Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here is where you insert my battle cry.

Yesterday was one of those great days for experiments.  I had one of those long 12+ hour jobs going: up at the lab at 5:30pm....wrapping up about 7pm.... 
And then I had a thought.
I had plenty of energy, despite the lack of sleep the night before.  I knew that to actually see the results, I would have to run some 4-hour gels.  I have to run two sets, so that's an 8 hour wait for the next day.
Somewhere I just thought, the hell with it.  Do ALL the Science!!!

I ran the gels, and at midnight started imaging them.  I got a weird result on one.  But the result is on the cusp of being really cool.
At 1am, I wanted to re-run the digest for the weird result, which would only take 1.5 hours.  As time ticks by, the window of opportunity starts to run thin...waiting until today means the digest might not work right.

This is where the US system fails the PhD student:  I had a class at 8am this morning.
Rolling into bed ~3am doesn't work for an 8am class.  Especially since I have a full day today as well.  In Europe, PhD students don't have classes, at least not required ones.  All you do is your research.  Had I not had a class to interrupt me, I would have kept on until dawn, gone home to sleep for a while, then be back at the lab to happily continue my work.  (There's no sarcasm there.)

Instead, I got ~4 hours of sleep (thank you Spoiled Rotten Cat), and now I'm back after my class.  I'm re-running the digest, hoping it still works.  If not, I can always start the experiment all over again.  That's another 12+ hour job, but it'll be done anyway. 

Either way, I'm running on hopeful happy thoughts right now; sleep deprivation be damned.  It feels good to have a fire lit under my @ss; I've been slogging along with a lot of disappointments lately.

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