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Exhaustion but happy science delirium

Yesterday: got to lab by 9 am so I could spend regular working hours working with some people from the Lawrence Berkeley Labs who are making a science film about crickets for middle school students. I was a little bummed to learn that the film won't be publicly available because they will sell it as a science curriculum tool. But on the other hand, people creating educational material need to be compensated somehow, so I suppose this is one method of ensuring that happens. And besides, the person in charge of the project said she'd share the macro video footage of crickets eating and laying eggs. They rented a fabulous macro lens for the project. Also, the project was a fun change of pace.

After that, K and I did my normal Thursday activity of caring for our cricket stocks. You can't do experiments if you don't have crickets, after all.

Then we stayed up until midnight watching episodes of The Big Bang Theory, which I'd never seen before. Can I just say it is so weird to see the academic lifestyle turned into a Friends-style sitcom? But also, I laughed.

At midnight, we successfully finished out the cricket hemolymph project. So that felt satisfying. I made it to bed by 2:30 am.

I dragged myself out of bed this morning at 8:15 so I could go to a talk by my friend ZS. He works on the same cricket system at a nearby university, and has also started doing some experiments with ants, so we have a lot in common. Even better, his research questions and approaches are complementary to mine.

Early this afternoon, we got results back from our circadian tracer experiments. K has calculated that since the beginning of October we'd run 99 crickets in a total of 12 circadian sessions, which each last 3-3.5 hours. So that's 36 hours of intense work, not counting the time it takes to sort and set up crickets every day, analyze data, prepare and troubleshoot, and come in at ungodly times to take away food or run experiments.

That said - I made some very preliminary plots of our results, and they look good and interesting. So after weeks of working really hard and not really knowing whether that work was accomplishing anything, we have results.

I really want to rest, but I should really work on a job application instead.


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October 2018


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