We're a little crazy, about science!

The second lecture!

Who writes a blog and forgot he’s teaching a class tomorrow? This guy! No really, it totally slipped my mind and I only recently sent out the reminder to the lab letting them know it was going on. It’s a bit shocking, but it’s okay because I’m mostly ready for this class, I just need to put a few slides together if I want to be extra fancy about it, but I’ve planned it out in advance.

So I woke up today like I do every morning… so far… and when I looked at my calendar I was reminded that last week school-PI surprised me with a request to teach another summer class. It wasn’t a complete surprised because the person we were hoping would teach it has moved on and into another lab as a postdoc… like two years ago now I want to say. Time has no meaning anymore, two years, two months, close enough. It was definitely at least a year ago though I remember that much!

Anyway we got word that he wouldn’t be able to teach it, so I was asked to take the class in his place since my figures have become very fancy lately, which I like, so I agreed to do it. Because I’m dumb. Kids learn from my mistake, don’t commit to anything and certainly don’t bother making nice figures. Hand draw them with your eyes closed you’ll thank me later when no one asks you to teach anything ever.

It’s not that bad, the trick is there’s a lot going on. Because when isn’t there a lot going on?!

Because I’m scatterbrained today, I forgot to name the class. I’ll be teaching how to make “information rich figures” (hence the comment about making nice figures a few lines up). Thankfully this is a minimal effort (and virtual) class because I write all my own code for the figures I make and I can pull it out very quickly to show it off to the students. I’ll even be able to copy some of the bits that make things a little nicer and pass it off to them. So essentially I just need to copy and paste a few lines of code, maybe — if I am feeling very productive — make some slides explaining do’s and don’ts, then show off some figures, give out tips/tricks, and that’s it.

It’s my favorite type of class structure because I don’t have to do anything special. I can just talk about how I do what I do. Mostly I just need to make sure I hit all the major talking points and that won’t be hard to do since it’s like an hour lecture tops. There is a catch however, because when isn’t there a catch?

The catch is, I have so much work to do tomorrow. I mean specifically tomorrow because that’s the only day I will have to get it done. Namely I’m working on a new grant to fund “big idea,” because at this point I’ve been working with a box of scraps in a cave and I would really like money to get some better equipment to make my life a touch easier, any easier, like basic level of easier. I also have dual paper to worry about (due this week!) and I need to get an abstract written for a summer symposium. That is due Friday as well and I need to give it to hospital-PI to review before submission, so * checks calendar * I have tomorrow to do it.

Oh and that grant proposal I am working on? We have data from two “bonus” experiments we’re using to demonstrate feasibility. So that data needs to be processed, figures need to be made, and it needs to be included in the proposal. Our target is to finish the proposal in a week and a half at maximum, so tomorrow is basically the only day to get the figures at least started for the paper because things are busy and hospital-PI needs the figures for the paper or we can’t write anything. That’s not completely true, but we can’t get very far without the figures.

In short, lots to do, not a lot of time to do it in, and I’m teaching a class tomorrow because I have more hours in my day than everyone else apparently.


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