Outreach work today – Monday 27th June

Daily PhD fell off my radar last week with the whole Brexit situation. On Thursday night I stayed up to watch the first counts come in and at 1:45am I went to bed with a growing sense of dread. I woke up at 6am to find out I was right to be scared, I woke up to a Britain I didn’t recognise. Daily PhD isn’t the place for me to get overly political but I will say I’m gutted by the result. Needless to say Friday was a bit aimless and by the evening I was far to exhausted to write anything. I can’t change the result of this referendum but I can apologise to my EU friends, colleagues and readers, I hope over time this country comes to its senses and you feel welcome again. I hope over time you can forgive us.

This week is a fresh week, and I started as I mean to go on – at full pelt. I arrived this morning (cappuccino in hand) at 9am. I had 2hours to get maximum lab work done before going off to do a day of outreach work as part of a Summer school the University is running. I didn’t get everything done before I had to head over to the teaching labs but I made a good dent in my to do list.

Between 11am-4:30pm I did outreach work. We currently have a group of year 10 students doing a summer school and today I helped them extract the DNA from a banana, run a PCR and conduct a mini forensic investigation. I got a lunch break between 12:30-1:30pm which I didn’t use as wisely as I could’ve (I watched the first 30mins of Wimbledon 😉 ), while I ate my lunch.

At 4:30pm I was back at my desk, and needed a few minutes to sit down. Outreach work, especially with a group of year 10’s who are interested but trying not to be (because being interested in science is definitely not cool), can be a bit exhausting. I took 30mins to sit and deal with my emails. I’m trying to arrange a last minute Nuffield placement for a student who emailed the boss over the weekend. Her original placement fell through and she’s due to start next week, I promised I’d do my best to sort something out.

At 5pm I’d just about re-grouped enough to hit the lab again, I still had a lot on my to do list and was pretty determined to get it all (bar the computer work) done. I hoped to be finished in the lab by 7pm but I didn’t quite make it, I was all wrapped up by 7:30pm which meant I had to wait for 8pm for the train. I don’t mind, I enjoy outreach work but I need to balance it with time in the lab. I also finally got a PCR to work that’s been hanging over my head for weeks, Megan 1, difficult PCR 0.

Look at those bands – last week they didn’t exist 🙂

A long day but I got a lot done (4.5hrs lab work, 4.5hrs outreach work), and I have just as much on my list for tomorrow. I’m determined this week will be a productive one (with a solid soundtrack of tennis), until tomorrow everyone, thanks for reading.



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