Friday 31/07/2015

I arrived at the lab at 8:30am and my first job of the day was to get some media in the autoclave. I’m working with someone who is pretty new to the lab so I need to teach her the basics which includes making agar plates. As she’s quite pressed for time, and often only able to come to the lab in the afternoon, I decided it was best to make and autoclave the media first thing in the morning and let it temper in the oven until she arrived. I could then use this bottle of agar to show her how to actually pour plates and we could make another bottle to show her the weighing/autoclaving steps. This means we could essentially cut out all the autoclaving and tempering time.

At 9am my overnight data arrived 🙂 , and half of them had failed 😦 less than ideal but no time to dwell! I spent the morning in the lab extracting DNA from 30 of my samples that are currently waiting in the freezer (I still have so many more to get to, and I definitely didn’t process as many as I wanted this week). This pretty much took me until lunchtime. At 1pm we went out for lunch, I know, we’re always going out for lunch (not really, just at the moment!). We’ve had an Erasmus student in the lab for the last few months and she finished her time with us this week so as a goodbye we went out for lunch. We tend to go to a Turkish place about 10mins from the University, the food is good, the prices are great and as they don’t serve alcohol it’s somewhere everyone in the lab is comfortable going. Unfortunately they actually forgot some of our mains (when they did arrive they were good though!) so we didn’t get back to the lab until after 2:30pm. By then it was time to be teacher so I ran my Blue Peter style “here’s one I made earlier” media making workshop. We got some plates poured and stored in the fridge ready for next week.

That took me until about 4pm and I spent the last 1.5hrs of my day at the computer finishing up some graphs and sending them off to the boss (he’s currently away in America at a conference). He likes them and has given me a suggestion for an experiment I can do to hopefully confirm something interesting in the data. I left for the day at 5:30pm and other than some Master’s dissertation reading that’s me done PhDing for the day (and the weekend).

My final thing to tell you is that I’m going to be participating in an event soon, discussing what it’s like to be a PhD student, and how to try and maintain some balance in your life throughout the PhD process. The full details will be released next week so I can tell you more then, but for now I’ll say that I’m excited but also terrified. For some reason people seem to think I’m qualified to advise other PhD students – for know I’ll go with it, even if I don’t quite believe it myself.

Until next week everyone, thank you for reading 🙂 .

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