In the office at 7pm

Daily PhD coming to you live from my office (at 7pm). Yesterday I had the pleasure of going on my Brilliant Club Spring term launch trip, so I’ll give you a quick run down of yesterday (and my weekend work) before telling you about today.

Saturday – about 1.5hours in the lab, setting up growth curves and counting some plates from the day before. This growth curve needed to run for 30hours so I was back in the lab on…. Sunday at 5pm, to take that one out and put another one in. I had some plates from Saturday to count as well. I was at work for about 1hour. I said last week I planned to do undergraduate marking in my office on Saturday afternoon, the didn’t quite work out (life got in the way) so I was much less productive marking at home on Sunday afternoon.

So after the weekend work I had to pop into the lab Monday morning before catching the 8:30am train to my Brilliant Club launch trip. This is my 5th or 6th placement with the Brilliant Club so these aren’t quite as daunting as they used to be (especially not with sufficient prep). I arrived just after 9am ready for my tutor briefing, set up my room and the schools arrived at 10:30am. The morning was spent teaching, followed by afternoon meetings with the teachers and school staff to work out the logistics of the placements. There’s a lot of things to ask as every school is different. Some require you to have your DBS certificate with you every time you visit, others just on the first visit. Some want you to dress smartly look like a teacher, others want you to be more relatable to the kids. After all the details were worked out we agreed on tutorial times that fit with the school’s timetable and they’re now all booked in. I have a really nice, enthusiastic group of kids so I think this terms tutorials will go well, although I do have mixed yr9 and yr10 groups which is a new challenge for me.  We wrapped up the day around 3:30pm and I got a lift back to Leicester with one of the other tutors, so I could head into the lab and get some work done. I stayed until 6pm doing a combination of data analysis and undergraduate marking. I did take my computer with me on the launch trip in the hope I’d get a chance to mark one or two reports but that was just wishful thinking.

On to today. After a full and busy day yesterday I arrived at the lab 30mins later than normal at 9. I pulled data off the computer but didn’t really get much else done until after journal club which started at 10am. I marked undergraduate reports until 11:30am when one of the post-docs was ready to process some samples together. These are precious samples that can only be defrosted once so we had to co-ordinate to both get our tiny little 100ul slice of the sample pie. I had half of mine for DNA extraction and the other half for plating to see how many viable bacteria we have.

I had lunch (away from my desk) at about 1pm and then back straight back to the lab about 1:30pm. I finished the DNA extraction I started this morning and then I moved onto prepping some other samples. These proved a bit more challenging and I needed to consult with the boss. Eventually I managed to get something that passes for the experiment I’d originally planned started, and I had lab work wrapped up for the day at ~4:30pm. Which meant I could finally get the marking finished! Just after 6:30pm I set my marks off for moderation. Freedom is sweet. 🙂

Dinner at my desk – the things I do for science (and the pub)


That pretty much brings you up to date, right now I’m sitting in my office eating my dinner – sad I know, but I am off to the pub in a minute for PubhD Leicester, actually I’m already late (sorry Simon!) … See you tomorrow everyone, thanks for reading.


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