Tuesday, December 13, 2005

How to Scare a Graduate Student

Some people are afraid of spiders.
Some people are afraid of the dark.
Do you know what I am afraid of?


Yes, I confess, I am terrified of lab meetings.
Specifically the lab meetings in which I am the presenter.

You see, lab meetings have always been an exercise in torture and humility for me. Yes, I realize that they are good for my professional development. But knowing that doesn’t mitigate my fears at all. To make matters worse, the last lab meeting presentation I did was less than stellar (of course it did not help matters that I found out less than 24 hours in advance that I had to present).

So, suffice it to say, I am still suffering from the after effects of the last lab meeting.

So, yesterday, Mahfuzul (one of our post-docs) comes over to me and tells me at 4pm that he spoke to The Boss (my advisor) and The Boss wants me to present in lab meeting the next day at 10am (again, less than 24 hours to prepare). The Boss apparently wants me to present the data from the experiment I am currently doing.

So, I am thinking, great, just great. I have to finish the experiment, perform the data analysis, prepare slides for the presentation, formulate a discussion, and read a few more papers in order to not speak fluent gibberish during my presentation.

I realize that this means no sleep for me!

So, my life flashes before my eyes. My life as a graduate student flashes before my eyes. My heart starts sinking into the bottom of my toes.

Finally, Mahfuzul tells me that I don’t have to present at lab meeting because there will be NO lab meeting the next day.

All a practical joke.

So, Mahfuzul, if you read this entry, remember this. You can run, but you can’t hide. Sooner, rather than later you WILL be asking me for some Agmatine for those experiments!


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