Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Back to the Bench

I'm back to the bench today to hopefully finish up my last-few-lingering experiments. I'm putting my paper on the back burner for a few days to clear my head. You can only stare at a journal article in preparation for so long (it's been weeks now) before you start hearing voices beckoning you to jump out of the windows.

Pray to your Gods that there will be no fire drills for the next 10 days. I will explain later.


At 11:27 AM, Blogger Murky Thoughts said...

What's driving you crazy about writing the paper? I suspect most non-scientists wouldn't have any idea, and all I can do is speculate. Is it having to invent the data?

At 2:47 PM, Blogger she falters to rise said...

Inventing the data is the quickest part.

I'm going crazy over the paper for several reasons. I think the biggest problem is trying to condense a lot of data and numbers into a handful of graphs that tell a coherent story. I have multiple treatments and I've counted thousands and thousands of dots in thousands of cells. The sheer volume of info makes you want to cry--especially when you can't find your most recent excel sheet or your newest figure...

During the writing process, you are forced to see all of the holes in your study (there will always be holes) and missing experiments or controls, etc. It's really hard to draw the line, walk away from the bench, and just finish the paper for submission.

Finally, and probably the most aggravating part of it all, is trying to work with someone else who has a different writing style and different interpretations of the data. It's a constant give- and-take situation, one in which most people, especially myself, have very little experience.

At 3:30 PM, Blogger trisha said...

Oh, is that all?

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Murky Thoughts said...

Did you just forget to mention the part about some of the analysis software running only on Mac and other software only on PC and files not opening when you move from one to the other and/or causing machine to crash and losing the figure you just spent several hours on...or has that problem been solved since my days in the lab? I kinda doubt it. The Peter-Principle side of More's Law say that data aquisition rates and analysis software sophistication both increase apace with hardware in order to ensure that work will always be destroyed by crashes no matter how powerful computers get.

At 3:57 PM, Blogger Murky Thoughts said...

not to jinx you or anything. You backing up? Oh, there was that thing you said about fire. Sorry I brought up this subject.

At 4:18 PM, Blogger she falters to rise said...

I back up every 3 days. Good advice.

Mac/PC problems--yes.

Having to use core facility software, in the core, without being able to put it on my computer since I can't afford the required $10,000--yes.

Back problems because my laptop weighs 15lb because I needed to have all the extras just to be able to analyze my data--yes.

Bruises from falling off of my chair because my super-big, wide-screen monitor gives me vertigo when I scroll through my data too fast--yes.

The list is endless.


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