We're a little crazy, about science!

Everything went better than expected!

So yesterday I had my hands full with a bunch of work to do, no motivation what so ever to do it, and a deadline that was today. I didn’t want to burn myself out, especially since I still have a homework assignment due this weekend and yet another round of tasks set out before me, this time before the next week so that’s… umm terrifying. Let’s just dive into what happened today during my meeting.

For those just joining, for the past month I’ve been tasked with presenting work I’ve done for an experiment I did waaaay back in September-ish finishing in November-ish (more). Since we finished, I’ve been doing analysis of the data we collected and lately my main-PI has really been drilling me to get it all done. Back in January I started an R21 grant which took up a lot of time and thankfully he understood (more), so the project went on the back burner, but now it’s almost due and I need to present the work in the coming months so time is short and the list of things to do is very, very long.

Each week I gave updates on how the project was going and I would get feedback from everyone in the lab regarding what was I had done, ways to make it better, and more often than not, new tasks to do for the next meeting. Sometimes it’s small things that are easy to do, other times it’s large and seemingly impossible things I need to get done. This past week I was asked to do an analysis I had never done before and some how through shear spite I managed to get it done. And the strange part was it wasn’t half bad!

That’s the good news. The bad news is that next week my main-PI is giving a talk so we won’t be able to meet at the normal time. Normally, that would be good news if not for the fact that my main-PI now wants to meet on Monday to go over the stuff I’m supposed to do before then. Did I mention I have other stuff to do? Maybe? Here I thought a week was a short amount of time to get stuff done, now I only have ~4 days to get it done on top of the homework I need to do.

I like my main-PI, I really do, but sometimes I’m left wondering if he realizes how hard it is to do some of the stuff he’s asking for. Figure making and processing data stuff is pretty straightforward, been there, done that. The issue is when he gives me something totally new to do. First, I need to research the method, which takes a lot of time already. Then I need to write some code. Edit the code. Keep editing the code. Wait it worked? Why did it work? Okay, it’s not working again! See what I mean? Then I need to interpret the result and make pretty plots to show the output. Not an easy thing to do!

It’s not all bad news, hopefully now that I have the details worked out and the basic code written I can get the project done. It’s just a matter of figuring out what changes need to be made and make them. Unfortunately, the shorter deadline is the issue for me. If I had a week I won’t be stressing out about it so much, but since I only have a few days, well it’s a little scary. I guess at the end of the day I will do what I can and hope for the best, I don’t like failing, but it feels like that’s what may happen. I don’t know, I guess we’ll have to see.

A lot of this depends on how quickly I can get my homework done for my other class. If I can get that all finished quickly (yeah, right) I will be able to do most, if not all, of the work. I haven’t started the homework though. Mostly because I was focused mostly on this, so we’ll see. As usual, it’s going to be down to the wire. Welcome to the PhD life I guess.

But enough about us, what about you?

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