My First Conference Talk, Slogging Through Lab Work, and Trying to Put Everything in Balance


Hey all 🙂

For the last two months, I’ve presented at a conference but otherwise just getting on with things.

 My First Conference Talk

I finally gave my first conference talk! I went to York to attend ASAB’s easter meeting. The easter meetings are always focused on early-career researchers. They put on professional workshops for the first day and the other two are all research talks and posters. I had a great time, best conference so far. The others I’ve experienced have all been so big that it’s difficult to navigate. In particular, if you want to meet a certain person. This one was small enough that everybody was always together. I met a lot of people, got nice feedback on my presentation, and generally had a great time. There were good social plans including an animal behaviour themed pub quiz and a fancy meal out. Plus, the lunches were included in the registration. I was super nervous for my actual talk but thoroughly enjoyed delivering it. It was great to actually have the moment to talk about my piece of the world.

Slogging Through Lab Work

Lab work has been slow. A lot of ordering and waiting for things, sending samples for validation and sending them again, and generally just getting everything in line. The work has been delayed again as well due to some worrying outcomes. The first step in the current method, involves extracting material from a sample. When I’ve measured this, it has largely been undetectable. So the extraction or the detection could be off. We’re currently trying to obtain what we need to check either way but the delay is frustrating. I’m counting down the months now until I finish and I’d just like this to be done now.

Trying to Put Everything in Balance

I really enjoy doing a lot of things but sometimes they get overwhelming. There’s a lot of good to get from the things I do. I find it boring to just do one thing all the time, I enjoy the challenges, some of the things give me savings/spending money beyond what I can get out of my regular job. Everything in the last 3 weeks just converged and became quite overwhelming, however. I’ve got a lot of mental balls in the air and sometimes I just can’t keep them going. There’s compulsory (research, work), optional (amount of teaching), and personal (moving home, family worries). It straight up just sucks sometimes because at times you can’t stop any of them. But the balance is what is most difficult. The optional stuff has now died down. Semester is over so teaching options are gone and the chinese class I was taking is over. So i’ve just got research, work, family, and moving (plus all the stress an worries which come with it) to process. Am hoping that fewer things means I can make them all work better. Who knows…

So that’s me for the last two months. The next two will be spent continuing trying to finish this last stint of lab work, revising my paper, prepping to start my thesis, and starting delivering a summer school.

Thanks for reading 🙂


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