Oh Look, Krill!

Oh don't worry. Whales don't eat clownfish, they eat krill.

Almost There

It’s April and I’m going on to the third month of my extended leave. All the classes are done. All assignments for my class have been submitted. The first draft of the project report had been sent to my supervisor and now I’m doing edits and some left over analysis. What’s left is just my report submission, a poster presentation and my exam, all within the next two to three weeks.

So basically, I’m almost done. I’m almost graduating. I’m finally almost going to finish everything so that I can move on with my life. You have no idea how long it’s been for me to get here. I just need to get everything done.

Wish me luck.

When science makes me cry

I’m tired today. Super, super exhausted seeing that I didn’t sleep well last night due to thinking about my project. So, my emotions may not be at its most stable.

So, when I’m trying to do experiments while being this tired. The littlest thing can set me off. I’d planned to run two sets of assays, then take a nap. However, the machinery wasn’t cooperating. I’d prepared my samples on a plate and just as I was about to put in the sample plate into the machine, I found that the computer had hanged. This computer has been obsolete for almost a decade and yet, they’re still using it. It wouldn’t restart or even switch on after I managed to switch it off.

Due to the time sensitive nature of the experiment, I needed to start the results reading as soon as I put in the sample plate but with the computer being a douche canoe, I wasn’t able to do that.

There was cursing and banging of the mouse and I’m ashamed to admit it, I cried tears of frustration and stress. It took me a good fifteen minutes to calm down and it was a good thing that noone was around to witness that.

So here I am now, sitting at the canteen and listening to my fellow students talk about stuff, I don’t know what since I’m not paying attention. So I’m going to plan a back up protocol using the huge ass spectro if they can’t get the computer fixed.

Also, I really need to sleep at some point.

Game of School

Trying to do my project at school is like a video game, where you have to complete your task before you can go on to the next level.

Keep your mussels alive. If you fail, go back to the starting line.

Prepare your reagents, but first you must hunt for the equipments you need. Improvise if you can’t find it.

Use the equipment but first you must get the computer to turn on. If not, find the elusive guardian lab tech to help you. That will cost you time and some HP.

Test assay to see if it works. If not, rework the protocol and retry until you get something.

You get EX points of course and when you run out of HP, you head down to the canteen for a caffeine boost or over the bridge to the overpriced green mermaid for coffee flavoured milk.

I can’t say that this is a fun game but by end of April it’ll all be done and I can finally sleep.

Drowning In Plant Science

Last night, I went for my first class of the semester. I had to choose between Seminars in Zoology or Advanced Plant Physiology as an elective. I decided to go with the plants module since the other was very heavy for an elective and even my supervisor had advised against it.

Plants have never been something that I enjoyed learning, personally, because the cross section of a plant looks creepy and disgusting under the microscope, but moving on.

Yesterday’s class was done by a guest professor who flew all the way from Lancaster to give us the lecture. I’ve had a class with him in before in a previous module and he is superbly passionate with his work. Unfortunately because of his passion, he rarely takes breaks between each slides, so that made it difficult for me at least to take down as much notes as I wanted.

I felt like I was drowning in information. It was a very information dense class. There was one point in the class where I was just staring at him, watching his mouth move in words that I knew were in English but my brain just could not process what he was saying. I’ve never felt so out of my depth before.

He went through three different lectures and towards the end, he was explaining what each of the different graphs mean. He lost me there. I’m just so very thankful that he included the references for the papers where those information came from, so at the very least, I could read those papers on my own and see if they make sense to me.

Since the guest professor will only be in town for a couple of days, we’ll be having another intensive day tomorrow. A Satuday day, for most of the day. Sigh.

I’m really hoping that I won’t be as lost as I was yesterday. We’ll be in the lab the entire time and we’ll be doing both a lecture and a practical, with new equipment that I’ve never used before. This could get very interesting.

That was just the first day of the semester. I really, really, really hope that the rest of the semester won’t be as intimidating.

I’m Supposed To Be Working

Or rather, at least reading the research papers I brought. Instead I’m just sitting here, at the basement of an empty campus and listening to the sounds of construction and the chirping of unidentified birds.

I’ve seen less then 50 people on campus, in the last two hours I’ve been here. It’s peaceful. Maybe just a little too peaceful since I find it too relaxing I even do work. All I want to do is to abandon my books and just lie in the sun for a little bit. However, the skies are turning grey so that might not be the greatest of ideas.

I think it’s just too nice a day to be stuck with just books and coffee for company, making it hard to motivate myself to work.

At This Current Moment

I’m sitting on the floor, along the corridor, right outside my lab. It’s raining where I am and it just got heavier. I’m waiting for my samples to finish centrifuging so that I can keep them and go home.

It’s been a superbly long day and at this rate, I think I might be too tired to even head down I meet my friends and attend the Lomo store opening.

It’s been back to back of science related activities. More jam packed than when I’m at work and that’s saying something. The best part is, I might have to repeat it all over again tomorrow. Ugh.

The security officer just walked by and gave me a weird look. I guess in normal school term time, you don’t get tired grad students resting along the corridor.

Anyway, samples are done. Back to the grind.

When Science Takes Over Your Sleep

I couldn’t sleep last night because I was worried that my mussels wouldn’t survive the night. It sucks when you don’t have any control over this.

I know that I’m not the first or only grad student to lose sleep over their project. I don’t enjoy it at all!

I just want this stupid project to get completed soon so that I can finally go back to having a good night’s rest.