Back to normal life – Monday Sept 21st 

Last week was quite the week, I felt like I was barely home, and as a result there was some serious blog neglect (sorry!). As today was boring I thought I’d give you a catch up of everything that happened after my last post (Tuesday last week).

Wednesday 

Wednesday was dull, I spent most of the day either avoiding practising my presentation (for Thursday) or actually practising my presentation. In the end I went to an empty seminar room and gave my presentation to an empty room 3 times. I spotted a mistake in one of my slides 😦 but luckily I managed to fix it and Rosie from the SGM was lovely enough to load my updated copy onto the laptop for the next day. I was at work from about 10:30am-6pm, I arrived later than normal as I needed to go and get myself a new shirt to wear the next day.

Thursday 

At 11am my boyfriend, the boss and I got the train down to London. We arrived at 12:15pm and made our way to Charles Darwin house for the SGM AGM and Young Microbiologist of the Year competition. There were 8 of us, all PhD students I think (or very recent graduates), who presented and I was 5th. The other speakers were really strong and very interesting to hear (although apologies to my boyfriend who had to sit through ALL THE SCIENCE). I was really happy with how I presented and so glad I did the run throughs the day before as I ended up ignoring my notes from about slide 3. After all the presentations, including the fantastic outreach prize presentation by Adam Roberts, the AGM was held which lasted about an hour. Even though, as a member, I have every right to be there and to vote I still felt a little strange and as if it wasn’t my place. After that we had a talk from Anne Glover, the former chief scientific advisor to the EU president. The theme was about making good science accessible to both policy makers and the public.


Following all that we had a lovely drinks reception to celebrate 70 years of the SGM, followed by dinner. I sat on a great table with several people that I knew via twitter and now know in “real life”. It’s strange how you can interact with people online without meeting, and it always catches the boss out when he realises I already know someone he’s introducing me to.  At dinner the winners were announced and even though I wasn’t one of them the boss and I were both really happy with how I presented, so I can’t really ask for more than that. The practice and experience of presenting  to such a well respected audience is still something I’m proud of, and I didn’t find it anywhere near as terrifying as I think I would’ve this time last year.

After dinner we popped to the pub to socialise a little where everyone very kindly told me I’d been robbed 🙂 (thanks guys!) and after that it was off to our hotel.

Friday & Saturday 

After the excitement/mild stress and panic of Thursday I took Friday off from the lab. We didn’t get back to Leicester until Friday lunchtime so I decided to come home and enjoy the afternoon. I did however pop to the lab on Saturday morning (after Pilates) to freeze some samples. Along with 2 post-docs in the lab we tag-teamed the plating, passaging and freezing of some samples that arrived in the lab on Thursday, splitting the work one day each.

Monday 

Today I set up a PCR, tried out the new campus lunch place and MADE A THESIS PLAN! Sounds so small but when you start making a thesis completion Gantt chart you can easily lose a few hours (or 4!) Anyway I had something to show the boss and he mostly approved, offered a few suggestions and helped me prioritise work (which is pretty much a first for him!). I’m really glad I sat down and did this before my 2nd year review next week – it means I can tell my committee where I think I’m heading.

And with that you’re all caught up, and this week should be a normal week so it’s back to business as usual for the blogging. Until tomorrow everyone, thanks for reading.

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