We're a little crazy, about science!

A day of meetings and emails

Okay, my inbox isn’t that bad, but if I didn’t keep up with it, it could easily get there.

It’s a new day with a new and long list of things I need to get done. I’ve already got a ton of bad news about my car issues and the rather large bill that is coming with that, but I’ve also got meeting after meeting scheduled for today on top of a long, long list of emails that need responses from me. Basically today is going to be exhausting and all I will have done is sit in front of a computer, how the hell does that even work?!

Taking yet another break from politics and woodworking, we’re talking education today. With classes kicking off and new years projects starting up I’ve got so many things to do it’s hard to keep track of them all. Somehow even more things are getting thrown into the mix, which is interesting to say the least! Some of this I did to myself, but most of this is just bad timing.

Like the car, the car was bad timing and since I couldn’t fix the issue myself, the mechanic had to give me the rundown of the problems. The issue was found and it was what I thought the problem was, but it wasn’t something I could fix myself without a heavy investment in the tools so it was cheaper for the mechanic to do it for me. The problem is good mechanics aren’t cheap and it’s not like they have the parts ready on hand. The part was ordered, but came in today damaged so the car won’t be ready until tomorrow at the earliest. Fingers crossed since I really need it back tomorrow at the latest.

Enough about the stupid car though. Today I have meeting after meeting with the undergrads I’m mentoring, a 3D printing intro I’m teaching, and an experiment analysis meeting for an experiment that happened last year that we’re still trying to figure out what the data means. The thing is they weren’t all supposed to happen on the same day, it just kind of turned into that. So it’s meeting, blogging, meeting, lunch, meeting, and emails all in between.

Time management is a big factor in all of this of course, so why blog when I could work? Well I run under the theory that I work better when I break up my tasks. Which is why I’m here talking to all of you instead of working on the R21 grant that I need to have done this week, the experimental design I need to do, the dozens of emails that need my response, or the meetings I need to get ready for. Basically this is my idea of a small break in between of work so that I can clear my head and focus. It makes little sense to me that people will bang their heads against a keyboard for an hour just to do 15 minutes worth of work when you can relax for 30-45 minutes, do the 15 minutes of work, and still get the same amount of work done.

I also was matched for my Skype a Scientist classes this term Normally it’s a trickle of requests, I mean not a lot of people request a biomedical engineer outright. This term was the exception to the rule! I have four classes from the start. Which is the number I signed up for to be fair, I just didn’t expect to get matched all at once like that! So part of today is responding to and scheduling my appearances for those classrooms.

Among other outreach I’m doing this term I also was asked by my PI to handle a virtual outreach program for girls in STEM (6-8 grade I believe). Part of that will involve a small tour of our lab, some demos, and a project for them to do at home. Since I can’t have a bunch of kids create brain-machine interfaces of their own (that’s far too much power for the young ones!… I say as if I’m an old man), I am going to give them a fun little prosthetic creation task. It will be both interesting and instructive, I hope anyway.

So yeah, lots going on today so I need to get back to work. It’s a rough way to kick off my return to academia after a nice little break, but hey it could be worse. I’m not sure how it could be worse, but I’m sure it could be and really hope I don’t have to find out how!


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