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Archive for May, 2011

It´s spring time and I am so loving it!  The weather, the fresh plants, the green trees, the flowers, the butterflies and the bees, the birds, the sunlight, and the longer daylight.  And it´s the best time for a walk.

And so our group went into what we call a spring walk.  Into the small village called Eifel.

It was nice to be out of the lab as a group.  We enjoyed nature together; and basked in the sun, smelled the fresh air, and adored the breathtaking view of the vineyards.

We saw new things, new plants. Talked about different flora and fauna. Picked and ate wild strawberries.  Saw slugs of different colors and sizes.  Discussed about the movie Into the Wild… as we hiked up and down the wine road and mountain tracks.  While I enjoyed taking photos and documenting our walk. 🙂

It was tiring. However, refreshing. And cathartic.  It was a lovely walk indeed!

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Out of the many frustrations in the lab these past few days,  I went home early, picked up some flowers on the way home and decorated my room.

I love plants. I’m a plant biologist, obviously.  And I love working with them in the lab.  Down into the molecular level.  But sometimes the lab works just drown me down…

I then go back to the plants, because I find them relaxing. Especially the flowers!  Oh, how I love to have my own garden. Someday, I would have my farm.

Right now, I am so loving my flowers.  It gives life to my room.  Another living organism in my rather empty room. Whom I can talk to, or sing to.. why not?

Oh, Thank God for plants!  Especially the flowers 🙂

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If you are to survive in this scientific community, you must learn how to do humor… And see humor in every situation and conversation possible.

This email sent to everyone in our institute just gave me a pleasing smile.  What a wit, isn’t it?

Hello there. If accidentally you ran over a couple of toads and smashed them in the floor on the latest days you may be missing your glasses. I found them! Please pick them up at B’s office. Do it for the toads.

-A.

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I went to the Netherlands for the second time to attend a Proteomics course at Wageningen University.  I thought I will just be stuck in a classroom trying to understand and absorb as much information I can get from the course.  And for this I prepared myself for the next 4 days in the university.

It sounds hardwork and boring right?  But my stay there was as fun as one can get! Who would have thought proteomics, a combination of the study of proteins and genome, could also be a blend of study and leisure?

The university is located in the small town of Wageningen which is composed of about 37,000 residents and about 8,000 of which are students.  Wageningen is called the city of life sciences thanks to Wageningen University and Research Center and other research institutes.  The town is the center for Agricultural, and Food and Nutrition studies in the Netherlands.

The old campus of Wageningen University is the perfect place for a quiet, serene, and relaxing atmosphere.  Yes, it was relaxing despite the tough course.  Believe me, please.

The campus has lovely ponds and two botanical gardens where photography junkies and nature lovers alike can delight and take pride on the sweetness of the countryside life. Also, the nearby river Nederrijn or Rhine river (which runs through Cologne too!) offers a cool atmosphere and a breathtaking view.

On my daily 20-minute walk to and from the Biochemistry building and Hotel de Wageningshe Berg, I reveled on the spring weather, the flowers, the greenery, the river side, the sunshine, the birds, the lovely houses, the bicycles, and the friendly smiling people.

I too had the luxury of time to give way for a good reading in the hotel balcony overlooking the river.  The novel “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Shaffer and Barrows is just as alluring and captivating as this small town.  It also has as extraordinary a name as Wageningen, don’t you think? And it is as phenomenal as how one pronounce Wageningen (Va-ke-ni-ngen) with the typical Dutch spit sound at the second syllable.

The proteomics team, the lunch and the fair weather.

Wageningen University old campus

In and around Wageningen…

…during my most coveted afternoon walks with my camera.

That is the Rhine river- the same river I am admiring in Cologne!

And if you´d ask me…

…Yes, I do love plants!

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