Why hello there- long time no see!
It’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve basically been spending most of last month working in my new job.
Starting work in a new environment/role was always going to be a huge learning curve, but given I’ve spent the last five years doing relatively similar things in the same lab, I’d sort of forgotten how exhausting a day can become when almost everything is new stuff.
Meeting new people, being in a new environment, learning about the job role and what the organisation does… my brain quickly turned into goo 😵, but hopefully I can slowly become more at ease with everything. There is a looming terror that I’ll stuff something up (thanks, anxiety), but so far so good. I’ve shifted from basic research to public health, so my whole world has changed.
I’m actually still working in the same building as I have been for years, so that’s a big bonus (I can’t say on my Blog exactly where I work- sorry). I know the place well, and my commute hasn’t changed at all- except the floor I get off at is different. But unfortunately I’ve noticed that I’m feeling a little lonely at work, as the pandemic has meant all the familiar faces aren’t around.
My Ph. D lab is still shutdown, so while I’ve been back working in the building, I haven’t seen any of my former lab mates. I’m sure some of them would be happy with that 😒. We still catch up for Zoom meetings, though, which is quite nice. Many of my other friends in the building are also working from home, so unfortunately they’re not around either. 😔
On the plus side, the morning commute has become significantly better. I’d worked from home these last couple weeks, and this week I was working the morning shift (6:30am-1:00pm 🤮💀), but prior to that I was getting into work in 20 minutes (door to door) during peak hour, when normally it would take me well over an hour. But the eeriness of not seeing people around is still somewhat disturbing. There’s alcohol-based hand sanitisers everywhere, too. My hands have probably been cleaner than they’ve ever been- not that I was a grot, but given I’m using the hand sanitisers on top of my usual hand washing, I’d imagine my hands are even cleaner.
I also finished my only remaining teaching commitment for the semester, as all other prac components for other subjects were cancelled. This particular subject is being taught online now, so adjusting to teaching everything via Zoom and such was an interesting learning curve, given this subject is Prac heavy. Fortunately for us, we didn’t have anywhere near the same work load as subject coordinators, so we can’t really complain. I don’t envy teaching staff at the moment.
My Ph. D thesis is still under examination, too. It’s only been a little under two months, so I would imagine I won’t be hearing about it for a while yet. *twiddles thumbs* Given that the mid year graduation ceremonies will likely be cancelled or postponed, I don’t feel as great a need to have the results back ASAP.
Aside from work, I’ve been doing some gardening around the house. 🌱🌿 I actually had a funny interaction recently when I went to buy more gardening gear. A guy who’d parked next to me remarked that everyone is gardening ‘because there’s nothing else to do’. I chuckled, but also refrained from mentioning to him that this is what I do every year, regardless of pandemics. I just like growing stuff! Plants and bacteria alike- but not fungi 🍄! Moulds creep me out (yeast are… okay). The only thing that I wanted to do that would have been out of the ordinary would have been to keep chickens, but they would have been harder to house. I would also imagine our real estate agent would have had objections. 🐓🐓
I’ve also been cooking stuff, and I was going to make a post about making Gyoza, but while I was putting my porcelain grater away into the dishwasher, I slipped, smashed the grater, cut my finger on the ricocheting shrapnel, and had a bit of a bloody accident, so… another time, perhaps. I already have the recipe written up (it’s in my Ph. D lab’s Dropbox), but I thought it would be nice to have accompanying photos that don’t have blood in it.
I still made the Gyoza, though. It was pretty tasty. 🥟
A former wet-lab based Bacteriology Ph. D student residing in Australia. Now working part time at a secret location as a Communications and Data Officer. 👀 🦠 🧫 🧬