More like every 3 weeks

I had another goal for myself to write 8 blog posts this summer.  That may be a little ambitious given my current going rate.  Alas, I am here.  As promised, updates:

1) my research student’s results?  sad to say I still don’t really know yet, there is a glimmer of hope that our experimental group might be different than our controls (by eye), but the quantification isn’t done yet and we don’t have as many n processed as I would’ve liked by this time, so it’s still a work in progress.  Add the fact that a new research student just joined our lab for the next couple of weeks and my research student hasn’t done anything on his project because he’s been busy teaching the new research student the ropes (this is a catch 22 for me, part of the point is that my senior research student is supposed to be serving as a mentor so it is better for me to let him teach stuff than me–or so I keep telling myself–but if that research student had been a little more attentive when I was teaching him how to do stuff it wouldn’t have taken him 3 tries to get one of our bread and butter techniques working and he would have more data analyzed by now).

2) my summer research project results? I should know by next week.  I got a little derailed working on prep for Fall (see 3 below) and getting stuff ready for the new research student.  I plan to get back on track tomorrow!

3) fall research prep?  A major portion has been completed successfully, yay!  I decided I should do a trial run of the procedure before the summer ends to increase my confidence, but not exactly sure when I will have time to make that happen…  Then again, maybe troubleshooting this procedure is part of the fall research project–I’ve made the tool I need, I will work with it in the fall as intended.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it if July blows by as quickly as I think it’s gonna.

So where am I on my research roller coaster ride?  A little low today.  I tried yet another kit for this assay that I’ve been banging my head against the wall with.  I’m also starting to take it personally because this is something many labs  in the literature seem to do with ease.  The kit is simple enough, but we couldn’t get good readings even with the standards today.  One major difference is the volume used in the new kit.  Our old kit used 3ml, but this one uses 1ml.  I will try again with another spec (one I know that can do 1ml because I am not sure the one I’ve been using does).  I’m not going to call this a complete fail until I at least try that.  Trying not to prep in my head what I will do if it doesn’t work (like it hasn’t the past 100 times we’ve tried).

I think that’s all I’ve got for now.  Feeling a wee bit ominous at the thought of July approaching since we lose a dayish with the holiday. Come Tuesday, I only have 30 days to make it work (i.e. check off all the boxes on my summer goals list).  There’s some serious teaching prep I’ve been ignoring, but I also want to end this summer with some serious research progress which I see in the realm of possibility.  When I get in this place, I tend to make a new (with attempts at being more realistic/detailed) to do list.  I want to try out this app now until the end of the summer http://www.nowdothis.com/

How about you, are you feeling half full or half empty when you look at your glass of “summer”?

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