We're a little crazy, about science!

The other presentation

With just a few days to work on the project, I was asked to present the data we’ve recently finished collecting at work. The presentation will happen Monday, as in three days away Monday. So between now and then, I need to process the data, make some figures (so many figures), and generally draw some sort of conclusions based on the work.

With the dissertation proposal right around the corner (hopefully… still waiting on one person to respond to my poll) I don’t have a whole lot of time for other things right now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have other responsibilities! There is a project we’ve been rushing to finish at work that I’m responsible for. As of yesterday we collected the last dataset, so now I just need to compile everything (data processing) then figure out what we got.

Easier said than done! But the good news is out of the ten datasets we have for this project, only one is left to be processed. I don’t like to let data just sit there, so I’ve been working with it as we collected it. That will be helpful because Monday during our regularly scheduled lab meeting I’ve been asked to present the data, start to finish, and explain what we found. Basically I need to create a full paper’s worth of figures, find the interesting bits, and discuss them with the lab on Monday.

No pressure or anything.

Now for the good news, I have already looked over the data as we collected it so I have a good idea about what we have, I just need to formalize it. I’ve already started on my Figure 1 and I’ve been working on it for a bit now (more), but there are some things that need to be changed. Figures 2-XX will take the bulk of the time, but for the most part those shouldn’t be TOO bad. Basically it sounds like a lot of work and it is, but it’s also do-able.

Thankfully there is a small lull right now because I’ve finalized my proposal and my slides, so I can work pretty freely on this little project. I’m looking forward to finishing this one and getting the paper started, mostly because there are other projects I’m really looking forward to starting. There are a few projects I’m excited to be starting to be honest, so it’s just a matter of getting some of this other stuff cleared. It’s not that this project isn’t exciting, it’s just that I have other things I’m much more interested in doing.

The next few days will be a bit of a rush, but that’s the usual around here so not too big of a deal I guess? It could be worse, I could still be working on my proposal while needing to do this. Everything feels like a bit of a rush these days because there are so many things I want to do, so not a bad place to be in frankly. I absolutely love the work I get to do, which is probably pretty obvious based on how much I talk about it. I’m really looking forward to projects that are more my idea, of which there are two major one projects. Big idea and my “super secret technique” both of which I want to be first to accomplish, so I’m in a race with others who may end up having the same idea.

Okay, well that’s somewhat off topic for the day, but you get the idea I think. When you have so many things you want to do, it feels like there isn’t enough time to get it all done. In this case, there’s a lot of work and a hard deadline, but it’s not as bad as it sounds.

Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.


2 responses

  1. You’ve talked a lot about OR days, but I’ve started to grow curious what a more ordinary day at the hospital is like. Is it mostly data collection and subsequent processing, or if not, what else goes on?

    I’m happy you get all these opportunities. I think I’ve said this before: I never have time for all the things I want to work on. The world feels absolutely crammed with wonderful things to do. But you’re right, in a way it’s a good problem to have.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 7, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    • That’s a good question, I probably should’ve written about it! Truthfully, it’s a lot of experiments (outside the OR) and data processing.

      We use software called labchart, which helps us collect all the EMG data we use and mark certain times (when we apply stimulation for example). Afterwards I have to add in named flags for each event (vs. the unnamed software marker that gets added when we apply stimulation), then pull that data out into whatever we want to use to analyse it. Normally the data pipeline goes labchart -> excel -> MATLAB/Rstudio sometimes we end in excel, but I’ve been pushing to change that since excel graphs are somewhat limited.

      OR experiments are long, so we can only do 1-2 a day, but we can (and have done) 3-4 regular experiments in a day. Of course, it’s not a constant stream so some weeks we have nothing to do, other weeks we’re flailing around trying to get all the work done. It just depends on the availability of the participants so it tends to group up (funny how that works). This summer for example will be incredibly busy, so much so hospital-PI is still freaking out about my time since I need to work on my dissertation on top of all the jobs I have (I have like 6 projects going on right now, 7 if you include big idea, which I definitely include that one).

      Liked by 1 person

      April 8, 2022 at 9:46 am

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