Wednesday, 24 January 2007

How I Spend my Days

So I write a lot of stuff but what do I spend my days doing? The side bar says that I'm a graduate student and it may say in what, I just changed it and can't remember. So what do I do? Well I'm a graduate student at the University of Calgary (Alberta Canada) in the behavioural psychology graduate program. My supervisor is Dr. Richard Dyck and my lab mates are many (not tons but more than some other labs). My lab has no windows as it is in a basement so there are days where I come when it is dark and leave when it is dark and never see the sun. Those are few - usually I have something to do elsewhere and manage to see some sun. But still, the majority of my day is spent without natural light. The funniest is when it is sunny out when I come and sunny when I leave but sometime in between it snowed 2 cm. At this point I go "Dude, when did it snow?" but yeah. The weather can change and I never know it unless it leaves a calling card behind.

My research involves the behavioural and functional recovery from lesions to the medial prefrontal cortex in mice. The clincher is that some of the lesions are related to stroke. On most days I like what I do but when I get bit, well those days I'm not so happy and have been known to call the mouse a little f@#$er after it has bitten me. I also regulairly get urinated and deficated on but I wash well. What keeps me going is that I feel that my research is going to be useful in the battle against strokes. I am developing a tool that will help others study stroke topics and they can help fix people. Some days it is hard because I've been working without a break but that is a price I am willing to pay. Today (Wednesday) is my weekend. I worked all last week and over the weekend. Friday through Monday I was up at 5 and at work by 6:15 (that is early - no one else was in my lab or other labs until about 8:30) and then Tuesday I taught at 8 so I was up at 6. I could sleep later but I take the bus and that doubles or triples my commute time (I am an overachiver - I set my own hours). Another thing that I really enjoy is being around people who are genuinely interested in my research (and I in theirs). I am surrounded by smart people. I enjoy teaching my stats lab but I know I could not handle teaching highschool (Amy Lane you are awesome for being able to do that). A fault that I have, a personal problem that I know I should change but it isn't at all on my list of things to change, is that stupid people bug me. I'm not talking about the mentally disabled, or the uneducated. There are people who are just stupid - it is a way of thinking that just drives me insane when I have to deal with them. However, stupid people on TV are sometimes okay. I can't stand The Trailer Park Boys, felt dumber after Dazed and Confused, but adore My Name Is Earl.


Anonymous said...

*applaudes catie for doing so well at her blogger* well done lady well done! i am sick at home right now...eww...
take care

amy lane said...

you know, I have such total respect for people who can do research and are so detail oriented--you and Julie are like, my heroes--I can't organize my yarn bin much less my brains or my notes the way you must be able to. (And even the pet rats crap all over you. We even had one that would pick our nose. Yes, it was gross, but she was a very nice rat. And no, I'm not one of those stupid people who gets all weird about animal experiments. Some rats are pet rats, some rats live in sewers, and some rats help's sort of a crapshoot really.) My name is Earl rocks out loud...stupid people are one thing...brilliant writing about simple people is quite another.