Like I said, I went to the anniversary of my alma mater, and to the alumni-day at my former faculty. It was wonderful being back in Groningen again. Everything just feels so familiar and comfortable, I know the way* and I recognize people in the street**. It was also wonderful to be around biologists again. Biologists are a special kind of people with a specific sense of humor (and dress sense) and I always fit right in.
*I don’t get lost nearly as much
**Or only think I recognize them, which is embarrassing sometimes.
There were some really cool talks. One about Brainbow, which is a really astounding technique to visualize individual neurons. They use variants of GFP, which makes for very pretty psychedelic pictures. Also present was the first Dutch winner of the Ig Nobel Awards, who was the first to describe homosexual necrophiliac ducks. That may sound funny now, but I sat next to the guy at dinner and the conversation topics were.. well..
Fortunately for me to my other side there sat Till Roenneberg, whom I first assumed to be just some random guy. I felt a little silly when I asked him whether he was an alumnus or someone’s partner or something and he said he had just given a talk at the BCN. When I heard he was in Chronobiology , I did my ‘I know so much about Chronobiology’-bit where I scold hospitals for having IC’s with continuous bright light conditions. “I know” he said “I’m helping the Munich hospital design their new IC unit”. Ok, hmm. So I wasn’t as impressive as I’d hoped. But he is a really nice and incredibly funny guy and I had lots of fun and wine talking to him.
The next day I was supposed to have breakfast with Myrte, so I called her when I was moderately awake. Since that conversation went something like this: “hgggruh?” ”uugh itzzme ghmm” “so..wayawannado.hmmz?”, ”zleeepy!..bfhm”, we decided brunch was a better idea.
Then I went and had dinner with Machteld before going home. It did me loads of good being with such good friends in a city I love. At one point Myrte and I were sitting on a bench eating ice-cream and looking out over the Vismarkt. She told me she found some of our old philosophies that we used to write each other during lectures. We have been working so hard at ourselves in our late teens and early twenties. “I’m really proud of where we’re now” I said, which is really true. “So, do you think we’re about finished?” she asked me. We both smiled. “Not by a long shot” I said “But I think we got most of the really bad glitches out”.