At the beginning of this week, I expressed frustration at my current and only task in lab: literature reading. It was so frustrating to read and read and read about one particular topic and to come up with something novel and work off of it. Yes, that is in the job description of a graduate student, but I thought I was trying out this Photosystem II project, so there would already be a project for me to work on? Plus, I was hoping that was the case, and future projects would stem from my experience and questions from the original project.
Not sure how universal this sentiment is to anyone doing a lit search/review right now, but basically it goes like this: I read an article, panic about how I’ve only read one article out of the hundreds that are on this topic, start reading another article, panic again because I’m not retaining or writing anything down, slow down to write things down, and (surprise!) panic because I’m not making any progress.
Well, that came to an end on Friday, where I found exactly what I was looking for and started the process of preparing for an experiment. But the research professor (someone working with my PI) who I was working under and a senior graduate student proposed another experiment for me to do since mine would take a few months to get started. Thank the fucking lord because I was so done with reading all day long. It’s supposed to be a training project for me to get familiar with the algal species and the techniques in the lab. I’ve started yesterday, and it just feels so good to be doing lab work again.
Afterwards, I went out with a few people in my cohort to celebrate the last day of class and Cinco de Mayo (apparently, more like Cinco de Drinko). It was nice to be spending time with other people to wrap up the week.