“What do you think…?” – Thursday 19th Nov

I arrived this morning at 8:30am and cracked straight on with lab work. The things I had to do today required lots of incubation steps so I wanted to get started early. Unfortunately my samples only equal half a sequencing plate in total, so rather than waste half a plate (min. run size is half a plate), I’m combining my samples with some from my undergrad. A very sensible way to go about things, HOWEVER my undergrad is slow. I obviously don’t expect him to work at the same pace as me, but I really had to hurry him along today and we still didn’t get it done in time for the late afternoon collection. Instead I had to get the plate ready at the end of the day and rather than be processed tonight with results in the morning, it won’t be collected until tomorrow morning and I won’t get the results until tomorrow afternoon. I know it doesn’t seem like a big difference but it’s still an inconvenience I’d prefer not to have.

I’ve been using the pedometer on my phone recently and was impressed by the step difference between lab days and non-lab days.

I worked in the lab on and off all through the morning, until about 12:30pm. Either doing my own work or trying to (unsuccessfully) hurry my student along. Whenever things were incubating I popped back to my computer and did little snippets of undergrad lab report marking. I’m trying a little and often approach as it can get very repetitive, but there’s one big flaw – the system times out really quickly, so I have to be careful I’m still logged in otherwise nothing I type is saved 😦 .

12:30-1pm was lunch time (away from the desk) and after that I put together some slides for our team meeting. From 2pm it was meeting time (instead of tomorrow as the boss is the internal at a viva during our usual meeting time). We actually finished before 5pm! That doesn’t happen often 🙂 . I set up that sequencing plate (my undergrad skipped the meeting to get his work done) and then had a mini meeting with the boss. We mostly spoke about Christmas traditions 🙂 he grew up in Germany, so I was intrigued. After our lovely festive chat I left at 6pm to catch the train home.

To sum up today I definitely got things done but supervising a student and trying to do my own work is beginning to wear me down, to the point where I’m not achieving everything I want to. I spend all my time trying to get him to think for himself, asking him “What do you think…?”, “What’s the reason we do this?” and “What do the blanks show us?”. Trying to use the techniques I’ve been taught to assess learning and understanding. All  I can do is keep trying.

Tomorrow night we’re off to see Chris Ramsey’s latest tour (very excited) so definitely no Friday post this week. Have a great weekend everyone, thanks for reading and see you Monday :).

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