April 9th, 2009 | Comments Off on not even remotely clever

I expect you’re all tired of hearing this, but I’m not a great chemist. I think I’ve been researched-out, honestly. One can only take so many failed experiments before one’s morale drops to abysmal levels. I’m in that abyss, and I’ve been here for quite a while. I can’t actually remember the last time an experiment worked.

My thesis write-up so far is full of the phrase “mixture of products.” “Complex mixture.” I’m worried I haven’t done enough work for it, and so I don’t have very much to write about; what’s more, all the stuff I did try didn’t work. Do you have any idea how unsatisfying that is? “I tried” doesn’t really cut it for something like this; you need results.

A few weeks ago, I caught myself thinking: “Once I’m done this experiment I can go and do what I really like.” And then it hit me: chemistry has never really been “that thing I like.” My supervisor lives to work. I’d rather work to live. Don’t get me wrong; I like chemistry well enough, but I also want to be able to leave work at work and have a life outside of the lab. This is at the core of why I don’t want to go into academia. The pressure to publish and produce results is incredible (at least until you have tenure.)

People tell me that with my French, I can easily get a job in the federal government (let’s ignore for the moment that English is the lingua franca of the scientific world, and any scientific position I find will not require me to use French in Canada). I’ve worked for the government. Not a whole lot gets done. I’m not sure how happy I would be in a situation like that. I know one thing, though, that I haven’t been happy with my research for a long, long time. I think it’s time to move on.

I’m almost cracking now; thesis is due in a week and a half, and I have an exam next Tuesday. I’m not sure how I’m going to fit all of this in, and I’m driving myself mad.

Posted in ramblings
January 25th, 2009 | Comments Off on We’re just chefs in a lab.

I used to have this in my profile for a message board. I thought I’d keep it here for posterity, with a few modifications.

Recipe for “gemtiger”:

2 cups intelligence
(It is best to find a variety which specializes is concentrated in trivia and miscellaneous booksmarts with a smattering of a sense of direction.)

1 cup eccentricity
(The author prefers to use Neko brand from imported from Asia. Failing that, the stuff in your local Chinatown will do just as well.)

2 cups of assorted music
(Best if imported from Japan with influences from CORE OF SOUL, Maaya Sakamoto, Maki Yano, Hikaru Utada, and m-floMONKEY MAJIK. Add a splash of Vienna Teng for more authenticity. A dash of francophone tunes from KYO and Les Cowboys Fringants will add a subtle nuance.)

3 tablespoons of laughter
(It should, optimally, leave one breathless. Don’t skimp.)

1/2 cup of assorted talents
(Any brand will do, in any proportion. Artistic ones, however, will result in a product slightly different from pictured.)

Maple syrup to taste
(For that true Canadian flavour. Make sure it’s from Québec.)

One sprig of Domo-kun
(For garnish.)

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

2. Combine intelligence and eccentricity in a bowl. Cream until light and fluffy.

3. Slowly stir in music, mixing well.

4. Add laughter to the mix.

5. Fold in assorted talent.

6. Pour mixture into a lined muffin tin.

7. Bake for 20 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden brown.

8. Drizzle with maple syrup.

9. Garnish with Domo-kun.

Posted in quotidian
December 22nd, 2007 | Comments Off on and…

it’s never.

Never even brought it up. Afraid and muddied and worried and just not wanting to blow it more than I already had

And yet at the same time just wanting to enjoy what was there, no expectations, no promises; just to live for the moment and not look ahead to the anguish of suddenly being strangers again…

Posted in snippet