Sunday, February 19, 2012

Winning: Having a social life while doing a PhD

First, I'd like to start with a confession. I write this blog weekly (or try to) but often forget what I've done earlier on in the week. So I often consult my Google Calendar to see what it is I've done.... Talk about memory FAIL, which is ironic because that is what I'm researching...

... Anyway.

Now that the Google Calendar has been consulted, I'm happy to say that I've been quite social this past week! I'll only recap the highlights:
As we all know, Valentine's Day was this past Tuesday. I got lovely cards from Nana and Dziadziu and Jenna. Thanks guys! On V-Day night, some of my neighbors and I got together for junk food and movie watching. We watched Love Potion 9; a cheesy rom com where two scientists use a love potion to get others to fall for them. It was pretty tragic (although surprisingly entertaining). The deciding factor to watch the movie? My exclamation of "I love science!!!!!" when the synopsis was read out. Besides the corny movie, I ate way to much junk food, and it was amazing :)
Thursday was Caitlin's birthday so a big group of people went out for a pub crawl. We went to pubs in the Hanover area, which I'd never been to before. It was a GREAT time and I met some really awesome people. We also played fun games- Cards Against Humanity (a better version of Apples to Apples) and Eat It. And I do love a good game....

Today I went into Lewes with my friend Sarah. I'd been to Lewes before for Bonfire Night, but hadn't actually gotten around to exploring the town. And I'm so happy I did! Lewes is adorable and old and everything I imagine a British town should be like :)
Lewes Castle:

There was a toy crane. Needless to say, I was ALL over that.

15th Century Bookshop

The Priory

General cuteness/ Reasons why I love Lewes

Now on to the part of the blog post that doesn't have any pretty pictures: work. I turned in my mid year progress report this past week. Haven't heard back on it, but my supervisor looked it over and said that it looked good. So that is one milestone passed! As for the experiments, I had this nice plan of a behavioral pharmacology experiment, followed by a molecular experiment. However, on Wednesday when I did the behavioral testing, I sadly found that the experiment failed. But I changed around the experimental design and am adding a section where I test the animals used. Because part of the failure was that the control animals did not respond appropriately. So the issue may just have been that no learning occurred at all. Anyway, I'm starting my new, revamped version of the behavioral experiment this coming week. If THIS experiment fails... well, lets just say I REALLY hope it doesn't fail. I filled my open days with TEM work, and this time the experiment went right! I SAW THE LABELING!!!!!!!! Do you realize how exciting that is? Probably not, but wow, I'm terrible at using the electron microscope. But I'm finally getting better AND the labeling is coming through! This is good, this means the experiment worked :). One failure and one winner. I'm ok with that.

Well, I'm off now. And I'm excited to have stuff to talk about on the next blog post! (I have social plans this week too. Its only minorly lame that I have to plan social interactions, but that's what happens in a PhD. Or so I've been told)

Confused about life as a PhD student? PhD comics gives an accurate and (sadly) funny description of the life I have signed up for. Enjoy perusing!

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