Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Confessions Tuesday

I'm going to admit it: I'm a Miley Cyrus fan. I know, I know, a grown woman, liking Miley Cyrus? I must admit I don't know much about her, but I have to admit that when times are tough, when life has me down, her song, "Party in the USA" is on a loop on my iPod. It seems ridiculous, and I'm unsure how I even got that song on my iPod to begin with (I guess I must have purchased it, because I can't imagine having asked a friend for a song from a Miley Cyrus CD!). It all started in November, as I was headed for the Bay Area for three job interviews in three days. I arrived on Tuesday, and attempted to find my way to Palo Alto on the BART/Cal-train, which is no easy feat. When I finally arrived, I found that the campus was MUCH bigger than anticipated - I'm a walker, and I usually just will walk, even if it's a ways, but the walk to my hotel, it just couldn't be done. My hotel was separated from everything, and consistent with CA, was situated for drivers, not people without a car. Getting food was tough, I had to order in, and I was nervous as hell, giving a talk in a place so unfamiliar. The bus/shuttle system saved me, and I headed to campus the next morning, bright and early and ready for my interviews. Each Both Wed and Thurs were looooooong days. I gave a talk on Wed for both labs I was visiting, and then I just hung out. I felt like I hadn't really nailed the talk, and I was super nervous to meet with the lab on Thurs, since I didn't really know the PI very well. On Thurs night, my interviews ended around 7pm, and I had to get to CalTrain to head into SF for my thankfully last interview. I was beat, both mentally and physically, and I just couldn't imagine having yet ANOTHER interview tomorrow. I got to the train station, starved and ready to get to my hotel in SF, but so, so far away. As I arrived, I saw the CalTrain headed to SF pulling out, meaning I had at least another hour to wait. Thankfully, there was a small cafe at the train station, so I grabbed a hot cocoa and a sandwich and settled in for a bit. I found the song "Party in the USA" on my iPod and I started listening to it. Interestingly, I perked up. The song had an effect, making me want to dance a little, giving me a little bit of energy, and telling me I could do this, I could really, really do this! I also liked the song because it talks about her feeling out of place, landing in LA, not knowing how to dress or act. That's totally how I felt. East Coast living has left me a little bit uptight, and a lot impatient. Science living has left me a little awkward, both socially and professionally. So, here I was, with all these Google execs, all these Silicon Valley geniuses, headed to SF. I talked to Alex quite a bit, and he gave me a lot of confidence and boosted my morale. I ended up walking to my awesome hotel right in the heart of touristy downtown, feeling pretty good. I ran through my talk once more, and then I hit the hay. The next morning, I was out for a run around 6am, which felt pretty good. SF felt familiar, and I felt like I was finally settling into this traveling bit. I left early, heading to the UCSF Mission Bay campus (oh my god, what an awesome place!) and I nailed my talk there. Nailed it! I felt great, and I had a fantastic time on my last interview. And I couldn't get out of there fast enough because my parents were heading up to spend the weekend with me. It ended up being a great trip (I even got my folks on the BART and the cable car, which was super cute!), and it ended with two job offers. We're headed to Stanford in the fall, so we're both really excited. But, to a certain extent, I think I might owe some of my success to Miley Cyrus and her ridiculously catchy song :)

 On the BART
 Powell St Cable Car, headed to Fisherman's Wharf
 On top of a ridiculously tall building, at the bar, of course!
 See? I was there too!
 The view was awesome!
 On Stanford's campus, the night I arrived.
The Ferry Building, the morning of my run. 


Randi said...

You make me smile, dude. I feel the same way about Britney.

Coodence said...

Dude! I don't know if I've really congratulated you on your jobs! CONGRATULATIONS!

Let me know if you want to chat by email or por telefono about making the transition from east to west.