Off the bus

We got to Mohonk Mountain Manor just time to check in, get settled, take a quick 30 min walk around the grounds and get back for dinner. This place is amazing. Especially if you are coming from the city and do not get out in nature often anymore. If forget what it is like sometimes. There were lots of mosquitoes though – that is something I do not miss about nature.

Dinner was done alphabetical by your first name. They are trying to promote mingling and not just sitting with your own lab. Makes sense, but very nerve racking for me. Everyone is talking about what science they do and I’m still newish to this so I get nervous. I am part of a several little projects and my own projects are starting up soon, but neuroscience is so complex. I’m still trying to put all the pieces together myself. What I am comfortable talking about – FOOD.

The dinner line up:

The Menu

Crab Cake – This was really very good. The best part was the sweet shallots. It was really hard not to eat the whole thing, but I was able to only eat half. And I did not eat the sauce which was cream based. The crab cake was so good you did not not need the sauce anyway.

Maryland Crab Cake

Loved the salad. It was so simple. But sometimes simple is do delicious.

Arugula with Strawberry Compote and Almonds

I chose the vegetarian option. I did not want to eat duck. The veg entree was potato gnocchi with tomato basil sauce. The gnocchi was super pillowy. I have never had gnocchi that light and fluffy.

Pillows of Dough

Final course was desert – I ate a little less that half I think. The chocolate was calling me and I just couldn’t resist.

One Giant Hunk of Chocolate Cake

Our introduction talk for the retreat was by Nicolas Schiff. This was very interesting he presented clinical data on serve brain injury patients. He showed data on several patients that where in minimally conscious states due to brain injury and after given ambien, or zolpidem, they were able to talk, eat, regain facial control, and other muscle control. It was really amazing. It does not work in everyone and is still a very big mystery the mechanism underlying why it does work sometimes. He had videos and it was really amazing to see a patient who couldn’t hold a ball or talk off the drug, then 30 minutes after given ambien able to through the ball to another person and speak normal. This was more of a historical case study, as he has not administered any drugs to patients, because it is harder to get permission for that. He also had data that this worked in someone who was like this for 20 years and then after given the drug were able to function again. I guess you really do never know if someone could wake up or not after injury, and how long it can take.

I am finding myself very interested in clinical research. I have been struggling with the decision for some time – do I want to do clinic or research? Well, why not clinical research. Viola! We shall see. I need to get into grad school first.

How long out of undergrad did it take you to figure out what you wanted to do? Next month will mark 2 years out for me. I cannot believe it has been long already.