coolohoh: Biohazard (Biohazard)
[personal profile] coolohoh
It's been months. Months since I updated here.

I'm really sleepy but man... I really want to do a quick update.

Things are... Idk if it can be considered getting better...

So that a.prof assigned me to a recent phd grad cos she noticed I wasn't getting along well with the new rf. Well... She should have done the reassignment long ago. Cos the PhD grad is like leaving. Like tmr. Like we only got to work together for.... what... One month or something? Pfft. What a waste. That person has all the ideas in the world (well the most ideas in this lab anyway), but she's not the most dexterous person so partnering her with a skill experimentalist like me was the perfect match. But tmr, it all comes to an end. Sigh. It was fun too. I learned new instruments, did new experiments... Worked with someone who actually knew what she wanted to do, explained to me what she was doing, and showed me how she did things. Someone who was really hardworking, and enthusiastic. Someone who took responsibility, and acted like an RF should, even though she wasn't really an RF yet. She treated me to lunch at one of the hall canteens last Friday. Nothing fancy or expensive, but price isn't the point. It was a short but really enjoyable time working with her. We could have gotten so much more done but alas she will be going back to China to be with her husband. What a waste too, she's one of those few good scientist around. By good I mean... She cares for things. She cares for results. She's enthusiastic about the work. She has her own ideas. Sure she's not good with her hands, even clumsy at times, but the rest makes up for it. I think she'll make a great PI. She has ideas. You can always find hands to do the experimental work, but you can't find people to think for you.

Unlike a certain A/Prof with 0 ideas of her own. She asks me for ideas. And it's not even the, hey there's this interesting topic/project, what else do you think we can do. It's the, 'forget about whatever we are doing now, if you could do anything, what kind of research would you want to do'. Like that's what she literally said. With the whatever we are doing now filled in properly of course. Like. W.T.H.? Seriously? You give me absolutely NOTHING to work with. Well I tell you what. I want to work with mice. I want to work with eukaryotic cells. I want to study the human microbiom. I want to learn programming. I have so many ideas for comics and blog posts and even books, I want to write and draw them all. So F$&*! off and let me do those ok?

I'm not a particularly creative, like out of the blue I can think of stuff person... That's what I say anyway. But really, upon closer inspection... That's not quite the case. I think of so many ideas to do so much crap. Just not the kind of crap that this research center does or have the resources for. It's not like my research sense isn't sharp because heck, my sis asked me for help with her IRB for her FYP (that's Institutional Review Board approval, and Final Year Project) and not only did I correct some grammar and spelling mistakes/typo, in just a few minutes of looking at her draft I came up with pertinent questions regarding her research topic. And it's not even in a field I know much of. She's a psychology major. I'm bio science. As long as you give me some sort of a starting point, I can come up with more. But don't say 'whatever you wanna do', because I give 0 fucks about environment engineering and really everything that I really want to research on, we don't have the f***ing facilities nor expertise. You can't expect to do all the research on my own right? In the first place I'm not even interested in what you're doing. And secondly, with no one to guide, it's just a waste of time. I may spend weeks reading up and trying things out but am actually going in the wrong direction. When someone with just a little more knowledge and experience will be able to look at the problem and know which way to tackle it from in 5 mins. I'll rather 'waste' my time reading tech news and Quora really. Or even just playing some good ol' vainglory.

So the not-so-new-anymore-rf sent me an email to apologise after the a/p assigned me to the phd grad. About how she wasn't a good rf and stuff. I'm like... whatever... Like.... It's not just her fault, certainly... But I just don't feel motivated working for her. I feel more and more like a slave. She uses my pipette tips. She gets me to autoclave everything for her cos she hasn't gotten her risk assessment done. Like all the consumables comes from my bench. So things disappear really fast and I have to spend my time filling them up and autoclaving and she barely even acknowledges my efforts. Ok, she does say thanks... But why do I never feel thanked? And then when she gets me to teach her how to do certain experiments or use certain equipments, half the time she's not even paying attention. Like I don't even feel like talking to her anymore. Waste of my saliva (and I get really thirsty after hours in the air conditioned lab!) Like everything is on me and I feel like she doesn't have any initiative. Testing nitrates and nitrites? She waits for me to do it most of the time. And when the solution for the tests is running out instead of making it herself she waits for when it was Monday (arrangement was that I work for her Mon and Tues, and PhD grad rest of the week) and got me to make it for her. Even though I told her where the formula sheet was kept. Like I just feel. Arghs. Frustrated. And the worst thing is that I don't feel that she's competent. She's probably not that bad but... Well, her knowledge areas are in different areas perhaps. I couldn't get a pcr to work, even with general bacteria primers, and she was like 'oh, then it probably just doesn't work then'. But I'm like... This is a sludge extraction! The specific primers may not work but the general bacteria one has to work!!! I tried a different polymerase and didn't work so I was asking her for suggestions. She had none. In retrospect, I should have cleaned up the dna. That's the most likely culprit... But see, as much as it's something that I've encountered before with unsup, this is still new stuff to me and I'm not well versed in it yet. I forget. But nope. There's no one else I can turn to. What a joke. The only biologist in the whole research center is me. Pfft.

I don't know about my PhD plans.

I mean. I love doing science, doing experiments... But I don't have the ideas. The big ideas, the direction, the original, groundbreaking sort of ideas. And I really love DOING experiments. I hate paperwork. I hate redtape. I sure as hell wouldn't like being an RF in SG, and I'm not sure about it in other countries either. I think I would enjoy the PhD process but then I wouldn't know what to do after. Arghs. I really want to do web based stuff. Have so many ideas for web comics for a blog. But I have no idea how those would be able to feed me. But heck, I will do them anyway. Maybe try and write some ebooks too. Heck, I'll write crappy $3 ebooks if I could and if those could make me nice ka$ching. Then when things get established enough, I can say goodbye to this research institute....

Though that would be a little sad because it'll pretty much mean saying goodbye to doing science research forever...

But I can see myself doing programming or whatever more than I can see myself being an rf/PI. I just can't.... Even in my dreams I can't see myself not doing experiments. And I absolutely hate teaching. One on one (or just a small handful) is fine. But only if they are good students. And unfortunately the prospects of doing research is getting worst and worst as the federal and sg science budget shrinks. And shrinks. Sigh. This is why sg will never be 'top' at anything. Now they are rushing all into tech, engineerings etc etc. And goodbye science. The focus has shifted. And those kids in school now who fall in love with tech stuff... I have the feeling that by the time they graduate, they will find that all the relevant jobs have been taken up by foreigners and there's hardly any pie left for them. And then soon the gov spots a new shiny ball and the pie goes to the next play field. Why can't they just focus on one thing and do it really well? Instead of shifting the focus every decade or so. Heck. Even then research isn't going to get anywhere in sg with the kind of KPI and money minded environment here. There is just no room for creativity. Like booking instruments before you can use them. What's spontaneous experiments/ideas? Shoo, go away. Lol. And they wonder why they can't get good research done. And CCTVs everywhere? Sure even though no one is monitoring it all the time (because it's just impossible! CCTVs at every single bench can you imagine!) But it just makes people feel demotivated. The lab is getting more and more empty. And all the old staff are leaving. And the thing is they don't even listen to my protests. Because I'm a small fry and they couldn't be bothered less. Pfft. I'm just sick of this whole thing. I don't want to work for anyone anymore. Not those people here anyway. They don't deserve me working for them. Like seriously. Except the leaving tmr phd grad...

You know how ridiculously, embarrassing for me, happy the Phd grad was when I first started doing experiments for her? She was like, I know you do all that bio and microscope stuff, you'll be very good at what I need you to help me with, it's raman microscopy, it's just like finding the focus in the microscope and I'm sure you're very good at that, it'll be very easy for you. I'm so happy to have you help me! It's like I found a treasure!

And I was just embarrassed. And thinking 'well, I'm only a treasure to those who know how to use me'. Well true enough, I got the raman mastered almost immediately. I mean, it's really simple. You just need to find the focus. Ok... It was harder to find the focus on the thin glass tube but by the second time I was using it (training doesn't count...) I'd mastered the way to find the focus. In just a few hours. Nothing special really... Except that it is special here because the people just suck so badly.

On the lunch last Fri we started complaining to each other. She told tales of how those people she taught refused to listen to her, refused to use her methods... And how one of them took three days to do a test... And the results ended up really strange... Yet they refuse to believe they carried out the experiment wrongly. Quite the opposite of me lol. First thing I always suspect is 'what the heck did I do wrong?' Then I start to recall my steps and everything... And start to troubleshoot. Problem in my case is that often times the problem really isn't me, like the equipment broke down or something... And I wasted time and effort repeating the experiment for nothing. But yeah. So that person spent 3 days doing an experiment that ended up all wonky. No choice... Phd grad came back on the weekend and spent a single day to repeat the experiment (shows you how slow that person worked too) and she got the results she expected. Maybe a dilution gone wrong... Or something.

I have similar tales of people who wanted to learn something from me, but not even bothering to show up. And/or being completely unenthusiastic about things. This other phd student asked me to help him with the confocal... And in the first place it's like... I don't even know what he wants me to teach him. Like he couldn't tell me what went wrong the last time, just 'i got really blur images'. He didn't even take those image so I have no idea what went wrong. And totally careless. Puts on the coverslips. Wants to put the coverslip WITHOUT a mounting agent. Like geez, that's primary school knowledge? Or lower sec? (I think that was his main problem.) Then he finds some really old coverslips filled with watermarks and just used it. I would have certainly found ethanol to wipe it. And then haphazardly puts it on the slides. Tons of bubbles. After looking under the microscope for a bit, he decided that there were too much bubbles and he should redo it. I told him to wipe the coverslips too. So ok, I had other stuff to busy myself with, and I went on my way. I told him I'll be in the lab, so I did my stuff while constantly checking on my watch and wondering why he hasn't come to get me yet. Finally he did. A whole 30 minutes later. To clean and mount two coverslips and two slides. Just how slow can he get???? It would have taken me 5, 10 mins max. Maybe 15 if it was my first few times doing it. And it's not the first time he's doing it. I've shown him how to do it before too. He just doesn't bloody hell remember. Doesn't remember a thing I taught him. Geez. Such a useless guy. Not the first time I had grievances with him too.

Someone asked on quora - why isn't there any singaporean nobel laureates. I can only laugh. Just look at the quality of phd candidates and sg! And look at their nationality. Most of them are from China. And those that are from sg? Like that stupid, really slow guy? Him? Nobel prize? LOL. He can't even be motivated to do anything. Nobel prize my ass. And the thing about research is that it's a collaborative thing. You need to have good people come together, discuss things, and create sparks. Not gonna happen in sg. Esp with all the IP and NDA crap. Way way way too much of that. When really a lot of the research we are doing is nothing new anyway. Not even special. You lose so much more by blocking out all these interaction, and having your silly rivalries with each other. Even within the institute. My a/p hates it when I help people who are not under her. And she's the assistant director of this place!!!! Like hello, shouldn't you also be looking after the interests of the whole institute? Nope. Nope. Nope. WTH.

Gah.

I will start on my plan to earn $ online. Well, moving on with my plan that is. I already started NM, but there's really few visitors and even fewer $$ to earn from there. I can just about cover my hosting fees and that's it. Sure I need more content blah blah blah, but the real money makers are only when Arashi releases a single/album/dvd. So if you are going to buy something from CDJapan, I would really, really appreciate it if you use my affiliate link here. Of if you're buying from amazon, click here. It would mean so much to me, really. It won't cost you anything extra, but CDjapan/amazon pays me a little. If you enjoyed my musings or fics or translations from a long time back... And happen to use those site then... Onegaishimasu! m(_ _)m

The thing I really like about the web is that... The potential is unlimited. There is no 'salary cap'. The sky's the limit. And your marketing and other abilities. Of course, there are many who tried and failed I'm sure. But heck, I'm gonna try anyway...

Not quite looking forward to working with that rf from next week again but... *Sigh*. I'm trying to stop giving a fuck. To be less stressed. I think working with the phd grad really made me feel so much better. So much so that my not-so-monthly cycle actually started today. And not like the 'a few squirts then goodbye' type that I had previously. But an actual flow. Like after another half a year's of absence. I take that as a good sign. Even though my retail and eating therapy has not been stopping. Which means I'm draining my bank account. Arghs. I can't control myself. I think I'm depressed or something. Probably am...

Had a rare short talk with unsup the other day and she was saying 'you don't seem happy on your blog'. I wonder which blog she's referring to. Cos I've not been updating this for so long. Maybe the other blogs. Lol.

Sigh. It's 1:20am and I'm hungry. No wonder I'm getting fatter and fatter and fatter.

Ok. That's about it for now.
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