December 2, 2004

today i will be giving a presentation entitled: “Hepatic expression of malonyl-CoA decarboxylase reverses muscle, liver, and whole-body insulin resistance.” actually, i didn’t make up that name; it’s just the name of the paper which i will be presenting in laborious detail for a bunch of pharmacology graduate students and several professors.

i am scared out of my mind.

typically, giving presentations doesn’t bother me so much. but this one is different for two reasons:

1. the material: metabolism! well, actually there isn’t TOO much metabolic mumbo-jumbo in the paper itself, but there are many points where someone just might ask me a metabolism-related question which would relate to what i’m presenting. even though my understanding of various pathways is much better than it was when i got a D-minus on the metabolism test in biology 101 (oops — and yet i still made it into med school), it’s not yet as strong as i would like it to be, and not for lack of trying, either. i hope that someday it will all make sense to me, fitting together in a big pretty diagram indelibly stored in my brain, but for now . . . well, i have to make do with frequent consultations with lippincott’s biochemistry (ie, metabolism for dummies). but i won’t have that book up there when i’m speaking.

2. the audience: i have yet to make a real friend among my pharmacology colleagues. some of them are just bratty. others are ultraserious and sort of scary. many of the older ones are intimidating, for the simple reason that i am very easily intimidated. put these students in a room with several professors (one which i hope to impress, because i may very well end up in his lab in a few months — and i’m presenting his material!) and voila — recipe for spiking cortisol levels and adrenaline-rushes-galore. i have at least 30 minutes of material, but with that lovely endogenous cocktail running through my arteries it’ll probably all spew out in about 15.

maybe i should take a beta blocker — kids used to do this when auditioning for various competition orchestras back in the day. but those kids were crazy. i will not stoop to their level.

oh god, i just wish this was over.

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plans for josh’s 30th bday celebration are underway! we are having a dessert party w/ wine and assorted coffee-cocktails (coffee & amaretto, coffee & irish cream, coffee & godiva liqueur). i am planning to make the following:

– chocolate walnut tart

– key lime pie

– pumpkin cheesecake

and i’m also going to buy a bday cake. because i know if i tried to decorate one, it wouldn’t look as pretty. hmm, does this look like overkill? we’re hopefully going to have around 50 people, so perhaps not. any further suggestions (as always) are welcome from the masses.

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