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  1. #1
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    bright spot of the day

    My research sucks recently. Nothing works. It's very frustrating. And it's been raining, so I haven't been riding. And as a favor to a good friend of mine, I've sacrificed many hours of free time recently to prepare her for the organic chemistry portion of the MCAT. I'm tired. Physically tired, emotionally tired, mentally tired.

    However, a somewhat unexpected e-mail from a prospective graduate student brightened up my day a bit today. And I really needed the encouragement. I slept really late since my friend had kept me up late with organic chemistry tutoring (over the phone... very inefficient), and then I couldn't blow off any steam in the morning on my bike since it was pouring (not good conditions for tackling steep hills). But happily, the following showed up in my inbox shortly after the start of my day.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGS e-mail
    I'm sorry to hear that your project isn't going so well. You know so much better than I do the frustrations of being a scientist and researcher. But just think, until quite recently, only the very elite of the social, economic and political classes could participate in learning more about the universe and things in it. So really, this is the best life... full of frustrations, but also incredible innovations, as you've experienced. Hopefully you still get to ride your bike and conquer steep hills.

    *fingers waving to send whatever synthesis luck I have your way*
    It was nice that someone actually had something mildly encouraging to say about how my research is going, even if I'm not so sure I agree that the "best life" would include being "full of frustrations". I'm still tired and frustrated, but the e-mail did help me stay a bit more sane through the day.

    Any particularly bright spot in your day today?
    If you notice this notice then you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.

  2. #2
    later free_pizza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jschen
    Any particularly bright spot in your day today?
    went home from work
    The snow is melting at a rapid pace.

  3. #3
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by free_pizza
    The snow is melting at a rapid pace.
    Same here. Temps are supposed to stay above freezing for a while here so all the evil white snow should be gone soon. Other than that, no particularly bright spot in my day.

  4. #4
    later free_pizza's Avatar
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    we hit 12 degrees yesterday, that melted a huge chunk, today it was overcast/windy 7 degrees, and its supposed to rain/snow in the next coupe of days, hopefully it rains, and takes more snow into the drains... I get pretty down in the dumps during winter, its sooo long and cold here, so i get happier and happier every day more snow dissappears...

  5. #5
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Wife came home from days-long work trip; that's a darned bright spot. Also, MY research is going well for once, but oh can I empathize when it comes to it not going well. Seriously, years worth of empathy! That little email you got is cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

  6. #6
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Have you tried using google for your research?
    I can find most things on google.

  7. #7
    Stop it. 56/12 and 22/28's Avatar
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    I didn't have to use my leg or arm warmers at all this week.
    http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/6...zysmall4uh.gifCanadian Correspondent General.
    2003 Colnago Dream D-A 7700, 2006 Giant TCR 2.

  8. #8
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    I'm in an early spring slump myself at school and work. Having to save a lot of money for apartment / moving expenses so I can't even buy anything new and cool for the bike that I so want to be out riding.

    jschen - hope things get rolling for you soon. It certainly is frustrating when things continually don't move forward for a while. You'll get through it in time I'm sure - you're far too smart to let a few bumps in the road slow you down for long. Keep your chin up and don't blow anything up - unless of course that's what you're goal is. (Must stop watching so much Mythbusters - it is fusing the ideas of science and explosions into one)
    [CENTER][URL="http://VeloBase.com"][IMG]http://velobase.com/App_Themes/VeloBase2_blue/Images/VeloBase2TitleCampagnolo.jpg[/IMG][/URL][/CENTER]
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  9. #9
    Lex
    Lex is offline
    Cheer****** of Doom Lex's Avatar
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    It's supposed to be 63 here today. WHOO HOO!
    "I'm starting to have grave doubts about this thing I barely liked in the first place." Homer Simpson

  10. #10
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    It's supposed to be 63 here, too.

    Thanks for empathizing, oboeguy. And cuda2k, I'm trying to keep that chin up. It's hard sometimes, though, with over half of grad school having gone by with little to show for it. I've learned a lot (both about chemistry and about myself), but that alone isn't good enough to meet expectations. Much less the very high expectations some people (myself included) had for my grad school career. I'm not quite ready to "give up" on doing well in grad school and simply try to salvage what I can from my time here, but such a possibility doesn't seem outside the range of possibilities depending on how things go from here.

    On the bright side, outside of lab, an important anniversary is rapidly approaching. You guys will hear about it next Friday. No, it doesn't have to do with any girl. (I'm currently single.) And no, it's not cycling related. (So it will be in Foo.)
    If you notice this notice then you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.

  11. #11
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    What are you working on? I did a lot of stuff with boronates as chiral auxillaries and some Suzuki coupling reactions with boronic ester-substituted isoxazoles. Chiral Diels-Alder rxns. with chiral Titanium compounds, etc. Our group was heavy into mechanistic work with the boronic esters, nitrile oxides, azo-methine ylids.

    Now I'm working for a biotech firm that is into drug delivery.

    I had my bright spot yesterday as I solved a problem that has left my supervisor clueless. Even better is that everyone else knows it.

  12. #12
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    Total synthesis. I'm a grad student in K C Nicolaou's lab. Started out trying to make haplophytine. (Other groups working on this molecule include the Corey and Fukuyama groups. Corey's been at it since 1993.) That's been set aside for now in favor of an "easier" project, but that's not going all that well, either.
    If you notice this notice then you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.

  13. #13
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    I think I know my two bright spots for today. (1) The grad program happy hour at 5 PM. Happens every other Friday. I'm looking forward to it. (2) One of the people on my project just got back from his interview trip and landed his first choice job position, with 200 applicants and one job opening. I'm very proud of him, and it's always nice to be reminded that though what we do is tough and grueling and frustrating, it's looked upon very favorably by people on the outside.

    Now to try to get my project to move forward... back to work I go. As I told PGS (e-mail sender in the original post), tough times in research suck, but they also force some of the most inspired innovations. (That's what prompted PGS's e-mail.) We'll see what we can make of this current situation...
    If you notice this notice then you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.

  14. #14
    later free_pizza's Avatar
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    low spot(s)

    got a call from my cars insurance company, the girl that hit my car a few weeks ago is now trying to claim she didnt do it.. grrrrr

    im hungover...

    bright spot - its my day off, i just took my dog for a pretty long walk outside, its nice and sunny, 5 degrees, as a result, my hangover is fading..

  15. #15
    Specialized Member ChAnMaN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jschen

    Any particularly bright spot in your day today?
    called my girlfriend
    You can never be too Specialized
    Click here if any of the following apply to you:
    1 You dont like Specialized, 2 You drive a SUV, 3 Your name is George Bush

  16. #16
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jschen
    I think I know my two bright spots for today. (1) The grad program happy hour at 5 PM. Happens every other Friday. I'm looking forward to it.
    HAPPY HOUR !!! That's always a bright spot and mine started at noon today...

  17. #17
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    My bright spot was an email from a friend and picking up my girls after school ohh.. and wearing shorts and hearing the birds shirping when i went for a ride.. and who said I was high maintenance?

  18. #18
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Bright spot? Hmmm...managed to submit the abstract for a proposed symposium to an upcoming conference before the March 31 deadline.

  19. #19
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Yay! PGS emailed!

    My bright spot for today doesn't involve a bike so it's not worth mentioning.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



    We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

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