A study in pink or la vie en rose

Sunday mornings for me typically start with a feeling of displeasure: how could the weekend be almost over? how did I spend my time at all yesterday? … The feeling of displeasure almost consistently culminates in the feeling that anything is possible at the eleventh hour.  Strange how panic can drive in optimism.  Naturally, at the top of the world, you have one of two choices.  But I will not go there, as this forms part of a discussion of an entirely different flavour.  Instead, I would like to attempt to scratch out one of the many items on my To-Do list by telling you about my recent experience out of the country.

I was in the gorgeous island of Maui recently, for the purposes of the w-qbio conference.  This experience was extremely novel for me.  It was the first time I was going completely on my own to a completely different country, and a cocktail of emotions completely different from what I had ever experienced before threw my brain into a state that can only be described through … experiencing what I had experienced.  Nonetheless, rest assured that I was petrified and excited at the same time, as my whole being was being flown at speeds faster than the local transit into a country far far away…That being said, as I saw the coastline of the island from the plane, I felt reassurance and calm swim over me.  The ultimate climax.  The unsuspected bliss.  I wish I had a picture of that moment to show you, but such a picture could not even capture the experience.  I felt I was coming home.  I felt I had come home.

The drive in the shuttle bus from the airport to the resort went extraordinarily well, which defied everything that my paranoid brain could have imagined earlier.  I was especially lucky to be able to watch the sunset, its rays painting the waves of the ocean as they crashed effortlessly against the coast.  I was mesmerised and most peaceful.  After the steady complaints about the weather in Toronto, I was glad to be part of a study in pink.  Both on a personal level and … later, as a scientist.

The conference started the day after my arrival.  And here is where I run out of words.  We were a complex mix of physicists, mathematicians, biologists, engineers…and the work presented indeed did reflect this diversity.  The methodologies varied, the schools of thought seemed different from what I have been exposed to through my reading, and overall, I can tell you this was an amazing eye-opener for me.  Science became more interesting to me, and I felt excited to come back to work on my own projects.

The resort was amazing, and because of this, I might be putting (at a later date) some of the pictures from my stay on this blog.  I was especially drawn to the (live) flamingos.  And the people?  They were superb.  My digestive system decided to go on strike on the last few days, but the people in the resort unreservedly helped me from what could otherwise have been an especially …. terrible situation.

And with this, I leave you.  I hope to maybe talk a bit more about what I have learnt at the conference in another post…Till then, mahalo for your patience!



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