One Small Step…Which Hopefully Leads To A Giant Leap

Sometimes the universe realizes it’s been a bit of a jerk and will cut you some slack, maybe even toss a little good fortune your way.

I have been unemployed for a little over a week.  No I haven’t found a new permanent job yet, but I have found some temp work.  Or rather, this temp work has found me.

One of my little side projects at Fermi right before I left had been to do a couple analyses for a graduate student.  He’s working on making plates with a particular scintillator dopant, but the starting materials inexplicably turn yellow, even more unexplainable by the fact that not all of it does it.  I was doing some tests for him to try to identify either the compound that was yellow or identify markers for the reaction that was happening.  Right before I left I was able to tell him a little about what I believed was going on, and he was happy so I wished him luck and peaced out.

What I didn’t know is that this student was from MIT.  And what I really didn’t expect was to get a phone call from his professor asking if I’d be interested in working for her.

This is what sheer confusion mixed with complete shock looks like. If your reaction to an MIT professor cold calling you is anything less than this there’s something wrong with you (you know, if you’re not a genius who could reasonably be expecting someone from MIT to call you).

It turns out that my ideas on what I believe is happening to this compound sparked her interest.  This problem has apparently been observed before, but no one has been able to identify anything about what exactly is happening or what causes it.  The most any existing papers point out is that it turns yellow.  So, she has asked if I’d be willing to delay my move to MI to stick around here to go back to my lab at Fermi as an MIT rep and do a month-long series of tests that have been designed based on a marrying of my observations and a previous test they had run.  They want to publish a paper on what we’ve found, and this series of tests would really pull the whole thing together.

I don’t know any details about when exactly she wants to get started or what the pay might be yet (heck, this is so awesome I’d almost be willing to do it for free), but I’m completely thrilled.  How can you not be when you’re on a first name basis with an MIT professor who calls you out of the blue to do work for her and is going to include you as an author on the paper?!

No real word yet on anything permanent after this is over, but for the moment I don’t care.  I’m still working on finding a long-term solution, but for now I’m going to just bask in the glow of how awesome this particular situation is.


Posted on July 25, 2012, in Life, Work and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Coooooool!!!! You’re gonna get your name on a paper from MIT out of this!!! That will make your resume look even better! 😀 Take that, jobs out there. :):)

  2. that is AMAZING! Congrats on the opportunity! things have a way of working out 🙂

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