Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hiatus

The last few days were pretty rough. I was in lab most of Labor Day, working on an experiment. I was the only one there, which is nice in the sense that I have the place to myself and it's nice and quiet, but annoying in the sense that I'm bitter everyone else is out having fun, plus nobody is there to witness what a great grad student I am. Yesterday was day 2 of the experiment, and I was in lab for almost 15 hours. I got there at 6:30am (had to walk in because the buses don't run that early), and left at 9pm. My only time outside of the building was the half hour I took to grab something for dinner. To make it even worse, the experiment didn't work. I came home from lab last night, put the data in on my computer to confirm what I already guessed while running the samples, and then got in bed and cried. I was just too tired and too stressed to handle it. Not only did I spend that much time on something that didn't work, but that was time I could have spent writing my paper, or on my presentation for my committee meeting in 2 weeks.

Once I calmed down, I figured out a new plan. I came into lab for just 2.5 hours today, to set things up. I'm having someone do something for me tomorrow, so I can take the day off for Rosh Hashanah. Friday will be the last day of the experiment, and I set it up in a way that I won't be in lab until the end of time. I have the rest of today, as well as most of tomorrow, to work on my paper and committee meeting. I will also fit in some naps, since I'm just exhausted.

After I came up with my new plan, I realized what part of the problem was. I'm spreading myself too thin right now. Being a grad student is already a full time job - I'm doing long experiments, analyzing said experiments, reading everything I can in the literature about my project so I can write multiple papers and impress my committee. At the same time, I'm also going to the gym or working out in some way ~5 times a week. The blog also takes up time - I'm always perusing other blogs, looking for recipes or workouts, and writing up my own recipes and workouts. I came to the conclusion that something had to give. Obviously I can't stop being a grad student, although I'm going to have to be smarter about experimental decisions, so I still have time to synthesize. I can't stop working out, since that keeps me sane (and also keeps me from weighing 200 lbs), but I can try to be more efficient with what I do. What will have to give, is the blog - at least for the time being. I'm definitely going to stop blog reading for right now, which means my weekly finds post won't be up for a bit. Since I'm still going to be working out, and cooking, I'll try to post what I do. Those posts will probably be very short and to the point, and might be a week or two behind when I actually did them.

I just wanted to give a fair warning to any of you who actually read this, and to ask you to be patient. With lots of luck (and hard work), things will settle down soon, and I'll be back writing more posts than you would care to read.