Tuesday 09/06/2015

OK I’m owning up to it right from the start – Today was a 12 hour day … but it was a damn productive one!

I was in the lab by 8:10am and setting up ready for my experiment to come out of the incubator at 8:30am, by 9am my PCR was in to run for many (many) hours. While my reagents were defrosting I printed out a table to record all the counts on the plates I set up yesterday which is what I did between 9-9:45am. Journal Club was at 10am so I started making graphs of all those counts but rapidly ran out of time.

So 10am was journal club time and I have to admit it’s not my favourite activity. Obviously the concept of journal club is that it’s an opportunity to read more widely and practice critiquing the work of others, however I generally feel that most people use it as a self-serving exercise rather than something that will benefit everyone taking part. I do however know it isn’t always like that, so I persist. Journal club lasted until about 10:45am so I sat back down at my computer and finishing making my graphs before emailing them to the boss. From 11am I was busy analysing sequencing data that came back today but at 12:15pm I realised I’d made a mistake in my graphs (dilution factor out for some of the samples) so I corrected them and sent new graphs back to the boss. 12:20pm back to the data analysis. By lunchtime it was all done, in a sensible order and I had a second pretty graph to show for my day. Productivity high :).

Data analysis ... go, go, go!
Data analysis … go, go, go!

Lunchtime was at 1:30pm and along with my supervisor and 2 others in our team we went off to get some pizza for lunch, unfortunately the new pizza van on campus was shut 😦 so we ended up in the SU diner for a burger instead (veggie for me). I was back in the lab by just after 2pm. 

My afternoon was pretty much spent entirely in the lab, I ran the morning’s PCR’s on gels (48 samples in total), and then processed them ready for the next step in my analysis. I re-plated any of yesterdays samples that I didn’t have accurate counts for, racked a load of 10ul tips and went downstairs to the kitchen to restock my bench with supplies like tips and duran bottles.

So many (and those little tips are sharp!)
So many (and those little tips are sharp!)
All done :)
All done 🙂

By 5pm I was pretty much done with the lab stuff and decided now was the time to sort out my lab book, I planned for this to take about an hour and then I’d head to the gym. That’s not quite how it went though, I’m generally good at keeping up with my lab book (I don’t usually leave it more than a day or day) but I was about a week behind. I actually spent about 2hours getting my lab book (and paperwork) all in order. The gym was kind of out of the window by this point as it was 7pm and that would mean missing the 8:15pm train so not getting home until 9:30pm, however there was a lot of train disruption because of a broken down freight train so I stayed and went through a few things with my Master’s student (he was still there at 7pm of his own free will I swear!). Just before 8pm I set up a couple of 12hour plates (might as well take the opportunity) and popped them in the incubator before heading off to get the (thankfully now running) train home.

When I have a lot of lab book writing to do I tend to cut and discard into a big pile and then clean up at the end
When I have a lot of lab book writing to do I tend to cut and discard into a big pile and then clean up at the end
Doesn't it look lovely now :) all up to date
Doesn’t it look lovely now 🙂 all up to date

I had a quick omelette for dinner and watered the garden (lettuce, carrots, broccoli and leeks are all starting to appear 🙂 ) and since my boyfriend got home from the gym we’ve just been watching Channel 4’s comedy gala that we recorded over the weekend 🙂 . Today was a long day, but I feel so much more in control and on top on things than I did last week, I might even tackle a few non-phd job’s tomorrow like sorting out the new lab meeting rota.

I use laminated sheets to dump all my different ideas (and my supervisors) somewhere that's easily to hand
I use laminated sheets to dump all my different ideas (and my supervisors) somewhere that’s easily to hand – there are scribbles all over the back of these sheets as well!

Until tomorrow, and thank you for reading (and commenting, keep ’em coming) :).

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