Yesterday was amazing. I went to the Open House at HGSE for the program I am going to attend in the fall and I was blown away. The depth of the program, the breadth of knowledge of the other students, the presence and opportunities presented by the faculty, all of it left me breathless.

I had lunch with a former student in the program. She was a well established Clinical Psychologist and she left her practice to attend the program and gain a better understanding of the brain of adolescents (can anyone understand that!?). She was very encouraging and when we talked about my study/research interests she told me I should connect with Dr.AR, a Professor and a clinician who has done work in exactly the area I would like to learn more about.

Drawing on research from the biological, behavioral, and social sciences, students in the class will learn about how interactions between early life experiences (such as having cancer at a young age) and genetics shape brain architecture and influence the maturation of biological systems that affect learning, behavior, and both physical and mental health well into the adult years.

I spent hours last night reading many of the articles he wrote. The one that most closely aligns with what I would like to learn more about is, “The Timing and Quality of Early Experiences Combine to Shape Brain Architecture”, (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child c. 2007).

One of the personally challenging parts of this program is that I will be going part-time. This will limit my opportunities to work on research since I have to still do the thing I call my full-time job. That said I am sure that if I am creative I can make the stuff that interests me most happen.

The two more lab type courses that interest me and that I talked with Alumni and Professors about taking are Neuroanatomy of the Brain and Physics of MRI. Both of these courses are offered in conjunction with the Medical School in the Department of Medical Sciences. My other classes will be geared more in theory and investigation. I have been able to get some great guidance on my courses of study from Faculty already. I will meet with my advisor in June. I am hoping to get my first choice of advisors but won’t know till right before our first meeting.

All of this has really been energizing to me and is coming at a great time. I need something to focus on outside of work since the next project I have is really not something that is stimulating (or really even interesting) to me. That’s all I am going to say about that.

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