29 April 2012

No title ...

So this week has been pretty sucky. I am largely hating work at the moment - it is terribly full-on and I get the feeling that it's going to stay that way until I finish. I'm just not cut out for putting such long hours into a job that I don't like. I have so much lab work to do and I really don't like lab work, it just stresses me out and then because I am stressed out I fuck things up. I have to go to Portugal in just over a week and my talk is half ready, but there is this one piece of work that I was hoping to have finished for both my paper and my talk and now it is not finished because I'm not sure if I'm doing it right, and I don't know how to use the microscope properly, and maybe I don't even have the right microscope available. The technicians at the hospital are willing to help me which is great, but they aren't free until after the conference. So first of all I have to deal with my supervisor's condescension and patronisation over me not being able to have this simple piece of work finished on time, and then the questions that people might ask at the conference because I don't understand this stuff properly. I could give them an answer that is completely wrong, which would be terrible. But at the same time, what do I care anyway, it's not like I'm going to stay in this line of research for the rest of my career. Though it would be terribly vindictive to get it all wrong on purpose just to screw over my supervisor. Who is still behaving badly. I ran into her and her family today (unfortunately, what a way to ruin Saturday) and after the necessary 'hi-how-are-you's she actually said to me: 'off to the lab? off to the lab?' in a chirpy voice while nodding her head, as if it's OK for her to expect me to work constantly. It's one thing for a student to choose to work the weekend, but they can't actually tell us to do so, that's against some sort of university rules. I really wanted to tell her no, I'm actually doing groceries and relaxing because I do actually need to eat and live, but instead I was nice. And then I was so put out that I did no work all day. Instead I made ciabatta bread (which is awesome by the way, I shouldn't make it because I eat too much of it). I watched The Secret Garden too. Old kids movies are great. Sadly I will have to work tomorrow though. I really don't want to. I just can't hack working the weekends. I brought a lotto ticket today though, maybe I won and can run away to a tropical island.

In other news, there really is no news. Everything here is the same as always. I like that I now have a pet to talk to but this last week he has not come out at all. Turns out it was because he was shedding. So now I have a snake skin and I don't know what to do with it. Then I invited a friend to feed him and we watched the snake eat a mouse. He has not come out of his cage in ages and I am too nervous to pick him up out of it - the tank is his own space so I don't want to put my hands in there, I would rather wait for him to crawl out and then pick him up. Tomorrow is a feeding day so I will have something to break up the lab work. Some of the other PhD students have Master's students at the moment to do lab work for them - I don't have that but at the same time, first you have to teach them how to do all the work so it's probably more trouble than it's worth. Though with somebody else helping me out I might not lose my keys so often, because there would be someone else with me to notice where I put them down. Luckily there is always someone at work to let me into whatever doors I need. It would me much worse if I lost my house keys.

The weather here the last couple of weeks has been really atrocious - freezing cold winds and plenty of rain. It always seems to rain whenever I go outside and it stops when I go in. It is OK when there is rugby practice but as soon as a match begins it starts to really lash down. We won our last game despite the rain, but I think it would be a nice experience to play in good weather. We have team t-shirts now and sadly they are not purple - they were supposed to be but instead they are royal blue with a red stripe. My fluorescent pink socks really don't match so I should get some bright red ones instead. I would like them to have some blue on them to match the colour scheme, like blue polka dots or stars, but you don't seem to be able to get socks that match my imagination so I guess I will just have to make do. It's quite sad though, because I really do seem to like to make a spectacle of myself. You need a cheerful point to the game because a lot of them take it so serious and get sort of aggressive - they really just need to chill out and have some fun.

Anyway, that's all for now and I sadly have no photos for you this week because nothing exciting happens and if it does I don't often have my camera, but next week I'll be in Portugal so I'll surely see new things to take pictures of and have proper news instead of nothing news. Or maybe not. I don't even want to go, it will just be taking me away from work for a week, and I will have to be around my supervisor far more than I usually would, and speak to people that are working in the same area as me, at which point I will have to pretend that I am actually enthusiastic about my research and believe it is going somewhere. I mean, what if I were to actually tell people that I think it's a waste of time for a lab with no expertise like my lab (which is really just me) to be attempting such novel work and competing against real experienced scientists - imagine the repurcussions! Perhaps I would be fired. That would make life a lot easier though, if you are fired you don't even have to go to the trouble to make the decision to leave, you just are told to. I'm sure my family wouldn't mind me bludging off of them! However, that is unlikely to happen because my supervisor has already had one student leave so she really needs to get my through my PhD or she will end up looking pretty incompetent. Which she is in some senses, but they don't bother to teach people how to supervise or lecture or manage, they just expect scientists to be able to do so. Which is crazy, there are a lot of scientists out there who should not be allowed anywhere near a teaching and management position, but there is no such thing as a university position in which you are a researcher doing your own research without having to manage students and teach undergrads, which takes up so much time that you don't actually get to do any research at all. It really is not playing to people's strengths at all, especially seeing as loads of scientists are so socially inept that they should never be allowed anywhere near a position that involves being in charge of other people. However, I am sure I said goodnight a whole paragraph ago so I will stop my griping now and get some sleep so that I can manage to haul myself out of bed in the morning and go to work (despite it being a Sunday). Goodnight world - please let me win the lotto or meet a millionaire sometime soon ...

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