I had seen him like this countless times before, except that it had always been at his kitchen table, not mine. I smiled to myself at the memory of afternoons spent at his house in Stavanger, as we pored over my data, shaped it like clay, and turned it into a meaningful paper. I remembered how hard I had to work to keep up with him, and I reflected proudly on how far I've come since then.
My dear friend, Andrew, came to visit me this weekend. He was my advisor when I lived in Norway, and more than anyone else, he's the one who taught me how to think like a scientist. He played a huge role in my intellectual and personal development during my PhD, and he served on my committee. Since my defense, my relationship with Andrew has shifted, and I refer to him now not as my advisor but as my mentor. Sometimes I add the words "surrogate big brother."
Andrew used to work with the group I'm currently in, the Mullineaux lab, at WHOI, so he was able to reconnect with old colleagues during his visit. We went on walks around town and to the beach. We attended an orchestra concert. We talked about science for hours on end and agreed we needed to write a grant proposal to work together again.
It was so good for me to spend time with Andrew. He constantly reminds me to slow down, take time off, and be a human. In fact, this weekend with him felt like the first true mental break I've had in months. Just being around him makes me relax, and I could listen to him talk about science for days on end. Andrew is in my mind an innovative scientist who is unafraid to challenge old, entrenched ideas. Beyond that, he is an honest, loyal, and caring person who builds me up. I am so grateful for his friendship and glad that we got to spend a fulfilling weekend together.
|"You have my permission to use all three of those photos on your blog." - Andrew K. Sweetman|