According to LiveJournal, I haven't posted to this journal in 40 weeks. Wow. Life goes by fast, especially when one is once again studying. In any case, it must be time for an update. As LiveJournal also managed to get me to pay another year of subscription, I really ought to post more often and will attempt to do so in the future.
My last post was a video of Midsummer Night's Dream. It seems like yesterday that I was doing that, but I noticed the other week that HRST was soliciting directors for this years shows already, so in reality it has been about a year since I started that process. I was happy enough with how the show turned out, though certainly the project also had a number of disappointments (and as director I shouldn't really bother differentiating between those that are more internal or external to my influence--they are all my responsibility). Anyway, THANKS so much to my wonderful cast and crew for making everything possible with their tireless effort and contributions above and beyond what should normally need to be asked. We put up a very impressive show when you consider the (low) amount of time and resources we were given. I hope the HRST season made money and that this year people will have to worry a little less about money and a little more about being organized. Best of luck to everyone who is proposing a show for this summer!
This reminds me, I still have the two-camera video of Midsummer in raw format somewhere... not sure what I've done with it after the move, but I'll look for it and see if I can get that posted soon.
Speaking of the move, I live in another country now, and have for... counting them... about 34 weeks now! I am a D.Phil student in Statistical Genetics at the University of Oxford in England. I've already learned a great deal more about both Statistics and Genetics and feel like I've contributed a lot to the group here at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics where I have my studentship. I've been involved in analyzing data for many projects based in Oxford as well as for several international collaborations, and already have a half dozen papers on my CV. Not bad for 6 months! I have a few first-author papers in the works as well, but I probably won't be ready to publish anything until summer.
I spend most of my time working on the computer, manipulating large data sets, using existing analysis tools, and fairly frequently writing small scripts or programs to do something special. I have also setup a couple of pipelines for automating data analysis for quantitative traits, one of which is now being used by others at the Centre for their analyses. Yay.
My mom, brother, and sister came to visit me in Oxford for Christmas and I made a Christmas goose, and it actually came out pretty well (I did make a practice one with friends first, but actually that one came out very well also).
I have also been doing some theatre over here. I co-designed the lighting for "Alice: Through the Looking Glass" in the Oxford playhouse, which was both successful and fun to work on, though the incredibly short amount of time they give designers to work in this country is rather appalling. I also designed lights for a couple of shows over in Ireland (both in Limerick and Galway), and am now working on both the set and lighting design for another Oxford playhouse show--Agamemnon, the Oxford Greek Play. Plans are also in the works to do some Edinburgh fringe festival shows. Oh, and I am now the President of the Oxford Technical Theatre Society, which is called TAFF.
A few weeks ago my youngest sister Erin had her new baby girl, Leila. So now I am an Uncle! While I was in Sweden at a Symposium on disease genetics (I work primarily on the Genetics & Genomics of Complex Diseases & Traits), I videoconferenced with her and she was so cute! I want to go see her in person as soon as I can! As of a few days ago she joined facebook--one week old for her first video call and two weeks for her first social networking site. Hrmmm. What a life you'll have, Lily.
This week has been a bit unusual as I've been spending my time at the lab in the actual lab, wearing a lab coat and gloves and everything (usually I sit in the front rooms where I have a desk and a computer, working on the computer all day). I am helping out on an RT-PCR experiment and it seems to be going pretty well so far. I really wanted to learn how to work in the lab, mostly so that I can understand where the data I am always working with is coming from, but also so that I'll have the ability to do some real experiments if I need to. Exciting!
Anyway, I'm still alive and I've been working hard on my studies and research work. Hopefully I'll get a chance to come visit people soon--planning on being in the states for a course towards the end of June and will hopefully stay over there for a bit longer before or after.
My old MIT email address is now getting an average of 800 messages per day, approximately 0 of which are real messages. I can no longer withstand not using automated spam filtering. Sadness.
I hope everyone in the world understands that email was never a guaranteed means of communication, and that it is becoming less and less reliable as the noise level rises. Also, no one should ever be upset if someone sends multiple messages because previous ones didn't get a response. Getting no response is meaningless, as no communication can be certain to have occurred unless both parties have taken part in it.
If you write me an email and I don't respond, don't assume I hate you. The most likely thing is that I didn't see your message, since if it even got through it is surely surrounded by 20+ spam messages, and it is possible now that I have to resort to filtering that it didn't even get through at all.