Thursday, August 19, 2010


My school requires three rotations. The post docs in my undergrad lab thought spending most of Year 1 in different labs, not actually doing thesis research, was a waste of time. I even thought I knew what lab I wanted to join, so I kind of agreed with them.

Then I got here and learned the awesome guy I wanted to work with was moving far away, and I had no intention of moving. Plus, I don't know if our personalities were compatible. So I rotated with other professors.

Rotations are hard. I don't like change. I want some semblance of a routine, and then there I was, every two months, working in a different lab, not knowing where to find beakers, worrying that the other grad students would hate me, screwing up experiments again and again, and of course, having stupid lab accidents. I'm terribly accident prone, and now lots of professors get to know this first-hand because I spent time working in their labs.

Even though they're hard, I'm super glad I did them. When I realize we're missing a key reagent, I feel comfortable going to my old labs and begging shamelessly for some acrylamide. I learned some new techniques and cool science.

And most importantly, I found my thesis lab. There's no way I would have joined this lab without doing a rotation first. Now here I am, in a brand new lab as one of the first grad students, and I'm so happy to be here.

Plus, being the first student to be injured in the lab means I'll always be remembered!

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