So my field season is now over. I am all done on lakes for this summer and I find myself thinking about what I should do next summer. There must be a way to top my adventure this summer. I will just have to start planning earlier. As I sit here now listening to the rain sprinkling down outside of my office window I find myself reflecting on the summers activities and what my post field season day-to-day will be like. I have spent the recent weeks mostly in the lab; trying to not think much about the piles of data accumulating on my desk and on my hard drive. Some of my lab activities have been fruitful, yet others have been disappointing and thus have taken a strong toll on my motivation. I have a few more days of working in the lab prior to my trek back to campus for the fall and spring. I need to wrap up a few things and prepare my mind for the challenges it will encounter in the next few weeks.
Between classes and teaching I will mostly be working with R. I can see insightful graphs and hours of frustration in my near future. How will I depict my data and what coding errors will I run into? At the moment all I have is the environmental data. The goal will be to apply this data to the biological data, but when will I have said data. Well I have no idea. I have yet to extract any bit of nucleic acid and without that I am left empty handed. I can see long weekends and couch surfing at KBS in my future. I will have to carefully plan my activities so that I will be able to do extractions, purifications, amplifications, purifications, quantifications, and submissions in short one to two day spurts interrupted by long weeks of classes and teachings. This should be fun to say the least.
Aside from my lab activities, I have so many other research activities staring me down. This is like an academic staring contest between me and my work. There is the review sitting on the desk in front of me. That is due by Monday so I have some motivation. Then there is the papers to read and the things to write. How about a draft of this and a outline of that. It all makes sense in my head but when I sit down to actually work there are so many ideas that it is hard to focus, but I try to conquer it one step at a time. A good cup of coffee helps and maybe even a doughnut.
Well the rain is letting up and I see a hint of blue in the sky. Time to make progress on this review and enjoy the rest of the weekend. The post field season day-to-day may not be as exciting as the field work and amazing summer activities that I thoroughly enjoy, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world. I am just going to battle it day by day and hope that I win the staring contest.