Sunday, February 1, 2015

Week 11: Urology congress in Heidelberg= the only place the mens restroom has a line and the womens doesn't!

Well, I'm officially a quarter of a century old! 1/4 of my minimum goal reached!

The week started off with two rather unspectacular work days.

Wednesday I had to present some of my research data to the lab. I thought it would take about 10 minutest to click through my pictures and then they would tell me how little I've found and that I am a complete failure as a doctorate student. Okay, I didn't actually think it was going to be that bad but I had no idea what to expect. I had nothing definitive to show them. I composed some of the electron microscopy pictures I had taken and wanted to discuss these with the group of histology and anatomy professors and researchers. And in reality, that is what happened. The whole thing took 1.5 hours because each slide was discussed to great lengths with everyone there. I got some great input and some more direction as to what it is I am looking for. The conclusion is also that my endless hours in front of the electron microscope are long from over.

Wednesday night, I drove out to my aunt and uncles place to celebrate into my birthday. I facetimed my parents and opened my package of presents they had sent me. So happy! Amongst other things, I got a lot of material on Stephen Hawking. I'm excited to read his "A Brief History of Time" book on vacation. My friend got me travel guides for two of my destinations this year!

The next morning, my aunt and I took the train to Heidelberg. Most people know Heidelberg. Its a rather famous city also in respect to its medical history. I'd never been and have always wanted to go. Having won the tickets to the Urology Semi-Live Congress there, I finally had a reason to. My aunt and I ran around the city (sadly with not so great weather) but it truly is a gorgeous city.

The funniest thing happened in the candy store. There is a candy store that isn't very big but packed from top to bottom with candy from Germany and around the world. Even crazier than the collection of candy was the guy working there! Crazy beard and hair-do and thick leopard print nerd glasses. He spent about 10 minutes with each costumer at the register. So, don't go if you are in a rush. If you complain, he'll kick you out. What a cool way of working. Once we were up, my aunt told him it was my birthday. Before I knew it, he brought a stool in front of the register, told me to stand on it, made my "mom" hold my hand, gathered all the customers in the store around me, turned the light and radio off and announced to everyone that it was my birthday and that deserved a celebration, lit up a sparkler and made everyone sing Happy Birthday to me! It was fabulous and I couldn't stop smiling! He makes everyone at the register roll dice and play a little game and then you'll get more candy as a present. Super fun experience! I recommend it to anyone who visits. The store is called "Heidelberger Zuckerladen", has been around since 1986 and is located at Plöck 52 in Heidelberg.

At night, my uncle came and joined us. We had dinner at Moghul Tandoori, an Indian restaurant (Brückenkopfstraße 1, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany). I can also recommend this place.

Earlier in the day we had coffee at Coffee Nerd (Rohrbacher Straße 9, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany) (recommendation from the candy store guy and TOTALLY worth it). The coffee is ridiculously good.

I spent Friday and Saturday at the Semi-Live Urology Congress. The concept was that every half an hour, a different surgeon who is exceptional at the procedure, presents important information and techniques. Each was followed by a question and discussion road. In between there would be lunch and coffee breaks.
A little DaVinci practice never hurts
Right off the bat I met a student from Heidelberg and we ended up spending most of the time at the congress together. The presentations were more or less all really good. With about 300 participants present....there were only about 8 women. This meant this was the only place were the men's bathroom has a line and the women's doesn't!

I saw some operations I had never seen before let alone knew were a possibility. Friday night, there was a big dinner at a really old restaurant in Heidelberg. There was no lack of was so much food.....
Early morning walk to the congress

I made a connection with an Egyptian urologist and was invited to check out the facilities. The chief of urology in Heidelberg told me to apply for his department next year. The only people I didn't get a chance to talk to and wanted to were the two speakers from the States. I'll get in contact with them though. Over all it was a lot of information but really cool.
Heidelberg at night
Today I had a birthday brunch with some of my girlfriends.

Over my birthday weekend I didn't allow myself to study.....not that that made my guilty feelings go away any.....Its back to it tomorrow morning!

Hope you all had a great week!

Stay healthy!


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