, I haven't had much time to do things that I want to do for days on end.  "Me time" tends to be short and sporadic...a few stolen moments here and there to work on a novel, draw, knit, craft, make jewelry, blog, etc. You get the idea. Normally, I end up sacrificing sleep time for me time...but it is usually worth it. You see, something inside of me is starving.

My inner artist is dying to break free. My inner crafter would kill for some alone time.  Even my soul is more restless than usual. I have been dedicating far too much time to science. Don't get me wrong...I like my lab and I really do like my research. However, I feel like I have been neglecting quite a few parts of my life...

Silent, meditative prayer...the perfect escape for some 1 on 1 time with God!
I miss art, I miss silence, I miss meditation, I miss adoration, I miss tranquility, and I miss quite a few other things these days because I am always rushing back and forth trying to get as much done as I can.

With that said, I think it's time for a pilgrimage. I kind of just want to break free from my current life and make a run for it. I would like to just find some holy shrine, church, place, you name it...and just sit there in quiet meditative prayer for hours on end. I want to spend several days at peace with myself and at peace with God. I may even want to finally visit Medjugorje, go to Fatima again, or even Jerusalem. I want to surround myself with as much holiness, prayer, silence, reverence, art, old architecture, incense, and ritual as I can. Even a simple but silent monastery would do. (I hope they finish construction at the Holy Face monastery soon!!!). I need some time away from all the noise and responsibility.
What I wouldn't give for a silent, empty church all to myself!

Just a few days would be nice....

Pax Vobiscum

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