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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Productive Holidays

January 6, 2012 1 comment

My Christmas holidays here in Malta are nearly over, and next Monday I am back to Ireland and back to work. However I find that saying back to work is a bit of a misnomer, as I have been quite productive, if I must say so myself, during these holidays. I find that being home, although I do get to go around and relax quite a bit, I still manage to get quite a lot of work done.

First up were the corrections for the paper I had submitted back in June. In six months I heard nary a comment from them, and then the day after I arrived home my supervisor emailed the comments from the reviewers. They have me major revisions, but the comments were mainly quite useful. Since I only had 1 month in which to do the changes, out of which I am in Malta for 3 weeks, I had to get down to business. I had them down in a couple of days and am now awaiting comments from my supervisors about the changes. It was my first experience of getting such comments back (my supervisors do not criticise as much, as opposed to many other supervisors I hear about) but I think they polished my manuscript to no end. Here’s to now hoping for the manuscript to be accepted.

Apart from the manuscript changes, I also had to prepare a graphical abstract (a new thing for the journal), a presentation for the School of Biotechnology Research Day, which will be held later on this month and 2 abstracts for 2 separate conferences to be held later on this year, and whose deadline is around the end of January.

Now I have a weekend of relaxation (unless my supervisors send the changes) and then next Monday afternoon, it is back to actual work. But then again…what is actual work? I do not feel as if working during my holidays detracted from my having fun (I generally worked for an hour or two in the morning, and not even each day) and relaxing.

I hope you all had good holidays and managed to relax well. Yesterday (or so) a very apt PHD Comic was posted, which I am reproducing here. Which of the different activities people do over winter break did you do?

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Another Week is Over

February 27, 2011 Leave a comment

The past week has been a hectic week PhD wise. I had a conference on Monday and Tuesday, a meeting with my supervisor on Wednesday and lab demonstrations on Thursday. In addition I have been working to develop my HPLC Method. I have spoken about the conference and lab demonstrations previously. I have also touched upon the HPLC method development.

The method development has been progressing slowly but steadily. If things keep on progressing the way they are I would be indeed quite happy. I tried out some things suggested by a girl I met at the conference last Tuesday, and things have improved. I did some more runs yesterday (yes I know it was a Saturday) and got the results this morning (yes it is a Sunday), and I am quite pleased with the way things are progressing, though 1 peak is still missing/it peeks out a bit from behind another, so that it on my agenda for tomorrow. The R squared values for the calibration curve I did are all greater than 0.99, so not too bad, though there is room for improvement. Once I (hopefully) separate my current 6 peaks, I will then need to add in another 5 compounds (ordered this week 🙂 ), and then start working on joining the HPLC method to the sample preparation technique and the Mass Spec analysis technique. So still a way to go to be able to start collecting samples for analysis. But we will get there.

I also had a meeting with my supervisor on Wednesday. We generally have lab meetings every Thursday, but since I am demonstrating all day Thursday, I will be having meetings with my supervisor every now and then depending on need, until I finish demonstrating. During the meeting we discussed a couple of things I had been meaning to talk to her about, in particular things which do not lend themselves well to discussing during a lab meeting.

First up was the thing I was dreading most. I had given her my literature review a couple of weeks ago (just before she went on holiday, and she read it during her holiday). I was quite pleased with the feedback however. She said it was quite good for a first try (that is what we aim for after all), and she gave me a couple of changes to make. I have now carried out all the minor changes, and will start focusing on the sections which involve searching for more data and so on. The main issue I need to do is to summarize  everything  at the end, rather than simply saying what other people said, without giving any opinions, and therefore this leaves everything hanging a bit. She also noticed my love of the words therefore, nevertheless etc, and was told to cut down on those. The last part of the meeting consisted of me discussing some points I wanted to talk to her about, such as ordering of the new chemicals, how my progress is getting along, the conference details, and lastly, but quite importantly for me, we discussed time off. I now have approval for my days off till the end of August. It feels good to know roughly when I can get to go home etc etc.

Overall, a busy but pleasant week. I could do with it being slightly less hectic, but rather a week like this one, to a slow week, or one when nothing goes well.