We're a little crazy, about science!

Apparently I’m close?!

We’re talking about it again, the fact that every week for the past 5 weeks now I’ve been given tasks to do and then presenting on them the following week. It’s been… hard. However, my main-PI gave me hope that the end of all this is close, at least that’s the hope. He said I was close, so today we’re going to talk (as usual vaguely) about what I have left to do before this weeks meeting and why I cannot wait to be done with this.

Your PhD should be paid for! It’s the secret that shouldn’t be so secret. When you decide to do a PhD, you get paid to do it and you don’t pay for the education that comes with it, it’s a rule. If you’re paying then there is a problem. Fortunately if you don’t already come with your own funding, funding will be made available to you! Buuuut there’s a catch and I cover all this in detail over in this post. The catch is funding comes with work, there’s no free lunch and if you want the lunch being given to you, you have to do the work. Ask me how I know all this, that’s right I took the lunch.

To be fair, I wasn’t quite ready to transition to my PhD. I mean I was ready, but I didn’t have a clear pathway. My PI at the time hadn’t actually been accepted to his program. Seriously, I have no idea how that works or if it would ever catch up to him, but it’s true. Ultimately he couldn’t help since he didn’t exactly know what to do either, so I was winging it. Smart me would’ve applied to fellowships, attempted to find funding, and hopefully got something before I started. Never fear though, I was given funding when I came into the lab I’m at! That funding came with the project I’m currently finishing up now.

Quick recap of the event’s leading up to this point. It wasn’t my favorite project, but again you can’t say no when you take the funding that comes with it. So long story somewhat short, I did the project even though COVID happened (which slowed things down considerably) and damn it if I didn’t collect the data to the best of my abilities. Then out of the blue my main-PI puts a damper on my forward progress until I finish this project. Do not pass go, do not collect data, you name it. This may have something to do with my Co-PI, okay it almost certainly does (more here).

Since I’m being punished mentored, I’ve been tasked with giving presentations on the work I’m doing every week. Last week I was asked to fix a bunch of things and modify a few other things. Actually, I need to make another post on all this because my main-PI has a habit of asking for changes while the class is going on and because I know how he works and because I take writing code seriously I was able to make the changes in a matter of seconds and I think passing that info on to others may be useful.

Thankfully he said I was close, what does close mean? It means that I’m nearing the end of the data processing and I can come up with some conclusions from the data we do have. That means I can work on the paper (which has been slow going because AHHHHH! all the work I’m doing). It would be nice to transition to the writing portion of all this though so I’m hopeful that he really means I’m close and can get started on something else for once. I also hope this means that the end is near for my weekly presentations. The funding group that paid me for this experiment is having an annual meeting soon so I should be presenting the data to them for the last time.

So what’s next? Well today I’m finishing up some of the changes my main-PI wanted. That’s the plan anyway because these things aren’t easy. Yesterday I made a mistake that caused me to have to reprocess some of my data again so that was fun. It’s been a process getting to this point and if I can just get over this hurdle I can get back to the stuff I really want to get back to.

I’ll also be able to finally do my PhD proposal defense, which is THE last milestone I need to hit before I defend my PhD. After this term, I’ll have met all my requirements for my PhD and I’ll be able to focus on research instead of half research and half classes. It’s just one class this term, but as I’ve mentioned before (here for example) it’s a whole lot of work for a grad class, or even for an undergrad class. It’s a crazy amount of work and I hate it, but hey I only have a few weeks left before the term is over and I can put this behind me.

So with the update for the day, it’s time to get this stuff done for my next presentation.


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