Friday 03/07/2015 – Monday 06/07/2015

I know I know, Friday I didn’t post. I meant to do it Saturday but we were busy doing things around the house.

Friday 

I had to get the early train to Leicester at 6:30am as I was teaching a Brilliant Club tutorial starting at 8:40am. I was at the lab at just after 7am, but didn’t really have a chance to get anything done as I had to leave to get the bus at 7:30am. This was tutorial 4 and we covered ways to prevent the spread of Ebola and the ethics of using untested vaccines. Overall I was really happy as I feel the students are really engaging with the course, a few are a little reluctant with homework, but in tutorials they all contribute and they’re starting to think like little scientists. It also helps that I have really great staff at the school supporting the Brilliant Club programme. Help from the school makes such a difference if students need to be chased etc. I finished teaching at 10:45am and by 11:30am I was getting off the bus. I actually got off a stop early to have a little walk and enjoy the sunshine.

Between 12-2pm I had lunch, prepped slides for our meeting and dealt with admin. It’s amazing how much time you lose to admin! At 2pm we started our weekly meeting which ran until 5:30pm, I presented a little something I started working on on Thursday that proved to be quite interesting. I’m not entirely sure how to interpret it just yet but hopefully it’s a useful observation. At 5:30pm we went off for a little lab trip to the pub 🙂 . I stayed until about 7pm and then headed home for the evening. We had some dinner, caught up on the tennis and then predictably, after my early start, I fell asleep on the sofa until bedtime.

Saturday – Sunday 

We spent the weekend adding raised borders to our garden and digging a trench to add a path in front of the veg patch. Between this, the tennis, F1 and general necessities like food shopping no PhDing was done.

Monday

Today was a non-lab based day again as I had the University of Leicester’s Festival of Post Graduate Research. It was a long day, starting at 8:30am and finishing at 3pm. The first job of the day was peer review where we voted for our favourite posters (there was a peer review prize at the end of the day). There were some really good ones, the competition was tough! This was followed by a briefing, then at 10:20am judging started. At 11am the festival was opened to the general public (academics, university staff, students, the public) and most of the judging was completed before then. We stood by our posters until 1pm when we were given a very nice lunch and the opportunity to sit and chat with other students and judges. At 2pm we started the prize presentations. Unfortunately I didn’t win anything, obviously I was a little disappointed (you don’t enter these things hoping for nothing), but I can proudly report a colleague from my lab managed to win the prize for our college fighting off tough competition from the heart disease and cancer people. I can tell you work on bacteria beating these two isn’t a common occurrence, so feeling pretty proud of his achievement! It was a really useful day, practicing presenting in a very different way to at an academic conference.

With my poster at the festival of post graduate research
With my poster at the festival of post graduate research

Between 3-4pm I went back to the office, caught up with the boss before he goes away tomorrow, caught up with my Master’s student and put a plan of action in place to try and solve an irritating on-going problem with an experiment. I set up some overnight cultures and then headed home. After standing by a poster for nearly 3hrs I felt I’d earned myself a slightly early finish.

That brings you up to date, tomorrow I actually have a fairly uninterrupted day in the lab so hopefully I can get on with some troubleshooting. Until then thank you for reading 🙂 .

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