Life in the Lab
I finished the safety tutorials on Tuesday, yet it was not enough to let me start working in the lab intensively. This week I only was a supportive element in the lab, allowed to do a little task here and I tiny task there: preparing stock solution of antibiotics, preparing MS media and pouring it on plates, plating seed and transferring tiny Arabidopsis seedlings. I hove not done some of those for as long as a years and other even longer, so after all, it was a nice refresher. Hopefully, my once acquired skills work overseas as well.
The good news is that I never got really bored. In fact, the little slower start provided me with an opportunity to adopt to the new environment, have the required administrative stuff done and download a bunch of interesting papers to read: from photography-related ones, to papers about an interesting crop I have never heard of (yet it was analyzed at the institute where I am a master’s student and I am sure I would have never figure out had it not been for my stay at NCSU).
On Thursday I joined the group for the lab meeting which was another nice experience. Nice, yet I felt slightly depressed in the end. D (a graduate student) had so much data in his presentation and probably spent awful amount of time analyzing it and interpreting the results. As for my feelings of depression, I strongly doubt I have any disposition to become a true scientist capable of critical thinking and analyses. To sum it up, a few more lab meetings will finally open my eyes – for good, I will abandon the idea of going for my PhD and the eternal question about the after-graduation chapter of my life will be solved.
On Friday, J took me to a preliminary exam of a Biochemistry student whose was was in the field of Epigenetics. First, it was a nice revision of what I learned in one of my classes almost two year ago, second – and probably more importantly – it was another chance to witness hypothesis formulation and planning of experiments. It was not until Friday, when I finally started to distinguish the various projects I will be involved in from each other. While I slowly get an idea of what the output should look like be and what it purpose should be, I still have a very blurry idea how to achieve that. On Friday, I was offered to work on a brand new, little task we never thought about before. I am so excited to find a way how to take pictures so they serve scientific purposes and not only my own joy while shooting them.
Happened out of the Lab
Everyday I like the NCSU campus more and more. I think I am going to call it the Red Campus as its buildings and sidewalks are almost entirely made of bricks. Here is a little appetizer and I hope for more pictures to come in a foreseeable future.
S has been an extremely nice roommate, moreover capable of cooking some very nice dishes – though super hot. So far, it has been very enjoyable to cook with her, and chat while eating and afterwards. We have planned to go to the lake and/or grocery shopping to Food Lion pretty much the entire time but none of it happened. However, the primary responsibility should be born by the North Carolinian weather – still too hot at 6 pm and a daily afternoon/evening thunderstorm on Wednesday through Friday.
Though the climate is rather challenging to me, it does have some pros – plant species that are not familiar to me, thus being even more attractive target to take pictures of:
There is my first weekend in Raleigh right ahead and I am excited to start exploring it!