Monday, April 28, 2008

I've fallen and I can't get up

A new week and a new focus?? I was bit sparse on posting last week. I would like to say it was because I was diligently reading research papers and composing a mind blowing thesis project, but really it was because I was reading a lot of cool science blogs (see new blog roll) and because I was procrastinating. I am notorious for avoiding the whole concept of research, which makes me wonder why I chose this field, but that’s another post. Its not that I don’t enjoy, when I am doing the work – oddly, I enjoy it emmensly. I used to strongly dislike (hate is such a strong word) the actual lab work part of research, but now I dislike the research part and I am not sure why. Actually I do know why, its fear. I am scared to start this thing and I don’t know why. I mean the sooner I start, the more focused I can be, the quicker I can get done and move on with life.

Some of you will say its probably the fear of having to do real work that I am scared of. Fear of that far off future where I have to decide what I want to do with my life, but that’s not it. I am scared of coming up with a proposal that doesn’t make sense, that is illogical and screams that I should not be here. I have lost the self-confidence that I had built up after completing my MSc and I don’t know how to get it back. Well that not entirely true, I do know how to get back, get focused and show progress…but I am stalled. My brain is telling me to get to work, to focus because that is the key but my heart is not letting me. Why??? I need to focus. URGH!! I have a huge amount to learn and feel that I must learn it all in the next 3 weeks. But I cannot do that. I cannot know everything and I have to stop caring that others think I must.

I will get there, slowly I will get there again. The next few week will be slow on the posting side as I try to get ready for the big proposal on May 28th. Wish me luck. Oh and if you have any great ideas on how to find ligands or determine the function of a random protein, shoot those over to me as well.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Hey, how is it going?

I've got some thoughts.

First, about that fear. Get into the lab. Do something small, accomplish something. Stop stressing and just get something down 'on paper' (or in electrons exciting little cyrstals in your screen ... or however these things work).

IDing ligands ... variations of yeast two hybrid, or run columns and mass spec whatever gets pulled out? I don't know if that would work, just what came to mind.

Function of a protein, depends on what you're working with how easy this would be, and is the function totally unknown, or do you at least have an idea of the general class/action? FOr my MSc I did a random mutation in a gene using PCR. As I'm sure you know, Taq gets mighty unimpressed when you skew the dNTP concentration and add manganese. But then I worked on H.flu, which is pretty darned easy to transform. There are problems/difficulties with this technique, if you like I can go into more detail? Other ideas too, but it's a starting place.