Rounds for 5/23/2007

Busy week, as always.

I’ve finished a draft of an avian influenza textbook chapter I’ve been working on, and submitted it to my mentor for review. It’s been my primary focus over the last week, with me finally getting it out late last Friday evening. I found it to be a surprisingly difficult experience, and I really should have been able to complete far more swiftly than I did. I mean, avian influenza is easy for me to blather on about. The more challenging thing, I think, is that it is for a public health textbook that has a somewhat bizarre chapter formatting guidelines, and that the focus isn’t really on the science behind avian influenza, but more on potential public health consequences, the outlined criteria for which are somewhat vague. The irony, of course, is that I’ve not had formalized public health training beyond medical school, such as an MPH (which, all things being equal, I’d love to obtain), and I’ve been tasked to write this chapter focused on a potential public health topic for people unergoing such training, with little actual guidance as to what “public health-specific” content needs to be included.
Such is the way of things, I suppose.

So, ’tis done and submitted, and we’ll see what my mentor and the editor have to say about what I chose to include and how I included it.

This past weekend, scant hours after chapter submission, Laura and I trekked up to Ashtabula, OH, to visit her mother and stepfather. We had a vastly relaxing time just hanging out with them, and doing some things I’m not normally accustomed to – walking the beach along Lake Erie while trolling for interesting debris and photographic opportunities, and doing a whirlwind tour of yard sales and flea markets. We also visited the Animal Protective League no-kill shelter there, which is where Laura rescued our youngest cat Oberon from two years ago. The latter was an enjoyable, if heartrending, experience. I’m just happy that we somehow managed to leave without any new animals. Finally, we did catch Shrek the Third as well, in which I was disappointed, but more on that in a bit.

And so, what’s up for this week? Funny you should ask… A little thing called Balticon. More on that, and other sundries, a little later today.

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