Last week I had a really great beamtime at the APS with Flo Ling. We collected Mn K-edge XAFS spectra on natural Mn oxides for Flo's work and some fungal Mn oxides. For the mycogenic Mn oxides we were testing to see if we could collect the spectra in transmission mode instead of relying on fluorescence-yield measurements. We've had some issues with self absorption in the past, so we were really hoping we could get transmission to work on these fungal samples-- and we did! Success! This was my first beamtime where I was actually able to fiddle with the samples -- all of my previous beamtimes involved experiments with anoxic samples that were heat sealed in bags. With these anoxic samples, I always had to rely on calculations for absorption lengths and estimates of packing densities, hoping it would work out, or bringing multiple samples with different loadings for each experiment. With this beamtime, it took a bit too much time to fiddle with the samples to get things just right (these samples are fungi + Mn oxides, so not as homogenous as I would like), but in the end we worked it out. Hooray data! And congratulations to Flo, who passed her PhD defense just a couple days after we got back from beamtime!