One of the favorite parts of my job so far has been picking out toys to give to our (future) kid participants as prizes. Including deciding if I should get the Lego pirate or the Lego helicopter (I got 3 of each). And instead of Batman, I went with Hannah Montana and Transformers.
Speaking of my job, the lab is nearly ready to go! After a week of working out of my PIs' apartment and another week in the newly renovated and full of windows lab with no furniture, all of our furniture was set up on Monday, so the lab is really beginning to look like a lab rather than a random assortment of half unpacked boxes and mismatched stolen/borrowed chairs.
My PIs were not stingy with their start-up funds. The lab is outfitted with 3 Mac Pros, 5 iMacs (there are only 4 of us for now), and a bunch of Mac minis with giant LCD screens for running participants. And our desk chairs are awesomely ergonomic, even if they're not as awesome as the Aeron chair one of the PIs got for his office. Yes, got some chair envy going on, but, as he joked, you need at least 20 publications for an Aeron, so I got a ways to go.
Oh, and we have a giant plush giraffe:
While picking out toys and office supplies was fun, the best part is yet to come. Our first protocol (one of the first I've ever written) has finally been approved for expedited ethics review! That means that we'll be able to run participants soon! At least, as soon as we find them. I would ask if any of y'all know any young'uns in the Rochester area willing to be research participants, but I didn't write recruiting via the YPMB Oh Nine blog into the protocol, so it's probably not allowed.
There's a thing at the Rochester public library tonight that I can't decide if I want to go to. It would mean skipping dinner (because I don't want to skip kickboxing) and showing up late. By then, the free crepes might be gone! The main draw is the subway tours. Why tour a subway, you ask? Because it's an abandoned subway!
Back when Rochester was teh shit and Kodak and Xerox were doing well, the city built a subway system. Unfortunately, Kodak's late arrival to the digital camera age eventually led them to lay off half their workforce, and Xerox wasn't doing too hot either (as my roommate put it, pdf killed Xerox), and the city's population hemorrhaged away. By the time the subway was finished, there weren't enough people left to justify actually running it, so they sealed it up and never used it.
Kind of sad, how a whole city can just die like that. There are parts of Rochester that look like the shabbiest chunks of New Haven, and then there are skyscrapers and architectural works that rival NYC or Austin or any other big city. I think it's a good Rosa-sized city.