Wednesday, September 22, 2004

time*bank

so i've already invented the self-cleaning bathroom this week. today, i thought of a new concept: time*bank. wouldn't it be great if you could save spare hours and use them later, when you really needed them? like during residency, or some other extended period of sleep/pleasure deprivation?

right now, for the first time in a WHILE, i feel like i have more time on my hands than i know what to do with. well, sort of. let me give you a little hint of what i mean.

a day in the life . . .
[cue dream-sequence-wavy-effect-with-mystical-harp-sounds]

9:00 - i went into lab. i didn't see my grad-student-mentor (he sometimes comes in a little bit later because he has an 11-month old he has to drop off at day-care), so i sat in my spacious office and worked on my pharmacology take-home exam for a little while. i tired out my brain so thoroughly that i wasn't able to resume exam-work for the rest of the day, but i got some problems done. great.

10:45 - i look up from my calculation frenzy and notice that he (grad-student-mentor-guy) is in lab. i run through my plans for the day (cells to split, reagents to make, etc) and he helps me round up the things i need. he also shows me how to purify rna, using a little pre-fab kit. i've said it before and i'll say it again: bench work is so much like cooking. fortunately, i enjoy both. anyway, we work until about 1.

1:00 - i go home for lunch. luxurious, no? i live about 6 minutes from the lab, so it's actually quite convenient. normally, i bring food with me, but i thought we had lab meeting today (which = free lunch). we didn't.

1:45 - i arrive back in lab. i pester my grad-student-guy with 8 skillion questions about the rest of the work i have to do (where do i find this? how do i do that? what kind of media?) and set to labeling 100 tiny tubes with 'glucagon, 50 uM. GLP1, 50uM' and so on. i mix up some peptides, feed some cells, and by 4:00 there is really nothing left for me to do. i ask grad-student-guy (i'll just call him gsg from now on; i would use his name, but i feel bad posting people on the web without their knowledge) if there's anything else that needs doing, and he's like - 'no, not at all, see you tomorrow.' so i'm done.

4:06 - i arrive home. so then what? typically, i would have gone to the gym to beat the rush, but i ran 7 miles on monday and had planned on taking today off. an enterprising grad student might have continued work on the take-home exam. an enterprising medical student might have done some biochemistry reading for the boards (t-minus-4-months = not nearly enough urgency).

i wasn't feeling particularly enterprising.

but at the same time, i wasn't really in the mood for trashy tv or a nap. i don't play video games, and i am trying not to let myself spend hours and hours surfing through random blogs (unhealthy habit). what i really wanted was to bottle up the hours and save them, because i know there are going to be times when i need them much more than i did today. i would have KILLED for these hours during certain times last year (and i probably would have used 99% of them for sleep). this is why there needs to be time*bank.

so, what did i do with that time, since time*bank does not yet exist? i: lounged on the couch, read the new newsweek cover to cover, and (oh god, why am i admitting this?) read someone's blog.

i think i am in desperate need of a new book. and possibly some new hobbies. don't worry, though. this thing ain't going to turn into a knitting blog anytime soon.