What is going on in my corner on the science world? Since I came back from maturity leave on March 1st, I've been working on getting out a publication. Once it comes out, I'll tell you all about it! I hope to submit it in the next week or two. Then, I must work on the original research proposal (ORP), a requirement for the PhD in the 4th year. I've posted in the science blog about what that entails. After that, I'll finally be free to do research again!
Dec 15, 2016, Thursday: Apparently, I'm in early labor!
Doctor says I'm 4 cm dilated, 90% effaced, with baby is perfect position and super low. He think I'm in early labor, and advises me to try to get to the hospital before I birth the baby. (This advice is mostly important since I'm group B strep (+) and need antibiotics during delivery.) It could be any day now, literally! If I had to bet my money on it though, I'm guessing that it will be a few more days before I experience contractions. Only time will tell.
Dec 14, 2016, Wednesday: First bad draft of paper, check!
I made a terrible sounding paper draft, with figures and an SI. Part of me is happy about this accomplishment. Now the real work starts.
Dec 12, 2016, Monday: James's birthday and figures continue
I continued to make figures today. I made a preliminary draft of them all. I also got to try out James's oculus rift, which he got for his birthday. Pretty cool.
Dec 10, 2016, Saturday: Making figures for paper
Today, I'm pretending that yesterday didn't happen, and doing laundry while making figures for my paper in Illustrator. I got a home copy to use. My brother celebrates his birthday on Monday. Going to try to make it a nice, relaxing day.
Dec 9, 2016, Friday: Last day at Emory and nervous breakdown
Today was my official / unofficial last day at Emory for a while. I'm working from home until a week before Christmas. After that, I take 2 weeks vacation end of the year. I come back officially on March 1st.
Mood swings and fighting fears. I am having all sorts of moody, hormonal swings - at least today I did - making up for lost time, having had a good pregnancy so far. Today, it was terror that I'd suck at science after my baby was born. I got lots of encouragement from friends though.
Nervous breakdown. I had a nervous breakdown in my boss's office, and said I couldn't figure out how to write a paper. NOT how I wanted my last meeting to go. Though maybe I'll do one more. I wanted to leave, and be strong! Show a strong face, that I can do this. But that's not how I feel, right now. I'm just overly emotional and sometimes terrified. The closer the due date gets, the worse it gets. This past week sucked, because I didn't know what I was doing. I tried to do a lot of things, but nothing worked as I planned. I should have worked on figures in Illustrator! *headdesk* Why didn't I??? I had all sorts of stuff written out to say in my meeting, but I said none of it because I was too upset. I felt like an idiot. Fortunately, my boss is nice and doesn't get mad at me. Don't want to abuse that kindness though. I have not made a good showing this fall.
Comforting labmates. See? I promise, you grad students out there, you can't do worse than me. I went to Josh for a hug afterward, and he showed me how his paper was coming, and how these other paper writers were intimidating him with equations and seemed like gods. He talked about how a grad student was an enzyme for turning caffeine into figures. Most of the lab eventually congregated on the spot - people kept collecting - and offering their comforting stories and funny jokes. I love my lab. I will miss them. I said bye to them all. I feel like I'm going into outer space on some unknown, dangerous mission, from which I might not return. I was feeling super emotional (obviously) and leaving was hard. But I will be back. With 1 extra.
Dec 8, 2016, Thursday: I overdid it a bit today, walking too far
More paper writing. So today, I focused on finishing the methods section. I got it mostly done, a partial new outline written for the paper as well, and cleaned my bench - was in dire need of being done - since I hadn't done benchwork in a while, it was messy.
Walking to BEST was a mistake. I met with my Oxford mentee for lunch / snack at the restaurant by the train tracks. Then I went to the BEST program meeting, but walking there, I realized, I had overdone it at last. I could hardly walk, carrying my laptop and notebook. It seemed such a long way to Nursing School building. A nice lady noticed me struggling along and carried my stuff for me all the way to nursing. It was so encouraging, and I made it the rest of the way. And Tami, the BEST coordinator, drove me back to my car. So praise the Lord, I didn't have to walk back at least, and the way there was made more bearable in the end. I realized my long walking days have come to an end, at least until the baby gets here. This is the first time I literally felt like I couldn't do it anymore.
Tomorrow is my last day. I won't stop working until the baby gets here OR a week before Christmas - whichever is first. However, my last day at Emory is tomorrow. I have a final meeting with my boss (Khalid) to finalize the paper outline, so I can just work on writing it at home next week. BEST classes will not happen the rest of Dec. So, I'm home free until Jan / Feb, when I'll at least go back to BEST again, probably.
Dec 7, 2016, Wednesday: A day of crappy paper writing at home
Doctor's appt. Today, I went to a doctors appointment where I had to sign consent forms for a vaginal delivery. We finally got back home around noon, and I ate lunch and decided going to Emory for 3 hrs of work and two hrs of commuting was not worth it.
Crappy paper writing. So, I stayed at home and worked on writing my paper. It was grueling and makes no sense. I have no idea what I am doing. I tried to write an outline, look at example papers, read the guidelines and do all the things. But it's still hard as crap. I wrote a bunch of stuff that sounded like crap. I eventually went back to writing the methods section. It's 3/4th done. Tomorrow I'll try to finish it. If anyone out there has pointers, tweet or email me. I'll take all I can get.
The one good thing. I did get to eat a bunch of hellodollies though. That was good. Mom made them. Mom also was super sweet and helped clean our house while I worked on writing.
Twitter. I also tried to make Khalid more popular on Twitter, but it didn't work. I gained him 2 followers. Hmmm. More work needs doing. It was fun to try though. I gained more popularity by tweeting about him for myself than for him. That's unfair. I'm not that popular on Twitter either. That's probably the problem. I also don't tweet that much. It mostly comes in phases, when something interesting happens in lab or a new paper is published, I'll tweet it. I hope to be more consistent one day. We'll see.
Dec 6, 2016, Tuesday: Meeting my best friend for lunch
Today, I learned more about the staff scientist tracks here at Emory for the BEST program that I'm in. They asked me to write an article about it. I finished reading Roxy's review she is writing and posting comments. I also got to eat lunch with my best friend Brenda Harmon. I told her the lab / life news and got to hear about Oxford. Sonja sent me the finalized version of my grant, for review. And, I worked on writing more of my paper. That constituted the day!
Dec 4, 2016, Sunday
Note: Statuses are written in a journal format and include all categories, but mostly science. Science is written in technical jargon most of the time. Reader friendly science is located in science blog. I moved statuses to its own tab because these posts appear to me as clutter in the science blog. Nevertheless, they are popular. This is my solution.