Another Saturday morning sitting on the couch with my coffee, contemplating the week behind me and the week ahead of me. Last week was decent overall and I completed a lot of those little items on my work to-do list and a couple of the larger ones. It reduced my list to a manageable level and I could have a weekend without those pesky undone items whispering in my ears. The week ended on a very sad note, unfortunately. One of our analyst’s wife passed away after an 8 month fight with cancer. They had only been married since April 2020 and because of COVID they had pushed their honeymoon off until they could travel more freely. On their one year anniversary she posted on Facebook that they had completed their first year and had a lifetime to go. She was diagnosed three months later. It absolutely breaks my heart. So now I have other whispers in my ears; different whispers. I know we have all heard it over and over, and I can be the worst, but put work down sometimes. You have more in your life to appreciate than your job and you never know what is around that corner. The same corner that you walk around every day, can have an unwanted surprise when you round it tomorrow.

On that melancholy note, I thought I should highlight two of the offerings at the symposium. It falls right in line with my repeated messages about self-care for you and your staff. We have stressful jobs. In addition to the therapy dogs that will be present throughout the Reno symposium, ASCLD will host the “Wellness Initiatives in the Crime Lab - A Lunch and Learn Roundtable Discussion” where you are invited to bring questions or provide answers related to implementation of a program in your lab. If you have a formal program or even some informal ideas from your organization or you are actively looking for ways to implement a program, we want to get everyone at the table together to exchange information. It’s free! Registration is open. And don’t forget the Breakfast Club with Lady, a therapy dog from the North Carolina Lab. Thank you to our event sponsor Advanced Imaging Systems for sponsoring the event where you can learn how to get a therapy dog for your laboratory. Registration is also open for this event. Also the golf outing registration is open. Reach out to your peers and get a group to enjoy the beauty of the course and a round of fun. If you have already completed your registration for the symposium, you can go back into your registration page and sign up for these events.

Are you a new Lab Director or new to writing grants? Are you trying to figure out how to document that you are following the OSAC standards in your lab? What are you doing on Thursday afternoons in March from 1:00 to 2:00 Eastern time? The FTCoE and ASCLD are pleased to bring you the latest collaborative installment in the Train the Director webinar series. Starting March 10th, our subject matter experts will be covering a variety of topics including BJA Forensic Grants 101 and applying the OSAC Registry of Standards to quality systems. March 10: BJA Forensic Grants 101 – Forensic Grant Opportunities, March 17: BJA Forensic Grants 101 – Grant Application and Award Acceptance, March 24: BJA Forensic Grants 101 – Award Management, and March 31: Application of the OSAC Registry of Standards to Forensic Science Service Providers’ Quality Systems are all available for registration at this link:

The daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths are peeking out from the ground in my front yard. Spring is around that corner and I am going to stop and take the time to enjoy those flowers. I hope you do, as well. Have a great week!