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Ramadan 2010

August 14, 2010

Hello everyone. It has been a while.

So just in brief summary:

– First year graduate school, done
– Joined a lab
– Started thesis work
– Getting data
– Preparing for graduate board orals

This last one is the kicker. In mid-September, I will be taking an oral exam with 5 of my professors. Basically I need to write a 10 page proposal on my research interests, research design, and research goals in the form of a mini grant, present my work to the 5 professors plus my boss, and then answer random questions on anything in biology they feel like asking. It really sounds more overwhelming than it really is. But I’ve been reading up on my field, learning the major players in it, and the current opinions, so by a month from now, hopefully I will be ready.

But in more interesting news, this year I’m celebrating a traditional Muslim Ramadan! In case you don’t know, Ramadan is a month of fasting in the Islamic faith. During daylight hours (between the onset of dawn and the beginning of dusk) one does not eat or drink anything with the goal of becoming closer to Allah, focusing your priorities to Allah and your fellow man, and just in general becoming a better person.

Now one of the interesting things about Ramadan is that every year it moves up about 10 days. This is because it follows the Lunar calendar instead of a typical 365.25 days per year Gregorian calendar. So what this means is that every year, Ramadan moves up by 10 days. So if Ramadan this year is between the hottest days of August 11-September 10, next year it will occur during an even hotter and longer, August 1-August 30, and so on and so forth. I remember in high school when Ramadan was in late fall, and the days were quite short and cool, and how easy it would have been to start doing Ramadan then and not now.

But I’ve been pushing through and really discovering a lot about how my body works. I have some pretty good Ramadan stories already but I’ll share those at a later time. I promise to keep writing in this not because I feel obligated, but because I feel like it will be a good exercise for me. Anyway, enjoy eating while the sun is out, and don’t rub it in people’s faces that you can. Time to finish my experiment, go home, and wait to eat.

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