More Farewells

<IMG src="/images/14229-13631/Tyson_Brian.jpg”>
<IMG src="/images/14229-13631/Sean_dustin.jpg”><IMG src="/images/14229-13631/Frank_Roger.jpg”>
Top: Brian MacVivar (my supervisor)
Bottom Left: Sean and Dustin
Bottom Right: Ning, Chao, Xin, Francisco (Frank), and Roger.

Sean’s last day in the lab was Friday.  I am happy for him because he’s leaving to take a faculty position at the University of Saskatchewan.  I hope they realize how lucky they are.  It felt a bit weird to shake his hand and say goodbye after seeing him almost every day for the past six years.  Science is a gig where the most unlikely combinations of people are assembled in close proximity for a few years.  Then, just as quickly as they were thrown together, they are torn apart.  I am glad that I am leaving at the same time as Sean because the lab will feel strange without him around.  I’m not sure if he even realizes how much of an influence he’s been.  He’s experienced so much in his life that wisdom just oozes off him.  I will always remember one day in particular: we were eating lunch outside in the park and Sean said to me: “You’re stupid not to go to med school.”  The seed he planted would eventually lead me to Toronto to begin another odyssey.

I had a hell of a lot of fun as graduate student, but I learned a lot as well, and not just about science.  (Actually the only thing I learned about science is that I really don’t know anything about science.)  I’m going to miss my lab mates.  I wouldn’t have my PhD if it weren’t for Frank, a post-doc who came along at the perfect time to teach me what I needed to finish my project and give me a good shot of motivation to boot.  Not only is he an excellent scientist, but you also couldn’t ask for a better friend.  Congratulations on your faculty position at the University of Saskatchewan.  You and Sean are going to make one hell of a team.  You’ve been ready to be a principal investigator for a long time now.  I wish you all the best.  I’m sure you’ll be extremely successful.

I’m going to miss Friday “lab meetings” with the gang.  They were always entertaining.  How lucky was it that everyone had such a dark & crude sense of humour?  It’s also funny (in hindsight) when a certain individual falls off the table.  Or when he falls asleep on the floor under a desk.  Or when he gives the boss a purple nurple.  Or when he wrestles a bouncer to the ground (alright that wasn’t at a lab meeting).  Ahhh, I’ll miss the MacVicar lab.

I stopped in at Brian’s house this evening to say goodbye and give him a bottle of 16 year old Lagavulin as a token of my appreciation for everything he’s done for me.  I couldn’t have asked for a better supervisor.  His love of science and his enthusiasm is contagious.  He has always supported me, even when my experiments weren’t working or when I was stricken with a mysterious illness that kept me out of the lab for a prolonged period of time.  His support of my career and my application to medical school means a lot to me as well.  Thanks Brian.

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