The Chemist: A Week in Grad School

Hey everyone! I hope you all have been having a great week. For this week's post, we decided to do something a little different and give you a rundown of a week of our lives. We thought you all should see what we do on a typical week just to get the full picture of where we are in our lives. I'm in grad school, as you all know, so my week's aren't super exciting normally, but this past week was actually kind of busy. So here we go!

Thursday, March 8th:

This was #InternationalWomen's Day and it was pretty much a typical day in the life of a graduate student. I started off my day in the lab with my labmate, Kavya. She and I are working on this fatty acid analysis using both of our techniques and that day we were just trying out a new compound, linoleic acid. I'm not going to go into all the details, but we basically were just trying a bunch of things to see if it was going to work or not with our techniques. Once we left lab, we ate lunch and then started looking at our data. This semester is extremely busy for me because I have candidacy coming up, so I've been "organizing my life" as I call it and a little bit each day work on a piece of data so I can tie it all together for my proposal. That kind of thing takes a long time so that's how I ended my work day. Then the rest of the night was chill with dinner and Netflix, nothing too crazy this day.

Friday, March 9th:

Now this is where things get interesting. Friday was soooo busy! On a normal Friday, I'd have class and group meeting in the afternoon and evening so my mornings are "relaxed", but this Friday was accepted students' visitation weekend and I had to be at the poster session to plug my group for the potential new graduate students that night. Friday started fine. I looked at my data and had class in the afternoon, but I got this email while I was in class about co-receiving an award for mentorship and leadership, so the last 10 minutes of class I was not paying attention at all. I've mentioned before, I'm Treasurer for OSU's NOBCChE chapter and Sierra, she's the president, and I were nominated for the Susan M. Hartmann Mentorship and Leadership award by our advisor and we actually won! It was a real shock to both of us because this a university wide competition, but we're were definitely excited to find out we won. After class, like usual, we sign up for time on our instruments and then go to group meeting. That was same ole, same ole business. Someone in the group presents a recent paper and someone else does a research update. Once that was over, I had to wait to do the poster session with my other labmate, Savithra. When I tell you guys that was the longest 2 hours, it really was, but it's always fun meeting prospective students and getting free dinner. Now, my plan was to go straight home after dinner, but naturally my friends talked me into going to a bar, so that's what I did for a little bit.

Saturday, March 10th:

It's still visitation weekend and I was a host for two students alllllll day taking them to their meetings and showing them around campus until like 4:30pm. It was cool, but definitely tiring. I'm glad I got Dunkin' before heading to campus. The thing I love about helping out for visitation weekend is really talking to the students and telling them all the things I wished someone had told me before choosing a grad school. Plus again, we got free food and who doesn't love free food?! After I was done with my visitation duties, a few of the ladies from my lab and I went to get rolled ice cream. If you knew my grandma, and now know me, I am truly her grandchild because I loveeeee ice cream. The place we went to, Simple Rolled, had just added cookie dough to their menu, which is my favorite add-in, so of course we went there to celebrate Sierra and me winning that award.

Sunday, March 11th:

Now a normal Sunday would mean I'd go to church and then meal prep and possibly do my hair, but this Sunday was a relatively lazy one. My pastor was out of town so we didn't have service so I practically stayed in bed all day, curled up watching Netflix - season 2 of Jessica Jones was up so I was binge watching all day. This current week is spring break, so I only meal prepped dinner after I ran to the grocery store for a few things. The greatest thing happened to me as I was leaving Walmart this day, I got my first box of Thin Mints! I love those cookies and had been craving them and when I walked out of the store, what did I see? A Girl Scout. I have never pulled out my debit card so fast. But I digress. Back to meal prepping....I'm having chicken parm this week, thanks to Bri for helping me make my decision. I appreciate you! This was a great choice. Other than that, Sunday was relaxed.

Monday, March 12th:

This technically was the first day of spring break, but that really means nothing in grad school because I was in the office. Spring break really is time to get work done, but you can take a day or two off during the week if need be. There's literally always work to be done. So Monday, I went in and was outlining my proposal mainly. For lunch though, some of my labmates and I went to this Indian buffet and it was amazing! I love Indian food and Godavari has the best. We stayed there for a few hours before heading back to lab where I really didn't do thatttt much before leaving a little early - 4pm instead of 5/5:30pm. Then I got home and watched the first episode of Seven Seconds.

Tuesday, March 13th:

I was back in the lab today running my stability test in the morning. Long story short, I'm trying to make sure the technique I'm using is stable over an extended period of time. It's a tedious experiment, but it has to get done. I have one more week of data left before I'm home free finally. My goal for Tuesday, after I was done in lab, was to fully outline my candidacy proposal so I can start actually writing on Wednesday. So once I finished my outline, I came home and finished Jessica Jones. Let me tell you! If you watch that show, finish it ASAP! I need someone to talk about it with.

Wednesday, March 14th:

Today was my writing day. I stayed home, in my pjs, and worked on my proposal. I started my day with eggs, potatoes, and pancakes, put my beats headphones on and started writing. In grad school, you write A LOT and it really is a hassle so you have to find the right setting to do it in so you don't get distracted. When I have my beats on, I tune out the world so it was the perfect setting for writing. I actually got a decent amount done today, with a little motivation, so I'm happy. It's one of those things you have to be in the mood for and today I was in the mood. Once I lost my writing groove, I did my hair because it really was time to do it and I hadn't done it over the weekend, and then I started rewatching the Office....for like the fourth time.

I hope you all enjoyed this snippet of my life. Let us know some highlights from your week!

-The Chemist

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