I am scientist by training, inclination and temperament. However, this is a blog, not a lab. The title reflects my passion for hyperbole, so don't take me too seriously. I don't. I was a technician in a physiology lab, got my PhD in molecular genetics and neuroscience, was a postdoctoral fellow in biophysics and now am a Project Manager in a Clinical Science/Biomedical Informatics institute. I am a scientific jack-of-all-trades, and very happy because of it. I write about science that catches my eye, making the transition away from the lab bench, and the slightly odd and moist boundary where science culture meets the public. I am an Englishman by birth, an American by temperament and if I were you I wouldn't lend me money.
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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I never had an office as a grad student. Nor as a postdoc. At either of my postdoc institutions. Given the amount of writing we need to do in our careers, that obviously sucks. Trying to sit at my desk in the lab and write was a guaranteed fail, especially because for "serious" writing I strongly prefer silence or classical music as background noise (as long it isn't Pachelbel's Cannon in Dmaj). In fact in my last lab it was ridiculous. My PI refused to believe I was working if I wasn't in the lab so that meant lots of face time. And my "desk" was a lab bench at the same height as my electrophysiology rig, which meant I couldn't sit comfortably at my "space" and type because my feet didn't touch the floor. I'm six foot three. Think about that backache.
Now though, times are different. In exchange for selling my soul wearing a suit and tie to work I get certain...perks. One of which is a nice office...
Got my Clinical Research diploma and PhD in there. Photos of my Moroccan dream vacation on the wall (The Making of The Tideliar - a blog post for a different day). Nice comfy leather chair, big desks for all my clutter (32 active projects nationwide and usually ~7-10 pending is a lot of paperwork!).
But. Sometimes you need another office. A more...personal space. I have an office at home, but I very rarely use it. The cats don't like me to get too absorbed in my work and trying to type with a kitten making pies on your laptop isn't easy. Thankfully I have a perfect solution. And I can smoke in it.
This, Dear Reader is my office-away-from-the-office where most o my blog posts, including this one, are written.
A better close up of my desk:
And on the wall, to prove this is my Office, a picture of the Hertfordshire Hunt*!
I've been drinking at this bar for 5 years (on and off, not, like, constantly day in, day out) since I arrived in Memphis and I never noticed this picture before. Hertfordshire is my home county in England, so it really is quite apropos don't you think!
*If you follow you link you'll see my home town south west of the actual hunt grounds in Puckeridge. We used to see the hunt from time to time when I was a kid. In fact my friend once had them gallop through her back garden when on the chase once, the wankers**.
** No I *do not* condone fox hunting with hounds. It is a barbaric and medieval practice, but tradition runs strong in England, and I am a sucker for a bit of tradition***.
***I invite you to do your best when trying to parse both that sentence and the sentiment behind it.
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The best science is done in the pub. Is that where the best blog posts are born too?
I want a measurement on those error bars.
Interesting; in my house we say the cats are making biscuits. Never heard someone call it making pies. Same action, different product. I like it.
What's wrong with a suit and tie? I dig the tie. I rock the tie every day. If we don't wear scrubs, we have to wear a tie and I hate scrubs with an immesureable passion, hence the tie. Although I've learned the hard way that I should keep spares in the shared closet. And every now and then the uniform company that does laundry service for the scrubs thinks that whatever I've got hanging in the closet is also from them and should be laundered. Because obviously they stock Richard James or Thomas Pink. I know, Becca, I know. Fancy.
Dude....I AM the suit & tie, have no fear.I learned to love the S&T in high school (expensive Catholic prep, natch) and then working as a male nurse. I had to wear a S&T (kind of) at weekends too... by the time i quit for grad school though they'd switched the male nurse uniform to a kind of chef's button tunic and pants. In hospital canvas white...
...see through canvas...many embrassing LOLz during the first couple of weeks...
@JCW, I thought that physicians weren't supposed to wear ties anymore, because they're so germy?
We can if we wear a tie clip and a labcoat. Supposedly the policy is changing in January to no ties, scrubs only. Definitely not a fan of that change.
Definitely not Pachelbel's. Not for anything. I used to have nightmares about it (for the record, the cello part is an 8 note sequence repeated throughout the entire fracking thing. What did Pachelbel have against celiists?!)
Damn. Now it's stuck in my head.
I think it's gonna be for everyone if they're on the floor. Some of the administrators are balking, because they alternate between their office and the department floors regularly. I'd cry shenanigans if they were still allowed out of scrubs on the floor, but my protests would probably fall on deaf ears. And I seem to be alone amongst the med students. They all love scrubs. Weirdos.
My friend's parents have a pub in Puckeridge. I went there once... it's very much a "local pub for local people", if you get what I mean.
I miss the smoking in my home office. It's in our lease that we can't smoke in the apartment (we have a perfectly good screen porch which serves as out "smoking room"). But I tell you, sitting at my desk at the old apartment in my home "office" and having a smoke while reading the last few pages I had pounded out was pure heaven for me.
And while I have a desk (two, actually) in the lab (which is my own "lab" that I don't share with anyone) I loose count as to how many people come in daily to chat, whine or complain. And it always seems to happen right when I am on a roll and in the zone.
I think I need to finda nice pub (although with the smoking ban, I would still have to go outside--but I would have beer. And whiskey. Proper lubrication for an otherwise excruciating process....)
Dude you should clean your laptop screen, it's looking pretty scuzzy.
@Kelly: Haha, I haven't heard that in a LONG time! "We're a local
shop pub. For local people."
@Dr.Zeek: I have signs on my door. One says "Telecon - do not enter", the other "GO AWAY. Seriously. This means you. Send me an email if you have to"
@Namnezia: Tsh, dust cuts down on glare. Or something.
Ah good old Blighty! That is a pretty damn big coincidence though don't you think, you choose to drink in this particular watering hole and they just happen to have a picture of the hunt near where you lived in England! I'm pretty sure this ties in to the Psi blog discussion that went on a while back. Clearly your subconscious knew that you had some special link to this pub!
I even sat at that "desk" writing for about a week before I bothered to examine the picture. I was hella surprised. The pub is one of the usual kitschy US-Irish themed bars and the walls are covered in odds and ends and bots and bobs. So seeing my home county immortalized in a dodgy 19C painting was cool.
Even the day-shift bartender rfers to it as my office now LOL
"Hey doc! Happy evening to you! Will you be in your office?"
n=5, I wrote exactly 75% of my masters thesis in the Rathskellar in State College, PA. MANY blog posts were written there as well.