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The Genetic Carry-On Limit

08 Oct

Flying through Philadelphia is practically the same as asking to lose your luggage. As I wait at the baggage claim for a suitcase I know won’t come, I wish I had listened to my mother and squeezed everything into a carry-on.

Packing for a flight reminds me of a game I played in elementary school, in which we had to list five items we would want if we were stranded on a desert island. I always listed television, my best friend and ice cream, but, for some reason, never a boat.

It’s the same question we face every time we travel. What should we bring, and what should we leave behind? Deciding what to pack is almost equivalent to the philosophical question of what you need to survive and be comfortable.

I think about problems like this a lot…

I wrote an essay (here, page 5) attempting to convey the philosophy behind my research project, and it landed an honorable mention in a writing contest. This led to the nice result of getting to work with a professional copy-editor before the essay went to print, and they gave me a lot of insight into how to tighten up my writing for a general audience. A nicer result was feeling like I had a little win with regard to my research, and those wins seem to come few and far between recently.

Thanks to Jason and Gretchen for help editing my original essay.

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Posted by on October 8, 2008 in Alchemy

 

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