Hi Dr. Neumaier,
It was great talking to you yesterday. I've been thinking about your question about what the ideal graduate school experience 'phenotype' would look like for me. Having some cohesive representation of my own interests within the department would make me feel like I had access to a variety of perspectives on similar research areas or techniques during my training. However, there is something missing in this from the complete picture. The program should offer good courses that would support my interest in becoming proficient in my research field, making me a good, reliable representative of my area of training. And I should be learning continuously, working with people that encourage me to develop my career into my hobby, into something I want to be engaged with and something that I can always improve. We spoke about continuously getting better, identifying your weaknesses. I believe this is the correct approach to leading a career and to living one's life, maintaining relationships, achieving goals. I suppose my conclusion after the day ended yesterday is that a department can offer to a student what it can, but much of the training must be a solitary endeavor to some degree. The student decides what he wants and what level he will strive for, what kinds of goals he will set for himself. I think the pharmacology department would provide excellent resources for me to create my own way through my thesis. The training in graduate school may be in part development of skills in creating goals and reaching them, perhaps going beyond expectation and always improving. In a way, this is roughly what science does in its incremental pursuit of study. Also, I want my peers in the program to have high expectations of themselves and of each other, so that I was in an environment where people loved what they were learning about. I didn't see a lack of this yesterday.
I wanted to explain myself better than I may have been able to. If you have any thoughts about these ideas, I would enjoy hearing them. Otherwise, thank you for your time yesterday and I hope we can meet again in the future.
now go work