I think I have a basic witch-hunt problem with my experiments. I keep going after the wrong thing, with full zeal and over-thought experiments, only to find out that the culprit is something else. This has happened a few times now, even though I base my "witch hunt" on pretty logical observations. I guess i need to rethink strategies to deal with some of my trouble-shooting skills.
I am so close, yet so far, to the exciting part of my project. So many months went in just developing a plan, getting hands wet and standardizing assays. Some of the grunt work is still left, but I can also move along to the more exciting stuff. It has been fun so far, I just need it to speed it up now (i.e. put in 12 hour work days). I really need to work with the end-goal of a paper in mind. Minimum publishable unit.
I found out that I cannot travel to India to attend my friend's wedding. am super-bummed. Two of the friends from that group are going to be there- it would've been so much fun to go! :(
The long-distance relationship is becoming a way of life. Not sure if that's good or bad, or, just life. AT&T now has an A-list- where you can enter phone numbers of 5 people not on an att plan, and talk to them without minutes being deducted. (Thanks to confused for the tip). It works only for the $60.00 plus plan. I have managed to put my calling card access number on there, and its so much nicer to not to have to keep track of my minutes now during daytime india calls.
There is a short-cut to my lab I used to take, through a not-so-nice area. The street is dotted with lots of construction labourer people, some of who would make cat calls or just stare/comment when I passed by. I insisted on taking this route, armed with my mace and staring past them, mostly because I knew they were harmless but also because I felt like I had to stand up to my right to be able to take a shorter route and not have to give in to the idiots. For some reason, I have now stopped taking it. It was a subconscious switch- may be because its getting darker earlier and I actually don't feel safe walking that way, or may be because I actually enjoy the slightly longer, roundabout walk. It could also be because I'm making it out of the house early and not in a rush. I am not sure why. But I am happier for it- the subtle feeling of irritation that I had to put up with every morning is definitely something I can do without.
I have been talking to some really smart people about my project to bounce off ideas. My ideas have been received really well from them, and that makes me feel very good. I also realized that its such an uplifter- a word to all struggling scientists out there- don't feel inhibited to walk up that smart professor on your floor and discuss your stuff. Most of them have an endless amount of creative firing going on in their brains 24/7, and are excited enough about science to indulge in you. So just spend some time crystallizing your ideas and then go and ask for their time- may be email them a little gist of your project to pique their interests and set the stage. Thats the fun part of academia- free exchange of thoughts and resultant brainstorming. I guess in grad school we had committee meetings that served this purpose- as post-docs- if your fellow-lab-mates are just quiet and speak only when spoken to, and other post-docs are too busy in their own stuff- its worth giving the professors a shot and a shout-out.
Over and out.