Friday, February 04, 2005

Guilt, laziness, confusion... relief at no major bad news.

Got the official letter for the meeting in Japan. I feel so privileged- they clearly have to fulfill some requirement to bring foreigners, and they don't seem to care as long as we're warm bodies. I'm not even sure they care if we actually attend the meeting once we get there... poster session my ass.

Finally got an email from my best friend, who admitted she's been really depressed. I don't know what this is about... as usual I have theories, but she's one of those people who generally tries to keep the bad stuff to herself. Military families train you to do that. I think it's very unhealthy.

So I'm feeling guilty because I'm annoyed that my data are confusing and I have a ton of work to do... but mostly I'm doing okay this week, and meanwhile my best friend is miserable and she doesn't live here so there's not much I can do to help...

And I'm feeling overwhelmed because my data are confusing. I have some ideas for what I could do, but this is the same confusion I tried to investigate a couple years ago, and I still have all the data, but everybody just looks at me like I'm nuts when I tell them what the gels look like (or worse, show them the gels)...

So, okay, maybe I'm crazy, but I really wish I had at least one other crazy person to talk to who knows about this stuff... I'm thinking next week I might try again to talk to my crazy advisor. Mostly she's great, but sometimes she says the same kinds of stupid, discouraging things my last crazy advisor used to say, and I would really prefer to maintain my image of her as much smarter than him...

...the latest stupid thing she said made me laugh. I have this high molecular-weight band on my protein gels, and she said it was 'insoluble' protein. It runs into the gel, and always at the same size, but it's insoluble? Just a cop-out, I think. Translation from PI language= "I have no fucking clue what to tell you, I have never seen anything like that/ last time I saw something like that we were equally confused and never did figure out what it was."

Grrr. I really hope I never say things like that. "I don't have a fucking clue" will always remain a stalwart part of my vocabulary.

But since I'm feeling overwhelmed, and really looking forward to taking the weekend off, I will probably take the lazy way out and hope that I have some ideas for experiments that would be quick & easy & actually tell me something that helps advance my understanding, rather than just augmenting the confusion...

The first time this happened, I had this faith that eventually I would accumulate enough data, however confusing, but there would be some pattern to it that I could eventually recognize if I looked at the data enough.

That does work sometimes... but the faith component is somewhat lacking this time around, since there's also the voice that reminds me that it doesn't matter if I figure it out unless I can then get it published.

And the paper from hell is still in review.Those bastards at the journals seem to think it's more humane, or something, to always send rejections on Fridays. So, sad as it may sound, I'm relieved I haven't heard anything about my paper yet.


At 10:22 AM, Blogger Junniper said...

Not that this really has anything to do with your post, but I just wanted to tell you that you're fabulous because you recognize that the word "data" is plural.

I'm a grammar freak, so I was impressed.

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

Amen, grammar experts unite!

Well, I don't claim to be an expert. I do believe in some flexibility for slang, colloquialisms ('ya done good!'), etc. Starting sentences with conjunctions and ending on prepositions is fine with me. But apostrophes are what get me every time. Scientists seem to do it the most: People who can't get 'its' vs. 'it's', or 'your vs. you're' just drive me nuts! I mean, check your email before you send it, people!

And these are people who grew up speaking English. So embarrassing!

Anyway, I try. Thanks for noticing! ;-)


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