Saturday, March 13, 2004

--this is my graduate student. he is the best of the best. when it comes to mercury measurement technique, his work is state of the art, the best in the world...back when I first started getting into the mercury research field, most of the measurements were way off. I mean, way off. Hundreds if not thousands of orders of magnitude. It would be like setting off on a trip aiming for Providence and ending up Wisconsin. That's how far off they were.
my meeting at Univeristy of Wisconsin, with what is apparently one of the most prominent researchers of environmental mercury in the world, went extraordinarily well. never underestimate the potential of complete strangers to come to your aid, and to give of themselves in whatever capacity they can. after an hour or so in their lab, which overlooks vast expanses of rippling water on all sides and evokes the feeling of being at the hull of a ship, my once-inconceivable project suddenly became emminently manageable.
it was thrilling to be in the presence of someone who loves their work so deeply. he was as excited to tell me about the precision and scientific rigour of their work as he was to talk about their expeditions to the most pristine and beautiful places on earth--Alaskan tundras, glacial lakes, the remotest parts of New Zealand.

this has been the week of the dam bursting. up to now, so many of my efforts have seemed blocked, slowed, and then, suddenly, everything is flowing. that is not to say that it will be easy going. on the contrary, there is so much more to do now that my head is not hitting up against an intractable barrier. i am diving with new fervor into my thesis...i wake up to spanish verses, and on their wings i fly through my days...jews and the woods has found a home, warm and sprung-floored, fruity and it is coming. oh yes.