21 November 2013

The other projects

If we’re being real here – and please, let’s always be real – I’ve been working like a maniac recently. I’m in the lab at 8AM, I’m there at 9PM, I’m there Saturday and Sunday. At any given time I’m doing about three more experiments than I am capable of mentally and physically juggling. And it’s all paying off. Good things are happening. But... I still feel like a maniac.

When I’m working, especially if I’m working alone, I entertain myself in those few moments I have to catch my breath by taking a photo. Sometimes I message it to Mr. P (who virtually keeps me company), sometimes I just stare at it and think about how weird and wonderful my life is. Mostly... weird.

I thought today, in recognition for the ridiculous work hours combined with ridiculous good fortune, I thought I’d round up those photos and show you the other place I work on my other projects.

Ready? Here comes the science!

I take photos of my lab notebook so I don’t have to carry it around to other rooms.

A surprising amount of my life is spent measuring and transferring miniscule volumes of liquid that have a great amount of importance. And sometimes they contain miniscule fish. Yes, fish babies!

I spend a ton of time with the adults, too. I’m particularly good at unintentionally creating a rainbow of tank labels.

Unintentional ombré, too.

It’s also my job to exchange my dirty fish tanks. Although, thank goodness I don’t have to wash all of them. Support staff, you rock.

One of the biggest problems of being an only child is having to share my stuff at work. I am not good at sharing. And if you leave only a tiny amount of a solution without preparing more for the next person, I will take a photo to document your shame.

Another irritation:


This past week, during my nonstop working hours, I’ve had to deal with dangerous chemicals that actually required a lab coat. Considering I almost never wear my coat, I had to document it.

It was also 9PM when I took that photo. Hello, eyebags!

Fancy microwaving late at night (popcorn not involved):

The late timepoint actually didn’t seem so awful – really, I enjoy working! – until I got to lab the next morning and realized my “overnight” program on this machine wasn’t done yet.

That was basically like reaching for your toothbrush in the morning and realizing it’s still wet from brushing your teeth the night before.

But. But! Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. I love getting amazing data. I love solving problems. I love seeing hard work pay off. And mostly, I love the people, like these high school kids who sent me this note for talking to them about science.

So when I’m tediously pipetting liquids and discovering we’re low on buffer and ripping my gloves while dealing with gross fish tanks, I remember: it’s worth it. And I am surrounded by incredible people who can’t wait to share the victories with me.

I so thoroughly enjoy being with you here every day, dear readers, talking about homemaking and projects. But... I also can’t wait to be at work again.


Christal said...

do you at least wear a lab sweater? :-)

Tina said...

Love these "peeks", too!

Mary Beth said...

Please tell me you watch the Big Bang Theory!

Sarah said...

@Christal, haha, I wish! It's too hot in the fish facility for any sweaters, lab or otherwise!

@Mary Beth, I don't really, though Mr. P does sometimes. It's hard to watch because the scientists on that show are so weird and I don't think the ones I know are like that! At least, not ALL of them...