Yesterday, I got an email from a PI in the department of Bioinformatics of a local university who had received my CV from a colleague. And she wanted to meet with me to discuss the possibility of working in her lab to learn Bioinformatics hands on. The only drawback? I won't get paid, but since I'm not doing anything else between 8-5, M-F right now, I figure I may as well give this a shot.
So I met with her, but only after running into 2 women I'd known at the university for years. And who are both aware that I've been sitting on my dream for a LONG time. The first woman is the same one I blogged about randomly running into last year, who basically asked me what the hell I was waiting on as far as applying to med school was concerned. My conversation second one, who has a LOT to do with medical school admissions at this particular school, told me straight out that she thought I was too old for med school, that I needed to distinguish "my dreams from reality". But instead of becoming irate, I asked her why she felt that way. Then I made MY case over lunch. And at the end, she had NO doubts about my commitment to my goal and agreed with my plan for the next year. And then it occurred to me. People question my goal because it appears "I'm all over the place" when it comes to how I need to achieve those goals. And that I "get" because in some way I agreed with them, emphasis on the past tense form of the word agree. I've been clear for a minute now about about what I want and why I want it. The last thing I think I needed to work on was HOW I was going to get there. So when she asked me if I was considering DO or the Caribbean for medical school, I told her absolutely, that I'm being heavily recruited by DO schools, so I think I have a realistic shot getting admitted there. She asked how I intended to pay for it, knowing that I was going to reach my financial aid limit right in the middle of medical school. And I told her between the Indian Health Service, Public Health Service, and loan forgiveness, I would find a way. I added that my nest will be long empty by then so the sky's the limit as far as that's concerned. Then she asked me why the 3rd MS degree in Bioinformatics(which she initially called illogical, LOL). And I responded that the certificate in Bioinformatics requires 4 classes and that I need 4 classes to have the MS degree. That she said was a no brainer. For real, LOL???
One thing to mention here is that as I get older, I realize that I need to be REAL careful who I share my "dreams" with. These days, that unfortunately includes my mother who if I'm keeping it real here, is wishy washy with her support of my goal but is the first to brag to someone about what it is. And the hypocrisy of this both angers me and inspires me to work harder at the same time. Most of the time I realize she just doesn't "get it" and you know, that's okay. Because I'm paying for it and have many mentors and other support in place (including my blog readers, YEAH!!!), I really don't need her to. Don't get me wrong, it would be real nice if I had it, but I don't, so it is what it is and has always been since I was an undergrad.
Back to the ladies I saw today, they both told me that the woman I'm going to work with over the next 4-6 weeks is "difficult" and after the second woman said that, all I could do was smile. Smile you ask? If you've been reading my dairy you know that I've been working around "difficult" people for the past year. 11 months of SUPER DUPER hell versus 6 weeks of difficult? Yeah, I think I "got this", BIG TIME!!!
Here's the deal as I see it. I've been BEGGING for someone to teach me something in Bioinformatics in an academic environment at a medical school for over a year, and now I have a "difficult" PI offering to do just that in the department I'm getting a degree in. I talked to her about making my time there permanent and she said she would be willing to help me write an NCI grant to get me fellowship funding. I talked to her about my ultimate interest in cancer health disparities and she said she would introduce me to people who are doing research in area. I talked to her about needing strong mentorship at this point in my career and she said she could be that and allow me to enlist others at the school as well. So if 4-6 weeks of "difficult" is what I have to deal with to get me one step closer to my dream, then so be it. I'm ready.
Finally, I've decided to stick with the blog addy path201X since I think that no matter which clincal field I get into, deep down I'll always be "Path".
In heavy iPod rotation: