Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Today was my weekly lab meeting, where my advisor meets with all of his students to discuss ongoing research. My advisor only has three grad students currently - myself, and two doctoral students who are both graduating this year (although there are four or five other people associated with our lab - research scientists, undergraduate research assistants, collaborators, etc.).

I tend to feel perpetually behind the curve at these meetings, worrying I don't get as much done week to week as I should. I would swear my week's worth of work in my lab notebook shrinks as it lays in my lap... Part of this is because I take classes, whereas the doctoral students are done with such things. Part is because I'm doing Master's level work, which is different than PhD level work.

And part is because everybody at World's Best School thinks they are not doing enough. :)

But today - today! - was an excellent meeting. I was quite productive over break - I wrote 49 pages of thesis, and I took an excellent set of data. I put my slides on the flat screen, and for once the other students and the professor were leaning forward in interest. How cool! In fact, there was so much discussion we started to run a bit long. So my advisor checks the time, and says to me - this is good stuff, but we need to get to the punchline.

And, my dears, this week I had one. I pulled up the last slide of the presentation, which displays a gorgeous graph with clear colors, large labels, and carefully formatted data. See, I explain, I have done a careful analysis of the results from my data collection, and this all means A Good Thing. And bam!, they got it and understood right away. And that felt absolutely wonderful. 

A punchgraph, if you will. Every PowerPoint should have one.

1 comment:

  1. such a rewarding feeling when you have physical work to show all the hard labor you've put in. good for you Melinda! yay :D