The long preparations
As promised, I’m already preparing for the next “long” experiment. This one will be just as long as the previous, if not longer, so we need to be using our time the best way possible. Ideally we’ll be getting all the data, all of it! But to do that we’re going to need a lot of work between now and then. Part of that will be working out some new code to automate a lot of the stuff we’re trying to do, but some of it will involve making things, because of course it will.
These days it’s more adult arts and crafts than anything else. I don’t mind, I like making things, if only I had the free time to focus on all that making, then I would be set. Unfortunately, making things is secondary to my normal routine and that means making stuff takes the back seat and is my last priority in a long list of things that need to be done ASAP. Like my latest paper for example. I also have the data from the previous long experiment that I need to work with. Oh and we’re doing other experiments that I need to do, there’s required classes I need to take, and we have more OR experiments… oh my.
Somehow I’ve managed to make a lot of work for myself. Thanks to big idea, we’ve created two new spin off projects, the long experiments and the OR experiments. Not to mention the experiments I originally had planned. Meaning I’ve made three new studies that we need to do all because I couldn’t keep my ideas to myself. Please, I’m begging you, learn from my mistakes. Do you have time enough to take on a new project? No, you don’t. That’s a trick question, no one does. If you’re a researcher, you’re at your limit already.
Don’t make more work. No! Bad! Bad researcher!
But seriously. It’s not that I mind, I’m just trying to find the time to do the stuff I need to do to get ready for all this. Last week I had a hell of a two days prepping and pulling off the last “long experiment” so I really don’t want to repeat that next week all because I couldn’t get the equipment I need to test and I couldn’t find the time to make the new equipment we need. I don’t foresee a problem, yet anyway, but I do need to start designating time to make the stuff we need or I will be cramming it all into the day before and since last week nearly killed me, I don’t want to do that.
Today I’ve taken the first steps to navigating the requirements for the project that need to be addressed. I have a good outline of the things I need to fabricate for next week. In terms of making equipment, there’s some really boring stuff coming. It’s easy stuff that needs to happen, but it’s very time consuming. No way around it really, it’s just do the things. Thankfully, unlike some other adventures with making things, I already have the equipment I need for this. It’s just a matter of doing the work.
On the code side of things, I already know what needs to be written. I just need the software we use to play nice. I would’ve had this code written last week if it weren’t for the software not liking what I was asking it to do. I’m not sure if it’s a limitation to the software or if it’s something I’m doing, but we’re going to find out one way or another. I’ve already set a date to sit with the equipment to test and write the code, which should be just a few days away. In fact, once this goes live, I’m going to go reserve the equipment in our lab calendar so no one steals it from me.
So yeah, it’s going to remain a busy couple of weeks, but I’m hopeful that it will all work out. Really as long as I get blocks of time to work on the stuff it shouldn’t be too bad, but I’m going to have to push to make the time I need or it will get taken over by other projects and things. Maybe the moral of all this is more about finding a new balance since things have been shifting lately. I am predicting that the next long experiment will be yet another race to get the equipment ready, but if I plan and prepare now for that outcome, I’m hoping we can avoid it.
If not, well then at least it’s just one more time… for now anyway. We have at least two more planned later this year or early next year, but let’s just not talk about that.
Well I don’t know if you really made all that work for yourself, because it sounds like it wouldn’t have been nearly as much if Big Idea had stayed within the scope of your original plans. That’s a lot of spinoff projects! But maybe you need those to increase your chances of getting funds.
Planning ahead is always a good idea, and I hope the run-up to this experiment goes a little easier on you than the last one did.
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September 20, 2022 at 8:35 pm
Okay, that’s fair. The spinoff projects will be good for funding for sure. It’s also great for publications and what not.
Thanks, so far it’s been slow, but I do have the equipment tomorrow so I should be able to at least hammer out the big things.
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September 21, 2022 at 8:11 pm