Lament of Labwork (1 of many to come)


cuz ALL THE PLATES! (all rights reserved: L Yang)

Labwork finally started up again. Who knew?

After a fulfilling summer down at NC State doing awesome data-mining, social media, and food safety related projects (which I am still doing now, but on the side), I’m now back at VTech starting my thesis research.

What am I doing exactly? I’m not too sure…and here is where the frustration (more with myself, than not) lies. As many graduate students can relate to, the thing about doing a project is that (a) you never know when/if you will succeed or fail; (b) if you haven’t done something in awhile, the confusion of not remembering certain methodologies (added to the thought that you should already know what’s going on) can be disheartening and even tragic. I’m definitely falling into this latter boat, at the moment.

From the outside, my project seems simple enough. Tomatoes. Salmonella. Things growing randomly? What could go wrong?

Besides that…

I think I’ve forgotten everything there was ever to know about anything I ever used to know about microbiology. Well, wasn’t that a mouthful! That, and I seem to have completely forgotten how to (a) look forward in advance to what could be coming in the next few days … aka plan in advance, (b) the art of predicting media making schedules, and finally (c) the art of reading and understanding a manual to use a device.

Started regrowing my cells that I’d frozen back in June (before I’d left), on Sunday. They’re actually growing well! 😀 Yay! Success! But, there’s the inevitable fact that I didn’t plan quite well how I was going to do my enumerations – wait…let me look up again how to do that basic micro thing…yeah…something’s going on here~ Haha.


Apparently, I’m also very bad at decoding chemical compounds and formulas. All I want to do is make some M9 minimal media, damnit! Now I gotta go hound that shit  (or things to make it work) down! Dear minions, if you do not hear from me in a few days, please come check the lab. Thank you.


About floatingsheep
Recently moved to Blacksburg, Virginia (Virginia Tech) for graduate school from good ol' sunny California. Wanting to share my (mis)adventures around the East Coast and in general. :D

2 Responses to Lament of Labwork (1 of many to come)

  1. Anna Korn says:

    It will come back. we learn from our mistakes.. Yesterday I had a nearly flat standard curve to show for hours of work. I don’t know if that means the antibody concentration needs to be adjusted to make it work, or try another antibody.

  2. Is failure not just another finding? Hope the specimens grow productively into a data-rich thesis. Happy weekend.

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