Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Well, I think my day can be summed up by the fact that about 2 hours after I inhaled a granola bar (my only food for the day thus far, at around 7pm), I vaguely remembered that I had actually brought food in for lunch today and it was still in the fridge. Hurray! thought my stomach. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to eat said food until 2 hours after that (now, it is 11 pm).

In many ways my return to the lab is just a BIT too familiar... the long hours I worked as a grad student (as a temporary, hourly employee, not eligible for overtime, you'd think maybe I'd find a way to keep it to 40 hours a week, but somehow the cells and my experiments always seem to dictate otherwise), the extended periods of time without eating, unable to break away from what I'm doing to grab a bite, the exhaustion every day that then prevents me from making a dinner or a lunch for the next day, thus leading to the aforementioned fasting and further fatigue.

Today started out innocuously enough... auspicious, even. My morning experiments went really smoothly, and although I was running a little late to make it to my agreed-upon time to hand some cells to my collaborator, I managed to hitch a ride with CM as he was walking out the door to drive to campus. I guess things went off schedule when I ended up staying in the collaborator's lab until 6:00 working on the joint experiment; in my mind I had thought I'd just drop off the cells and come back.

Upon my return I realized how much more I really had to do today, especially since I'm planning on attending the annual lab ski trip tomorrow and will be gone all day (not that I won't come to the lab in the evening and feed my cells, but some things had to be dealt with more urgently than that). So starting at 7:30 pm, I proceeded to trypsinize, count, and replate four different cell types into various vessels for experiments I'll be conducting later this week. I also fed three other cell types that I have going, and neglected several other flasks that just couldn't be dealt with.

Obviously this isn't sustainable, but I feel like I'm in a huge hurry because I only have 3 months and so many experiments to do. I also clearly have no mechanism for prioritizing anything else in my life besides the lab. I hope my next job is just a tad more manageable. Scratch that, I hope I can even FIND another job, since at this pace I haven't even had time for the job hunt!

In just 7 short hours I have to be back here, with all my ski gear, ready to hit the slopes. I hope I wake up on time!!