Monday, September 15, 2014


This semester is going to stretch and test my ability to multitask and schedule. With Mommyhood, during the week I drop Boo off at school and then head to lab. So I arrive around 8:20am and stay until 5:15 when I have to leave to pick him up before day care closes. That gives me a narrow window to get wet lab work completed. This semester I have one day without a regularly scheduled interruption to my lab work. My current schedule is:

10:30-11:30am TA meeting

12-1:15 taking a class
1:30-4:20 teaching a class

Do ALL the research!

12-1:15 taking a class
1:30-4:20 teaching a class 

9-10:30 Lab meeting
10:45-11:45 department seminar
12  - 1 graduate student seminar 

One of the issues with this is a lot of the projects that I am doing take multiple days. For example, Western blots tend to take 3 days, plasmid preps take 3 days, and protoplasts take 2 days. Due to the timing of various things, I can only start Westerns on Monday, plasmids on Tuesday and protoplasts on Monday or Wednesday. qPCR is a half day process so I can do it almost any day of the week. In addition to worrying about the time various assays take, I also have to schedule my planting so that things are ready on a day I can actually spend the time to process them.

At my wits end, I finally sat down today and made a 6 week calendar. First, I put any single appointments (like Dr apt, days I need to leave early, etc) on the schedule. Then I laid out the order in which things had to be completed. Obviously, planting has to come before any experimentation on the plants. And different experiments require plants at differing ages. Once the order was set, I picked out the most time consuming part and decided which day it needed to happen based on my available wet lab time. Then I counted backward to when I needed to plant.

Now I have 6 weeks of work planned. 
If this plan works as I hope it will, in another 4 weeks I will do it for the rest of the semester.

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