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The Lab Calendar

I'm in the eye of the hurricane now as far as qualifying exams go. I handed in the written portion today (to be picked apart completely for the next two weeks and serve as the basis for how tough my exam will be). Hopefully, it won't go as badly as I usually think everything will turn out between the impostor's syndrome and my inability to internalize any form of success. I will be disappearing for the next 2 weeks as my qualifying exam is on December 13th. Fortunately, regardless of how the exam goes, I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to. The Hobbit midnight showing takes place that night...and my dad comes back from Portugal that night too. On top of that, the next week is my birthday....AND THEN CHRISTMAS! As I study and get grilled for the next two weeks...I will try to focus on the end of the journey....and how awesome it will feel when it's all over.

I won't leave you all empty-handed before I go. I took some pictures today of the laboratory calendar that I thought would be fun to share. Before I came to the lab, the calendar was a mere wipe-away calendar where people normally posted lab meeting dates, days off, etc. One year ago, I was put in charge of filling in the calendar with dates. The lab quickly realized that my imagination could not be contained...and my first drawing was for Thanksgiving. I drew a turkey in a lab coat, pipetting stuff. It became a hit and soon I was drawing cakes, cupcakes, greyhounds, and all sorts of other tomfoolery for people's birthdays. No subject has remained untouched because within a few months, we were looking up wacky holidays that often left the calendar full of zombie mice, Bunsen and Beaker lab disasters, Tardis space travel, hermitages, punk rocking mice, My Little Pony...you name it.

This year, I drew another turkey for Thanksgiving in commemoration of the first turkey that caused all of the trouble...
Animal research that even the nuttiest Peta member could approve...maybe

Being the good Catholic that I am...*stifles snort*....I felt it my duty to take part of the New Evangelization...by commemorating Saint Nicholas Day. Okay, I know that using a laboratory calendar is a bit of a stretch when it comes to using the new media for evangelization...but I just could not pass up another opportunity to commemorate the saint who punched a heretic in the face (and then apologized for it). Forget the vision of some jolly guy in red, I gave the lab a more realistic depiction of Saint Nicholas.
I blew it up so you could see the details...and by details, I mean Birkenstocks and heretic teeth spilling into National Cotton Candy Day.
I also commemorated some birthdays this month...including my own...which happens to fall on the day that school-aged children around the country claim will be the end of the world. I know very well that all that Mayan hoopla is just that...hoopla. However, how many chances will I get to draw this ever again to celebrate my birthday:
Enlarged to show apocalyptic detail!
Finally, there's the drawing for Christmas. 
I was originally just going to put the Keurig up there, but it did not look festive at all. Throw in some candy canes, holly, snow, and a huge bow..and all of a sudden it looks like a typical Target store on the day after Halloween.
I bet you can guess what the whole lab wants for Christmas. We've been trying to get a coffee machine for the lab for quite some time. We've been throwing hints around about it...but I took it upon myself to kick the subliminal messaging up a notch. Before anyone starts judging, please remember that I am a PhD student who needs her coffee. Coffee not only keeps me productive, but sane. Sometimes, all you really need to get through the day is a good cup of coffee. I've become a barista of sorts in my own right these past 2 years. I've gotten pretty good at using the water dispenser in the conference room. Give me coffee, sugar, milk, chocolate powder, and a drop or two peppermint extract...and I can make a mint mocha that even an NYC hipster would drink (probably exaggerating here...but you get the idea). In any event, I really hope this works. It would certainly save the lab a fortune on day-to-day caffeine runs...and it would save me the trouble of carrying all those coffee-making supplies back and forth between my locker and conference room.

Your prayers will be much appreciated as I approach my qualifying exams. Please rest assured that you are in mine.

Pax Vobiscum

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