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Post Archive
2017 (0)2010 (241)
December (20)

Have a little personality on Friday...
Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday is going to be epic...
Thursday, December 9, 2010

Good Night, and Good Luck
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ask Genomic RepairMom...Child Birth
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday is definitely a rollercoaster
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

12 Months of Blogging Meme
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

LabSpaces Fantasy Football Challenge: Week 13
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Don't Run Around On A Tuesday
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A rhetorical question and science fail...
Monday, December 6, 2010

Sue
Monday, December 6, 2010

It definitely doesn't feel like summer...
Monday, December 6, 2010

A Friday Recipe... Stuffed Jalapenos
Friday, December 3, 2010

A Friday morning haiku for you...
Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday better not be your time of dying...
Friday, December 3, 2010

Music Warz--Fuck all you emos--Punk is where its at...
Thursday, December 2, 2010

Is this a sign of things to come...
Thursday, December 2, 2010

Speaking to the next generation...
Thursday, December 2, 2010

Apparently we must have used hypocritical evangelical coders...
Thursday, December 2, 2010

Have an Unbelievable Thursday
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Don't ge a Gigolo on Wednesday, its just not right.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
November (44)

LabSpaces Fantasy Football Challenge: Week 12
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It Might Get Loud On Tuesday
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Do you know what the Spellcheck button is?
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Update: I think I'm dying...Science in Motion...
Monday, November 29, 2010

Feel The Noise On a Monday
Monday, November 29, 2010

The jail story...
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Don't be talking that shit on a Wednesday..
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The dark danger and human cost of drug development
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

LabSpaces Fantasy Football Challenge: Week 11
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thrift Store T Shirt Tuesday
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Request for Reprint...Should I put on my throwback jersey too?
Monday, November 22, 2010

Moving Boxes, we aren't going a damn place...
Monday, November 22, 2010

Does your brain feel like its going to Pop on a Monday?
Monday, November 22, 2010

Friday Wrap-Up and Links
Friday, November 19, 2010

Believe Me, Its Friday
Friday, November 19, 2010

An Open Letter To The Guy Who Tried To Mug Me...
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Who the hell said it was Thursday?
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ask Genomic RepairMom...Retractions.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Are you in the house?
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pay me fuckers
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

LabSpaces Fantasy Football Challenge: Week 10
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't Feed the Animals
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Tuesday Morning Book Review...
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On which I make my return
Monday, November 15, 2010

One of the best discussions on Climate Change...Ever.
Monday, November 15, 2010

Guess who's back?
Monday, November 15, 2010

Lets keep on Rocking on a Friday...
Friday, November 12, 2010

Don't Rock the Boat on a Thursday
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Don't get too Hooked on Wednesday
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Don't Wine on a Tuesday
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Caribbean Monday
Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm out...
Monday, November 8, 2010

We call this a teachable moment...
Friday, November 5, 2010

Can't help that its Friday
Friday, November 5, 2010

A comparative study on pain medication reactions (n=2)
Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dear students applying for fellowships...
Thursday, November 4, 2010

Don't be Tempted on a Thursday...
Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ask Genomic RepairMom...Elections
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Working it out from home on Wednesday...
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

LabSpaces Fantasy Football: Week 8
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hope you find Satisfaction on a Tuesday...
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tales of the Genomic Repairman: DNS
Monday, November 1, 2010

The fall of Agamemnon and the rise of Ajax: Is the PI being cheap?
Monday, November 1, 2010

Don't be Trippin on a Monday...unless you want to.
Monday, November 1, 2010
October (47)

Is the PI being cheap?
Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Save
Friday, October 29, 2010

Nobel Prize Blunder...
Thursday, October 28, 2010

Don't be gray on a Thursday...
Thursday, October 28, 2010

Be a Wiz on a Wednesday
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ask Genomic RepairMom.... Vaccines
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Things learned from my Society meeting...
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

LabSpaces Fantasy Football: Week 7
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Attack my Site...I'm Gonna Knock You Out...
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Write, write, write...
Monday, October 25, 2010

Hold on I'm Coming to play you some music on a Monday...
Monday, October 25, 2010

Get off this Friday...
Friday, October 22, 2010

Dear Graduate Student, let me list the reasons why I shall beat you with a stick...
Thursday, October 21, 2010

Slow down, you don't have to Run on a Thursday...
Thursday, October 21, 2010

Could you be loved on a Wednesday...
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ask Genomic RepairMom...Big Bang Theory...
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It was only a matter of time before I got off my ass...
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

LabSpaces Fantasy Football: Week 6
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Is Everything Zen on a Tuesday?
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10 Commandments of Poster Presentations...
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shout it out on Monday
Monday, October 18, 2010

Pinch me its Friday...
Friday, October 15, 2010

Donor's Choose: Give me your lunchmoney!
Thursday, October 14, 2010

So I know I slagged off on a vendor but now its time to give one props...
Thursday, October 14, 2010

Did you see Fireflies on a Thursday?
Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Series: Ask Genomic RepairMom...Stem Cells
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Make Wednesday A Magic Moment...
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Tribe of Science loses a Warrior
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

LabSpaces Fantasy Football: Week 5
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hey Man, quit Ramblin on a Tuesday
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cocaine is not a good way to start the week off...
Monday, October 11, 2010

Candidacy Exam: Last one out gets the lights...
Monday, October 11, 2010

Who would have ever thought that Gatorade was pro-evolution...
Sunday, October 10, 2010

Candidacy Exam: I think I'm qualified.
Friday, October 8, 2010

Giving you guys some culture...One Semester of Spanish, Spanish Love Song
Friday, October 8, 2010

I'm sorta Research Blogging...Insight into the function of PALB2
Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chances Are I'm bringing you old guy radio today
Thursday, October 7, 2010

You only knew it was a matter of time before I went off again...
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Welcome to Wednesday
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

LabSpaces Fantasy Football: Week 4
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What I'd be doing, if I wasn't doing this: A fishing story!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Keep Moving on Tuesday
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A little Dave Holland recommendation for Tideliar
Monday, October 4, 2010

My mom reads my blog, Happy Birthday Genomic RepairMom
Monday, October 4, 2010

More than a feeling on Monday Morning: I rocked this song in Rock Band
Monday, October 4, 2010

Candidacy Exam: Fourth and inches...
Sunday, October 3, 2010

I'm running late because I got caught on the Radar Gun
Friday, October 1, 2010
September (45)

A man can only take so much bluegrass, time to rock!
Thursday, September 30, 2010

Don't be running down the street hungry as a hound on Wednesday...
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How not to foster a scientific collaboration...
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

LabSpaces Fantasy Football: Week 3
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In Spite of Tuesday
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Candidacy Exam: Someone check his pulse
Monday, September 27, 2010

Stomp it out on a Monday
Monday, September 27, 2010

Update: To the coworker who saw me lose my shit tonight...
Friday, September 24, 2010

Hoping for No Rain on a Friday
Friday, September 24, 2010

Don't have a bad Thursday
Thursday, September 23, 2010

Don't be Greedy, enjoy your Wednesday
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What is your opinion on reuse of a figure in a journal? Misconduct?
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

LabSpaces Fantasy Football Challenge: Week 2
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Taking it back old school with The Tokens on a Tuesday
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I've got a case of the Mondays...
Monday, September 20, 2010

A little Rebel Yell on Monday
Monday, September 20, 2010

An Open Letter to Bio-Rad...This is going to fuck up any chance of a sponsorship...
Sunday, September 19, 2010

A lawyer is calling stem cells outmoded?
Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Mexican Independence Day & Potential Darwin Award
Thursday, September 16, 2010

Is Science the Love of Your Life?
Thursday, September 16, 2010

Got it made in the shade on Wednesday?
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Can you go the distance on Tuesday?
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

LabSpaces Fantasy Football Challenge: Week 1
Monday, September 13, 2010

Candidacy Exam: Damnit go away!
Monday, September 13, 2010

Don't break down on a Monday.
Monday, September 13, 2010

Good grief, its Friday!
Friday, September 10, 2010

Guest Post: The Easy Pub
Thursday, September 9, 2010

You don't know how it feels on a Thursday
Thursday, September 9, 2010

Funniest Comment Contest Part 2
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stay with me on a Wednesday
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I wish I knew: A Tale of 2.5 stories...
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lets just be friends on a Tuesday...
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In case you weren't signed up...
Monday, September 6, 2010

Come on ride that train on a Monday...
Monday, September 6, 2010

Candidacy Exam: Clocks ticking yo!
Monday, September 6, 2010

You want to guest post on LabSpaces?
Friday, September 3, 2010

Watch out for the small print on a Friday
Friday, September 3, 2010

Are you actually working with a neuronal line?
Friday, September 3, 2010

Groups
Thursday, September 2, 2010

Whats that smell and how should I mentor it?
Thursday, September 2, 2010

Travelling Riverside on a Thursday
Thursday, September 2, 2010

LFG...
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Contest Winners!!!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Go Your Separate Ways on a Wednesday
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My first (and best ever) conference...
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
August (75)

Mentoring a mentor?: Get it in writing.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Warning: Its Tuesday
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I've survived a month of blogging.
Monday, August 30, 2010

New Yorker Article on Francis Collins and the Stem Cell Ruling
Monday, August 30, 2010

Crunch!
Monday, August 30, 2010

Can't Relate to a Monday
Monday, August 30, 2010

Female Science Bloggers...
Monday, August 30, 2010

Potential blogger drink err meet up?
Friday, August 27, 2010

Candidacy Exam: Scheduling, scheduling, scheduling
Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday morning special...
Friday, August 27, 2010

Dear IACUC inspector...
Thursday, August 26, 2010

The State of My Blog
Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Genomic Repairman's Book Club
Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wishing you were home on a Thursday
Thursday, August 26, 2010

Here is where you get to win the liquor
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Epic Fail on a macroscale level.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Some recent big news in the DNA Repair field
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Don't get caught asleep at the wheel on a Wednesday morning
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Funniest comment, formerly most obnoxious contest...
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dear Trainee, the clock is ticking...
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cleanliness is next to...
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday morning got you feeling numb
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

An Open Letter to Core Director
Monday, August 23, 2010

Conference Calls
Monday, August 23, 2010

Don't be blue on a Monday!
Monday, August 23, 2010

LabSpaces NFL Pick 'Em Challenge
Friday, August 20, 2010

Its Friday In Spite of Ourselves
Friday, August 20, 2010

The Genomic Repairman gets a pat on the back from the boss and a boot in the ass
Friday, August 20, 2010

Legit Science Question Here Folks
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rise up on a Thursday Morning
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dumping on technicians...
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Antibody Naming Contest Winners
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trying to find some music for tomorrow, like yesterday
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ncRNA: Oh the splendor, oh the horror!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Still want in on Battle of the Science Blogs
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another twofer on a Tuesday morning.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Linked Out?
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Data Embargos
Monday, August 16, 2010

I need a remedy for this sunburn
Monday, August 16, 2010

Cell culture question for the readers...
Monday, August 16, 2010

A letter to the other graduate student in my lab...
Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday morning groovin by the Fratellis
Friday, August 13, 2010

The Apprentice: The Finale!
Friday, August 13, 2010

Candidacy Exam: The Runaround
Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shake off them shoes if you got the Thursday morning blues...
Thursday, August 12, 2010

Update to the aged RO1
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Candidacy Exam: The Series
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Shameless product plug
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quality is when you...
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Honestly I didn't think I'd make it to Wednesday
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A LabSpaces Prayer
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A two for Tuesday with the boys of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You can hold an RO1 for 27 fucking years!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Name my antibody!
Monday, August 9, 2010

Antineoplastons? You gotta be kidding me!
Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday morning beats by Morcheeba
Monday, August 9, 2010

So I'm at work today so I figure I owe you a song...
Sunday, August 8, 2010

Well since I'm working on a Saturday
Saturday, August 7, 2010

So I got tagged in a damn meme
Friday, August 6, 2010

What are you doing to promote science to the public?
Friday, August 6, 2010

A chilled tune for Friday and an extra track
Friday, August 6, 2010

Say goodbye to film.
Friday, August 6, 2010

Long Lost Paper
Thursday, August 5, 2010

Feel alive with Live on a Thursday morning.
Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Forum For Discussion
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Some Wonderful Music for a Wednesday Morning
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Is this really elevating your science?
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Helen Larson my ass!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2010 LabSpaces NFL Challenge & Banner Contest
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Balance...You gotta be kidding me.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Feeling Stuck on a Tuesday?
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Note On Peer Review
Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday Morning Soothing Tunes and Moving Music
Monday, August 2, 2010

Candidacy Exam Blues
Monday, August 2, 2010

How do you balance the job and life?
Monday, August 2, 2010
July (10)
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Genomic Repairman

The Genomic Repairman is currently a Ph.D. student who escaped from the deep south, and studies DNA damage and repair through biochemical and genetic approaches. He intends to use pine away about his scientific interests and rant about the things (and there are lots of them) that annoy him.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010


So recently my personal life has been fucking turbulent to say the least. I think maybe the biggest issue for us in science (besides the horrible jobs and funding situation) is or ability to balance our home life and our work life. Do I think balance can be achieved? Yes, but not at any one point in time. Lets face it we can't give 50% to work and 50% to life constantly as one noted scientist once told me. You will constantly be out of balance. But the goal is not to let the scale tilt too far to one side for too long. Unfortunately for me, mine has probably been welded down to the work side for quite a while. And it has for the following reasons:
-Mentoring two students
-Antibody screening for two different projects
-Making stable knockdown cell lines
-Making overexpressing cell lines
-Prepping for candidacy exam
-Submitting fellowship application
-Trying to work on a review article

So when work builds up, I tend to act less human and more like a robot and just grind away. And unfortunately I take on a sort of tunnel vision when I'm grinding. This is probably due to my younger days of working on fishing boats to help pay for college where I would grind through the work, weather, and pain to get the job done. If its not directly related to whats happening now it gets place on the backburner, which is fine if its mundane paperwork or BS emails that need to be sent out. Its not good if its your relationship and its going to cause tension.

Another thing that complicates the matter is that my fiancee is not as busy as I am. She's got a pretty stock 8-4 job that gives her a lot of free time throughout the day. Which is great for her, it gives her time to plan out our wedding, but it also gives her time to pester the shit out of me with emails like, "What are you doing?"

And honestly its way easier for me to reply back "working" than to say "I'm trying not to strangle the other fucking graduate student because they lack the ability to think for themselves, help the lab manager set up equipment, find the little shit at the core facility who is processing my samples and put the fucking fear of God into him so that he'll get my samples back quicker, and oh yeah the boss wants to see me about some data." However this comes off as rude to her. And not to make things worse I have an hour commute to work each way. And since I'm cheap and kind of friendly to the environment I carpool which means that from 7:15am-6:00pm I get maybe about fifteen minutes of time to myself. Truth be told I need a minute or two when I get home so that I don't spontaneously combust.

The candidacy exam that is looming over me is another bone that she has to pick with me. Its requiring a fair amount of time outside of work to pick these topics and sort of develop them out so that if the committee picks one I have it plotted out in my head what to do and don't fall flat on my ass with a bad topic. I was asked why I could not do that during the day? Um, because I fly around the lab like one of those crack-addicted monkeys, you know the ones showing the perils of freebasing, trying to get stuff done. We have talked about it numerous times, if you are a trainee in the biomedical sciences field, you do not work a normal 9-5 job. You work until its done and it ain't ever fucking done. This isn't a job, its a lifestyle and a pursuit of your dreams and our passions, which is namely to say our science.

I have been trying to compromise and not seem like a horrible despot or tyrant who emotionally checks out during the weak and a few things that are helping are:
-a date night somewhere in the middle of the week
-she is capped on the amount of emails that she can send me in a day
-I try to be a bit nicer in responding to emails besides just "working" or "busy"
-talk more, snarl less
-one or two nights a week I do no work and submit myself to watch shitty television programming like "Real Housewives of Whatever Fucking Suburb" or "Bethanny Getting Knocked Up."
-When I am working in the spare bedroom, I am to be left the fuck alone. Do not stick your head in and ask what I'm doing every fifteen minutes. I need to focus and its not easy to for me.
-I get ten minutes to myself when I come in the door after being gone nearly eleven hours give me a few minutes to get settled. I have just conquered an hour commute each way to work (so you can be closer to your job and where we like to hang out) and dealt all day with my colleagues, some amazing and some amazingly shitty.

I think its hard for a significant other who doesn't do science to appreciate what we do. We can't check out of work at 5pm and not worry about it to the other day. The stakes are too high in the game we play and you must be invested in your work. I am. I wake up at night with ideas, fears, and concerns. Did I do the transfection right? Am I being scooped? What the fuck was it I was supposed to order? Unfortunately our project becomes an extension of and a reflection upon us. Also her not having many hobbies and having a shitload of friends with kids who she avoids like the plague heaps more quality time onto my plate that I don't have.

But that noted scientist who told me about always being out of balance was right about another thing he said. Your family is what matters, at some point you have to put work down and pick up your kid. Because they are your legacy. He asked how many scientists we could name from 150 years ago. Not too many. His point was that we are all but dust, it won't matter how badass you were are doing westerns or how fast you could plate cells. You will be nothing more than a mere tread upon the wheel of science, but to your family right fucking here and now, you are everything. So find some balance and let the wind take your troubles away. Sorry horrible fucking transition into the song (note link to better audio quality version below). And by the way we are looking for more folks for a fantasy football competition with bloggers and readers alike, so if interested check out the sports section of the discussion forum. Have a great day.

http://s0.ilike.com/play#Son+Volt:Windfall:27718:s10683817.10271095.8989308.0.2.131%2Cstd_d3d44a251a9849369c8d0816a1f5cade

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Blog Comments

Dr. O
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I like what the "noted scientist" said...reminds me of a senior prof I know who is getting ready to retire and looking back on his science legacy. He's made great contributions to the field, but isn't in the Academy and feels like he's fizzling out instead of leaving with a storm. To top things off, he missed out on being around his kids as they grew up because he spent all his free time on the weekends in the office working on whatever he could to stay ahead. It's so cliche, but I think the best way to maintain work-life balance is to ask yourself if you'll regret not spending that extra hour in the lab when you're at the end of your life. It's hard to find balance in science (and possibly impossible before quals ;). But the earlier you find it, the easier it is to learn to do science within its constraints.

Disgruntled Julie
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It's very ironic, because my PI is a huge proponent of family life himself. He does not work at all (will not check email) on Saturdays, takes off early for things like his daughter's recitals, etc... and yet forces me to be in lab every week, thereby preventing me from traveling to visit my husband. Apparently "family life" only relates if you have children, and not to spouses! I absolutely agree with what Dr. O is saying about regretting spending the extra hour (or weekend) in lab many years down the road, I just wish I was allow to apply it to my own life.

Genomic Repairman
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I agree with you Dr. O. Unfortunately this is the part of my life where I have no kids, no true responsibilities to anyone other than myself. This is the point where I can take risks, like putting a lot of my time and energy into my project. And I think she thinks that my hours will convert to normal 9-5 when I take on a postdoc and its quite the opposite, you have to work even harder because you are that much closer to the finish line. At Julie, they are on the other side where they can work on stuff and don't have to deal with timed experiments. This does not diminish the fact that being a PI is difficult but they can also have a much more flexible schedule than someone who is a bench scientist. And it does really seem that those of us in the lab who are married and have kids have lowered expectations for weekend work and strange ours than the ones with no kids. Just a fact of life that we have to deal with I guess.

Damn Good Technician
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it's tough getting a non-scientist to understand what work is like. Heck, sometimes it's hard for me to get my husband to understand what I'm dealing with at work, and he and I are both scientists! I'm sure she appreciates that you're trying to be less snappy - and it's great that she's changing her behavior too. One-sided change solves no problems.

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Your experience is exactly what I went through 3 years ago during quals, except my significant other was at a distance and had to be cut off :P It'll all work itself out once that weight is lifted off of your shoulders.

Your post doc doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. I'm loving mine, but it's a pretty special case scenario here and definitely not an academic track post doc. I'm running a core facility mutating herpes viruses, I have lots of minions, so it's more of a manager position than a nose to the grind stone science position. I do spend a lot of time in lab, but it's mostly troubleshooting other people's errors or learning/honing new techniques so I can teach them to the minions. I like it lots :)

Dr. O
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I think it's highly unproductive for a PI to enforce certain work hours/days...especially when they themselves aren't abiding by those same work hours. I guess I've always been really luck to have mentors that give me the freedom to get work done on my own schedule. In fact, my graduate PI would kick those who were left out of the lab by noon on weekday holidays (eg Memorial Day).

As an aside, I found that my work schedule as a postdoc was much more relaxed than as a grad student. The pressure was higher because I was responsible for my own project, but I found I could get more done in less time, and scheduled accordingly. There are always those hellish 12-16 hour experiments that just can't be avoided, but I make sure they're absolutely necessary before spending the time, and often try to get help from an early morning technician to set things up so that I'm not there quite as long. Again, I'm sure this depends on the PI that you work for.

Genomic Repairman
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I agree DGT, by the way you want to play fantasy football with us this year or is PLS doing it again?

Genomic Repairman
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Let's face it she drew the short straw as she is a self-professed "Type A micromanager" and I'm like a 4 year old drunk on cold medicine. I'm lucky she puts up with my sorry ass.

lifesciencegirl
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Can you get away (even just a little away) for lunch, even just 2 or 3 times a week? I'm not sure if your campus is walkable or has any good places to eat, but one of my favorite decompression techniques in grad school was to take a walk, by myself, and sit outside and eat my lunch. Quiet, peaceful, and you can get some great thinking done. We do some of our best work when we come back from a short break: you feel refreshed and ready to jump back in. Wait until you have a long incubation or whatnot and scram.

My campus had some great walking paths and the weather was usually nice, so I was possibly a little spoiled in that regard. Once in a great while I managed to coordinate a lunch with one of my grad student buddies, which was also a nice break from the grind.

The campus library can also be a great place to hide and think. When I was studying for quals I'd go up to the top floor and hide out in the stacks for about an hour.

Dr. O
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I'm like a 4 year old drunk on cold medicine.

This image is going to get me through a not-so-fun day. ;)

Genomic Repairman
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We try to bug out once in a while to go to lunch or play basketball. Generally my lunches last all of 15 minutes as I'm currently having to get my work done and direct the work of the summer interns so its a terrible balancing act. I've even taken to eating lunch in the dark room so no one bothers me, how ever I get funny looks when someone comes in to develop a western.

Nat
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Welcome to marriage buddy.

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Sorry if a couple e-mails just went out. I was fixing Nat's problem ;)

biochem belle
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A lot of good stuff here :) Re: families in science, I think there is a great deal of expectation that those of us without kids should be putting in more time/effort than those with. A number of scientists are so focused on science, they simply can't turn it off, and they don't understand that others may have a need to turn it off at some point. I'm much like you, Repairman, in that I'm fully committed to science. I got into for the love of science and curiosity. And sometimes I wake up thinking about it. But I function better when I'm doing things outside of science (one of the reasons that past year has been so hard). I had a weekly climbing appointment with a postdoc in my grad lab when I was writing my dissertation, and believe me, it was needed. Sometimes you have to force yourself to make time-and it's easier to do that when you've made that time committment to someone other than yourself ;)
Namnezia

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When I was a grad student and postdoc I made a point of not working weekends and coming home at a reasonable hour during the week. Neither of my mentors complained since I was being productive, and that's usually the policy I set for people in my lab - as long as you make progress I don't care how long you work. Could I have gotten another publication or two during this time had I worked weekends? Maybe, but my mental health is more important.

Lady Scientist
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Quals for me made it impossible to have any sort of balance. I'm trying to make more of an effort now to be more balanced. But for me, like it seems for you all, I have to schedule in the balance-- otherwise I'm likely to keep working. I think talk more, snarl less is probably good general relationship advice, too.

Genomic Repairman
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That's the policy of my mentor as well too Namnezia but I want to smite this exam and get some stuff done. I feel like this year is my make or break year of my project and need to really gut it out and plow through the work.

Lab Mom
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Being in a two scientist family has pros and cons on this issue. Since we both know what it takes to get stuff done in lab, and how much grant/paper/deadline time can be a time suck we are really accomodating of each other's crazy schedules. But there is also a negative in that if neither of us is a 9-5'r we tend to lack consistency. Down the line, you will be happy that one of you is always able to (insert annoying chore here: Get the dog from the vet, get the car inspected, drop off dry cleaning, pick up kids from school.. yadda yadda) since you know at 5 pm you aren't going to be waiting on that last spin or lamenting that your pellet still isn't dry in the speed-vac.

I do agree with the advice that in the big scheme of things, when you are dead and gone, what do you want people to remember? That you screened an ass-ton of antibodies as a peon grad student or that you were there for another person when they needed you. That you changed their world by having you in it. Just remember.. This too shall pass!

Genomic Repairman
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Thanks LabMom your words of wisdom (even those not about Big Brother) are comforting.
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