We're a little crazy, about science!

Another surprise class and the week ahead

I don’t even know what to say at this point except… oops. I was asked to teach yet another class and once again I’m giving my PSA, stop being good at stuff or others will ask you to do something with the stuff you’re good at. To be fair I don’t even think I’m “good” at what I’m being asked to teach either, so it’s more a matter of no one else in the lab knows how to do what I did so it’s up to me to teach it.. yet again.

Not that long ago, I published my second first author paper of the year (this one, yay!!) and we did some really cool stuff. I’m happy about it, school-PI is happy about it, and hospital-PI doesn’t completely hate it (which is a high complement). One of the cool things I did was to cluster my dipoles (areas of activation in the brain) across our participants, find the average, then look at the functional connectivity differences between our tasks with and without the intervention (transcutaneous spinal stimulation or TSS). That was years of work, but it came out pretty nice, but no one in the lab knows how to use functional connectivity or how to do what I did.

Thus I’m going to be teaching it.

Which is not great since I have soooo very much on my plate the next two weeks I really didn’t want to chuck one more thing into the pile, but here we are. First, on the hospital side of things almost literally everyone is on vacation. This is good and bad because it means we don’t get new work to do (yay), but bad because we have to deal with the work we do have with a smaller staff, n = 1… me, okay and a few other people to be fair, but I’m the guy doing the experiments and watching over everyone. How’d that happen? Anyway, point being I’ve been helping manage not only my projects, but some of the other projects that are going on as well.

This week I’ll be involved in at least two different experiments, I have some data that I’m still working on from “big idea,” which let me just say is amazing and awesome and I love it so, so very much. Now if it were just that, well fine no problem I can deal with it, but it’s not. I have a third “bonus” experiment happening this week and setup for that particular experiment is going to be loooooooooooong. Extremely long, lots of setup, quick experiment, lots of teardown. It’s so frustrating, but there’s literally no better way to do it.

Okay so three experiments, some data, big deal. That’s a slow tuesday, right? Well it just so happens that this week is the second to last week with our interns. That means this week they will be getting together to practice their presentations and give a little talk about what they have done/learned/etc. It’s a lot of fun, last year was great, this year will be just as enjoyable I imagine, and I’m honestly looking forward to it. But that’s basically the whole day away from work to attend and show support to our interns this year, who are by the way pretty awesome. Which is mostly why I haven’t written about them, plus everything is so busy right now it’s hard to even try to talk about them right now.

On top of that, I have some other prep I’m working on for a totally different set of experiments. Apparently a lab we collaborate with has agreed to help us, so I’ll be meeting with them this week to try and hammer out some of the details for testing the equipment before we do the actual experiment. That will be a lot of discussion, probably some adult arts and crafts going on, and just general planning. Again, just a time sink, which is not something I have a lot of at the moment.

Next week will be even crazier because I have not one, but two conferences happening at the same time and I need to figure out which I’m attending and if I can attend both. Honestly at the moment it doesn’t look like I will be able to attend one of them, which is a shame. It’s also a bit frustrating because one is on the hospital side, the other on the school side, and I really wish the two schedules wouldn’t clash like that, but here we are.

So where does this leave my latest class?

I’m not sure honestly. I know it needs to happen soon (I think) we never really set a date or even a timeline, but I would rather it be sooner than later, so I may try to squeeze it in this week if I can. It’s a bit much, but what else can you do? Next week will be no good and who knows what the week after will look like (dissertation experiments need to start soon too), so for now I just need to try to squeeze it in so it hurts less in the long run.

Ugh the next few weeks are going to hurt, but it’s only temporary… right?


2 responses

  1. Can you please send me the link to your recently published paper?


    July 25, 2022 at 9:43 am

    • Of course! Here it is: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1741-2552/ac7b4b/meta

      It’s open access so you shouldn’t have any problems checking it out. The supplementary data has some really interesting videos I made based on the data we had (the link is right above the introduction, weird place for it, but I don’t get a say).

      Thanks for the interest and all the support!


      July 25, 2022 at 10:07 am

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