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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

And Then There are Days the Electron Microscope Makes You Cry

Because the stupid ancient pre-Berlin Wall collapse machine just fucking REFUSES to work and I really really need a nice EM image of a PHA-L terminal in the PAG to round up my otherwise fluffy and data-free talk for the fucking retreat Friday morning that I had practically no warning of. And you curse and cry but no, Zeiss machines just don't respond to emotion. Heartless bastards.

So I finally had a (smallish) nervous breakdown in front of my advisor about all the horribleness of the lab and how I've been feeling about this whole damn science thing anyway. First, she made arrangements for me to use an electron microscope that may actually work. Wow. Then, even though she still hasn't actually told me about firing the lab tech, she did say she's be hiring one of the actually-competent undergrads to be our tech. So even if the other grad student is off dealing with his impending infant, I won't be totally alone. AND she doesn't seem to have a problem with me doing some non-science too, like learning to proof/edit or advising the BBB kids (which apparently consists of telling them that they just don't have the grades to go to med school and getting paid for it) or even - this is the fun and exciting part - concurrently getting my MBE with the PhD, if the damn neuroscience people will let me do it. So I think I might cancel that application to the USPTO and stick it out. Plus, patent firms are way more likely to hire me if I finish the damn PhD. I think I actually work better sometimes when I have more to do - as long as it isn't all science, all the time, I focus better on the actual doing science part. My advisor seemed really taken aback at how upset and dragged down I've become lately. I think she realized she had to capitulate a bit or I'd just leave.

So things might almost be looking up. At least once I get this talk over.


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