The start of a busy week
Splitting your time between two labs should be pretty straightforward, on one hand my two PI’s have come to an agreement about how my time should be split and in a 40 hour work week, each should get roughly 20 hours of my time dedicated to the things they are working on. Easy, except it isn’t. Both are used to 40 hours to their lab and I’m not complaining, I enjoy being wanted, but as my Co-PI pointed out I have a lot going on and I need a break. Literally he told me to take a break, it’s bad enough that my Co-PI is telling me to go home.
As with all things PhD the time a project takes is roughly 20x more than the expected amount of time a project should take. This summer I have two projects in my Co-PI’s lab that I’m working on and one project in my main-PI’s lab that I’m working on, plus of course my summer teaching. So while each lab should get roughly 20 hours of my time, both are taking closer to 30-35 hours of my time. That leaves me with little me time and as my Co-PI said a head full of stuff to think about.
Basically I’m overworked and underpaid, but that’s the route to the PhD. The next two weeks in particular are going to be swamped. We have data collection for the next few weeks for three different experiments (technically four, but tomorrow is the end of that particular study). Normally two experiments in a day is pushing it. At roughly three hours each plus an hour for setup and teardown, you’re looking at 8 hours of work minimum, but on occasion we get three experiments in a day, which makes for a 12 hour workday roughly.
It doesn’t happen often, but when it does you never look forward to it and you will often be in the lab before the sun comes up and leave long after the sun has gone down. I’ve literally left the hospital out the back exit because it was so late the main entrance was locked. I don’t mind doing this and I enjoy the work, but I really could use a break and my Co-PI suggesting I take one means I should probably go ahead and pull the trigger with that.
The only thing is I can’t for the next two weeks roughly. I mean I could, but that would make more work for me when I got back and I really am not about to do that to myself. So for now I just need to make it to the end of the month and then I will take a well deserved break. Maybe finish some woodworking projects I’ve been thinking about or maybe I’ll play some videogames. I’m not sure yet, but it’s nice to know that my Co-PI cares enough to remind me it’s okay to take a break. It’s probably because he’s taking one himself, so he knows breaks are needed.
In any case, posts will probably be short this week and mostly will consist of me screaming into the endless void as I try to make it to the end of the month. Thankfully I should get some time to relax this weekend, but it’s only Monday and it feels like years until then!