Small World

I’m not sure what drew me to Marilyn Mackiewicz’ poster during Sci-Mix tonight, but there I was firing off a rapid succession of photos while she explained her research to a passerby. You might say it was fate, because when she finished her presentation, she looked straight into my lens and asked, “Did you go to Texas A&M?” Stunned, I put my camera down and asked, “Do we know each other?” Marilyn reminded me that we had met at a bus stop in 2001 while I was a second-year master’s student in science journalism and she was a first-year doctoral student in chemistry. That day, I had been on my way to visit the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, in College Station, and I spontaneously invited Marilyn to join me. We became instant friends, meeting up often for lunch and even going to see the fireworks on the Fourth of July. We lost touch after I graduated and moved to Washington, D.C. At Sci-Mix tonight, Marilyn told me that I had befriended her at a time when she needed a friend the most. She often told people about me, she said. I had never known that.  We both noted how we’ve achieved our goals: I’m a professional science writer, and she’s a postdoc in chemistry at Portland State University. I didn’t recognize her name at first because she has since gotten married and changed her last name. I, too, will be getting married this fall. I’m glad I was drawn to Marilyn's poster tonight. You might say it was fate, but I say it's chemistry. marilyn.jpg Me (left) and my old friend Marilyn.

Author: Linda Wang

Associate Editor, Chemical & Engineering News

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