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Submitted by Jennifer Newsted on Thu, 07/18/2013 - 9:34pm
I just set my alarm clock for 4:50 am and I'm actually excited about it!
You see, this last week, besides wrestling with SDS-PAGE Gels and glass and all that jazz, the Stedman Lab at PSU has been preparing for the annual trip to Lassen Park and Boiling Springs Lake.
There was anaerobic media making. There was Thermoplasma Volcanium Medium making. There was more lab math. At home there was packing! I needed a tent, a sleeping bag, clothes for cold weather, clothes for hot weather, bug repellent, sun block, sunglasses I don't mind ruining or losing, and of course a boat load of candy for the ride. I also brought along my TEM books lent to me AND of course, my notes for Immunochem. Oh! That reminds me. I should grab SkipBo too! Needless to say, there's a tad bit of excitement for the trip. And of course I'll be taking loads of pics and blogging, blogging, blogging about it next week. Poor Dr. Stedman probably has no idea he's bringing a "Why" child with his crew. I will do my best to spread my "whys" around. Although that's also what some of the candy is for.
Back to the SDS-PAGE saga. I am pleased to report that all of the new short glass has managed to retain all of its necessary structural integrity not to break or crack. Also, while I'm handling it, I repeat the mantra, "Gentle, like a baby."
Wednesday. Wednesday. Wednesday gave me flashbacks to when I was learning how to snowboard as a kid. My friends who already knew how, and were teaching me would wave hello from the lift as they passed me sitting on my sore and bruised behind or knees depending on which edge I had just caught. I can still hear their laughter. As they would ride down the mountain, lapping me like professional maniacs they would occasionally stop and give me a pointer. They knew that they couldn't do it for me though. They certainly had better things to do than babysit me as it took me an hour to get down the mountain (on what was hardly even a 5 minute run).
That's pretty much how I spent my day on Wednesday only instead of boarding I was casting gels. And every once in a while Dr. Stedman would look up from his work and watch me and chuckle a little. As he walked by me in the lab he used his magic mojo to line up some glass in seconds, lock it in and then have NO leaking. What people who aren't in this kind of science or maybe aren't in science at all fail to realize is that there's an art to this. And you have to learn it on your own. By the end of the day I did have a decent gel cast. I appreciate Dr. Stedman's patience as a professor and a PI for letting me take so much time to learn and improve.
I think I'm repeating myself, but one of our instructors told me that you're never an expert on something until you know every way to do it wrong. I really hope I'm getting close.
It's late and my alarm is set for a very unreasonable hour so I need to get some sleep. My alarm is set for 4:50 am and I'm so excited!