The week ahead
It’s been busy around here. Between data collections, experiments, papers, and making things, I don’t know how I manage to find time to sleep. This week promises to be slightly slower than the few previous, but that can always change and it looks like it may be changing as I’m writing this. Because of course it is, so let’s just dive in and talk about what’s coming before it all changes around again.
It was a nice break while it lasted, I got to do a bit of resting, but not a lot. I still feel like I got run over by a truck and part of that I only realized recently was probably due to the grave error I made on Thursday. I had my yearly physical at the hospital and one of my titers came back that I wasn’t immune to something last year, well turns out I needed two doses of the vaccine and they only gave me one so I had my second one that day and didn’t think anything of it. I don’t even remember what the vaccine was for, something random I probably got vaccinated for in the military and it just waned over the years. Anyway, it occured to me late last night that it could be why I was feeling like such crap the past few days.
Since yesterday was a holiday I at least had the day to relax(ish), but today I was reminded that I have some equipment I’m still trying to make (here). I had purposefully left it scattered on my workbench/desk the last time I was in the lab, mostly to remind me to keep working on it and to come up with better ways of modding it. I’ve had some time to think about it and I’ve come up with several changes I’ll be making this week. It’s going to be a lot of work, but we need it for next week OR ELSE. I have the previous iteration of equipment ready on standby if I can’t complete this in time, but assuming the fancy wires I had to reorder show up soon, I’ll have plenty of time to get it done without having to rush it. A big assumption since it took weeks for the wires to come this last time, or should I say wire, singular. That was a whole mess, but the short of it is that I did not get what I ordered!
While the equipment making/modding/whatever we want to call it, will take up a lot of the week (assuming wires show up… tic toc!!), it’s not the only thing happening this week. We have several sets of experiments happening this week, because when don’t we? However, as I just got the email, these in particular will require my attention specifically. As in I’ll need to be there for all of them instead of only needing to be there for some or even none of them because they can be handled by others. Which does throw a big ol’ wrench into my “slower” week I had planned, but experiments need to happen, so there’s that.
Most of this week will be prep/dry run for next week. We have two experiments lined up this month that will take a significantly long time (all day, no breaks, seriously) and make for a very long day in general. The last few had me feeling like I had run a marathon and left me with serious physical pain, to the point that I couldn’t sleep at night because the pain was so bad. What’s worse is the pain, some weird muscle issue, only came on when I was laying down, sometimes when I sat it would hurt, but it was nothing compared to when I would lay down. In any position, no matter where my legs were placed, they just hurt. Since then I’ve been literally stretching daily in prep for these experiments. I don’t want a repeat of that and I’m hoping this will prevent that.
Oh and how could I forget? My edits to the lastest paper I’m working on are due soon. It’s a “self-imposed” deadline, so it’s not super urgent, but I do want to get this submitted for review sooner, rather than later. There’s a lot of editing that needs to happen unfortunately, most of the feedback I got from our co-authors was very specific, but requires a lot of changing to the text or some serious thought about how to address it all. While it’s been a work in progress, I’m going to need to dedicate some serious time to it this week to finish it off. When I’ll find time to do that is beyond me, but I’m going to try…?
Lastly, there’s my dissertation stuff that I need to start working on. I’ll now be shifting gears a bit and I’m teaching the people who helped me how to process data and make sense of it all. This is more for them than me, since I’ll be processing all the data myself, as in none of what they do will be beneficial to me in particular, but I guess it could be used as a sanity check. In any case, it won’t add a significant amount of work on my end and I do enjoy teaching, but it is one more thing I need to juggle. Speaking of which right as I post this I’m emailing my team to schedule our first (of many) teaching sessions.
That’s the plan for the week, how well it will be executed is anyone’s guess. I have a lot of personal stressful stuff going on at the moment, so that’s fun, but I’m trying to keep my eye on the finish line. Once I graduate things will be better, or so I keep telling myself.
Wait, they do titers at standard physicals? I wouldn’t know I guess, I haven’t been in for a regular old physical in … literally about 20 years (need to do that …). I’d be interested to know what I’m immune to, I just figured they wouldn’t do that without a specific reason.
I do think it’s okay to tell yourself that things will get better after you graduate. At that point you should at least get to have your weekends to yourself most of the time (or an equivalent amount of free time, if your schedule’s very irregular). If things don’t improve, you may just have to push back on your job about not working you at more than full time. It took me a while to learn this, but … if you are a competent employee who can’t be easily replaced, you can demand things.
I hope you do feel better soon, and that the personal stress resolves okay. As you might have guessed I’m back from my trip. I had a good time and am very tired … and it’s back to work tomorrow.
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September 7, 2022 at 5:00 pm
I’m glad you had a good trip! I’m happy to hear it. I can imagine it was exhausting though!
Maybe it’s because I work in a hospital. I’ve never had regular physicals for work, ever. Okay maybe in the military, but that was a bit different. They ran them when I was first hired, but they need to check again in 8 weeks, once the vaccine has had a chance to do its thing.
Yeah I think things will get better. I mean all the time and effort I sink into school I can use to do whatever I want and that’s a pretty significant amount of time, so it would be nice to have that to myself.
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September 7, 2022 at 6:37 pm
Ohhh that would make sense, I bet it’s a hospital thing. Because you are often around sick and/or vulnerable people, they want to be sure you really have immunity to everything.
Yeah, North Carolina and back in ~4 days was a lot. Fortunately this was the hard one; Wedding Trip #2 will only be half that size.
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September 8, 2022 at 8:14 am
Yeah, even though I’m not patient facing, we still work with vulnerable populations so I’m glad they do it.
That’s wild. Glad the second one isn’t as far though.
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September 8, 2022 at 7:21 pm