Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It was meant to be.

When Judith and I are in Chicago, this will be on at the Museum of Science and Industry.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yale! and more neuroscience stuff

So I got my J-1 visa in the post and the plane tickets are booked, so I guess it's official - I'm off to Yale! (Only for a practicum, don't get too excited). I'll be leaving January 18 and returning to Guelph June 23. I have a six-month visa but they wanted me to arrive slightly later in the term so they would have time available for me, and I wanted to get out of there a week or so before my visa's up so there is no question of being put on any horrible US blacklists :)

It will be a very interesting project. We don't know exactly how the effect I am looking at works, but we suspect it relies heavily on a brain area called the anterior cingulate cortex, which detects conflicts between your expected or prepotent response and a cue that you see that tells you to do the opposite (e.g. you would normally press a button, but you see a stop signal telling you not to press it). EEG studies have found that when you use scalp electrodes to record brain waves during this sort of task, you see a particular waveform that is thought to be coming from the anterior cingulate.

But down at Yale, they have been doing a longitudinal study for 13 years on a group of people who were exposed to cocaine in utero (their mothers did cocaine while pregnant). One thing they have found is that this exposure likely caused developmental anterior cingulate damage. These adolescents have trouble with response inhibition in the first place, and EEG studies show that they seem to be recruiting extra brain areas to help out with this sort of thing instead of just relying on the anterior cingulate as in non-cocaine-exposed people. It will be very interesting to see whether they show the effect at all, since the main brain area for it may be damaged. Also it will be interesting to compare their results to my adult drug user population.

Anyway, sorry for all the neuroscience detail, but I know at least one or two readers might have an interest in this sort of thing!

So basically this is all very exciting, if not a little terrifying. It will be a lot to learn in a short period of time, plus I have lots and lots of extra work to do this semester to make sure things on the home front will be caught up. But I guess if life wasn't crazy it would be boring...

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

First Week Back

Well I got through my first week back after 8 weeks off. I decided to work regular hours for the first couple of weeks, because I was not sure I could last 10 hours. It went pretty well, though by Friday I was pretty beat. Everyone at work were glad to see me, at least that is what they said. I saw the surgeon last week, and she said everything look good inside and out, so no need to see her again. She also told me I was lucky to have Dr. Evans as my GP, always good to hear that someone agrees with me.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Aren't we a quiet bunch

OK I will break the great silence. Last week the music team at church asked if I would consider singing with them. With a mike. In front of everyone. The week before I had been at a meeting where there was a great music team and I thought, "Something I would like to do at church is be part of the music team, but I can't play an instrument." The thought of singing did not even pass through my mind. So when they asked me I was floored. Went to the practice today and will try on Sunday. It is nothing like karoake. The person who usually sings, with a really great voice, is very sick so can't do it. I guess they were desperate.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I talked to Jana today and she said 'go ahead' So, I will!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Is a good month.
The deck painting is coming along. Trellis painting is awful-thank you Mom for helping. But painting in fall is not so bad-it is lovely out today, though I have not yet managed to get out of bathrobe.
I met with the prof who is in charge of Master's Nursing program.
It seems that I could start with a course in January-and finish in 3 years-taking a course a semester (including summer). I feel excited about it and at the same time nervous. I asked my manager about it as I would need probably a 1/2 day/week to attend class. Though not always-there are some evening classes. I hope this will not be an issue for work as really, supporting education is important. Seeing as I am educator. Anyhow-my thought at this time is to focus on caring within mental health. More than that I don't know. the courses look interesting and there is also opportunity to do interprofessional courses and also distance ed through other universities if there is something at another university that I want to take-like Athabaska.
There is a new restaurant in our neighbourhood. Serves excellente pizza, though is named DeBakker's kitchen-Dutch name, and our server last night seemed to have a French accent?
Having a good restaurant within a brief walk is a happy thing. It may not be as good as Tony's Pizza, but I would say is a very close 2nd.
I am watching Dexter season 2. Richard is even getting into it, though he does not really like serial killer shows.

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Thursday, September 09, 2010

The best movie

Anyone who has a chance to see the movie The Secret in Their Eyes should do it. We saw it at the library movie last night and I am thinking that it is the best movie I have seen for a long time. Geoff agrees. And it is in Spanish with subtitles. Won the Oscar for best foreign film last year.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Settling In

As Mom said I am all moved in to my house in Edmonton. I like it quite a bit, and even more now that it's cleaned up a bit. I'm pretty sure the people living in it before didn't clean the stove once in the three years they lived here. Luckily Leanna's mom was here and did most of that cleaning for us. Besides that I think it's a pretty cute house, although Sam says it has too many angles to be efficient. Also the downstairs shower looks like a gas chamber. I like it for the most part though,and it is in a really great location. It's about a 20 min walk to the university, and a 5 minute walk to the LRT station.

Today was my first day of classes. I found out that one of my favourite people I know in nursing is in all my classes for the first 6 weeks, so that's really nice to know. I have to get used to being around so many girls again though. I forgot how loud it can get! I picked up my lab kit for the year today, and that also made me really excited for the rest of it. There's needles and catheters and all sorts of stuff in it that I'm excited to learn how to use.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

It's not even a week since we got home and it feels like months ago we were floating on the quiet lake. Just got home from the city. Grace has all her stuff at her new place, we delivered the last of the chairs to her before we left today. Jude has been getting rid of a lot of stuff to the kids which is a win-win situation. Grace's house is nice but we were wondering if it was in the Bermuda Triangle after we spent at least half an hour trying to find the address yesterday. We were totally in the wrong neighbourhood. Which shows that a city that has only numbered addresses can still be confusing. However the house is nice, the owner has done renovations there and it is a great location.
We got Sam a new bed this morning, he has been sleeping on a foam since he moved in April.
We stopped in Red Deer at Heather's on the way home because Barb is staying there. She came out to go to Helen Hunley's 90th bday party yesterday, but didn't let us know until Thursday so we had our plans already made for the weekend. But we had a nice visit in RD and most of Heather's kids and grandkids were there so that was good too.
Now we are alone in the house watching all the leaves turn yellow. Fall is here, there is no denying. I have to work tomorrow.


Mom and I are painting again. This time it is our deck, which is long overdue. I probably wouldn't even have done it, except that Mom asked, so I thought, OK, let's go!
Already it is starting to look better and all I have done is stain the boards from the renos we did last year, and Mom scraped the top rail.
Mom is an active 80 year old! I appreciate how much working in hospital, seeing people who are younger than her by 10 years who are not doing nearly as well.
In other news. Not much. having 3 day week followed by a long weekend is awesome.
I am sitting on an exercise ball typing this, with Sebastian sitting on my lap, purring loudly and nudging my face.
The catsitter on our respective notes when we returned from houseboating said to us, 'You have 2 very happy and friendly kitties!' In Mom's she said, 'Clem will be very glad to see you'
And Clem was.
Weather here is actually quite nice, was supposed to be 30 on Friday, but i think it was mid 20's.
Cooler today, but sunny.
You are all welcome to move here.
I meet with woman from UBC-O next week to talk about master's, though I wouldn't start until next year. If I don't make appt., won't look into it.
Richard and I have a day off together tomorrow-what should we do? mo pans to come over and paint for us. Mom is good to us.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Back to the land of cold. We got home late Monday night and got up Tuesday for work to find frost on the windshields. And on everything else. Why, why why? We have had no kind of summer at all this year. It is unfair.

Life at Grandma's House... pretty sweet. Even Clem let me sort of pet her. Just a little, mind you, but for her, a big step. I had a great couple days with Grandma and that couple that live across the street from her. We did a whole lot of nothing, spent the days napping and the houseboat, but fewer storms.

And now I'm back in Vancouver, facing real life again. Actually, it appears that real life has started without me, judging from the amount of e-mails that I've gotten about work. I'm only taking four classes this term, which is the benefit to taking six in my first year. To balance out my time, I'm working at a few diffferent jobs - school sacristan (organizing school worship), a research assistant for the Theology professor, and taking minutes at the Faculty Council meetings. If this year is like the last two, I'll also pick up various part time and one off jobs as the year unfolds. That is one of the benefits to living on campus!

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