Extreme pain has made me stay back at home today. It could mean only one thing, more gobbledygook on my blog. Hurrah, the audience go!!!No???Oh well, I shall still write on. Encouraged by the 12 or so readership (my friends, of course) , I had this idea to dedicate a section exclusively for PhD woes,”fun” anecdotes,etc. I have masterfully titled the section ‘PhD Life’. SMART,yeah!! So if ever you do read my blog to merely rejoice and poke fun at the misery that PhD students suffer in the hands of science, then you might find it very easy to navigate directly to the ‘PhD life’ category. I think that’s what the categories are for,right? We’ll find out sooner or later, won’t we?!Anyway…
Jorge Cham uses art but I, my friends, am using words. I am about to pen down the events of one of the most (universally) hated days of the week. Any guesses? Come on now, you’re better than that. No clue? You’re a disappointment, I tell you! That’s pretty much what my brain tells me every morning, especially on Mondays. No prospects of a sunshine on the horizon. No prospects for a fruitful day. So, I wake up feeling blue. Blue as the sky – so they tell me. Where I live the sky is always grey. This a true fact, I am not kidding! No matter how great the previous evening was, my brain is attuned to give me this crappy wake-up call every single day! Don’t give me that “awwwww…you need love and affection..and probably some psychological help too…also listen to me if you want to live life happily” nonsense. This is pretty much how every student struggling to get their doctorate degree feels like. There might be exceptions, we simply consider them nutters or darn lucky!!
The only thing I look forward to in the morning is my breakfast. A long time ago, a friend of mine told me that my EQ/IQ, it all lies in my stomach. She is right, you know. For two and a half years, all I did unfortunately was rush through my breakfast to get to the lab before 8:15 a.m. I still don’t know why the hell I used to do that. With a little adjustment to my attitude, I have started living on the edge. I watch television (on internet without any doubts) while breakfasting! Hell, Yeah!! My destination time now is between 8.30 and 9.00 a.m! Cereals and bread toasts are a constant reminder of what a great cook my mom is. I curse myself for having opted to live this rather lonely life in a foreign land with no access to my mom’s wonderful cooking.
Watching cartoons like Shaun the sheep,Pingu, Oswald, Peppa Pig and the likes does help me get over my ” morning sickness”. Having a five year old niece means I get to learn about brand new cartoons very often, adding on to my ‘to watch list’. I consider myself thus lucky!
A slow-mo bike ride is the next best thing to breakfast. I love my bike (as in bicycle), the one materialistic possession besides my computer that I am crazy about. There was this very funny yet courageous incidence relating to my bike which I will never ever forget in my life. I shall write about it soon. Where were we? Yes, bike. I enjoy my refreshing bike ride to my very own personal hell.
Usually my Mondays are painfully dull. Yesterday was however, different. Something interesting did happen. Oh, this is so exciting. Do you want to know what happened? Really?? Well, here it goes. You know how we use enzymes to digest DNA fragments for cloning. Usually when you have to use two different enzymes, you end up doing a sequential digestion. This means you use enzyme A first, clean the DNA and then use B and clean again. Very laborious indeed. Biotech companies came up with an ingenious solution to this very problem. They developed a ‘common’ buffer system that allows the use of all sorts of enzymes together in a single tube. Enough with science for dummies,NOW! So this is what happened to me. I go to the -20 freezer, right. I look deeply in the box for enzymes,right. I carry on looking,ok. And then, Bingo. La-di-da, I found compatible buffers for the enzymes I wanted to use. Saved two/three hours of my precious day. What a glorious discovery!! I celebrated it by not enjoying the brief spell of sunlight but by analyzing my real time data. Ka-ching! So for the entire day, all I had to do was: digest the DNA, purify it, run it on a gel to make sure I didn’t lose everything I had, and finally set up a ligation. While the enzymes did the work I just sat at my computer and upgraded to new levels in the art procrastination.
In all the excitement of an opportunity to visit Lyon, I had signed up for a conference and decided to present a poster there. Way to ruin a potential vacation, sigh! Right now I have to analyze all my data and come up with a coherent way to present them on the poster. All the hard work (EXAGGERATION ALERT!!!) will only be looked at with condescension, I am pretty sure. And so I tried to come up with a hypothesis to explain all the results obtained. Listening to songs and staring hard at Google does not help, trust me! After essentially having warmed up my office chair, I was still left with no ideas. I decided then that it was the right time to leave. 18:30 p.m. it was. Early breakout,wohoooooo!! Determined to work at home though, I brought back some papers (scientific articles) which I must sadly confirm are still lying in my backpack. I enjoyed my evening watching Russell Howard “take the piss out of” the week’s news. I must admit I enjoy British humour to a very great extent.
To sum it up, this pretty much is my daily saga with the exceptions of the experiments I do – such rare anomalies do occur on certain blue moon days, and the songs I listen to while googling. Note: I usually end up repeating my experiments since the results are annoyingly never the same …. adding on to the monotony that rocks my world…..ahhh, science!!
Having woken up with an aching back (I blame the office chair) and a sore mind, I can’t believe I spent an entire hour trying to make myself feel better by writing this post. I better get back to some serious resting and studying. And I want one of these at work 😀