Monday, January 12, 2009

Still don't know where anything is, but I have windows

During my first week in my new lab, I acquired a new bench, storage space in the -20 C and 4 C , pipetteman and an office, all of which are necessary for me to accomplish science. Well, not the office. I don't need the office, but it sure is nice since my day consists mostly of reading. In addition to the office, the other items I have now that I didn't have in grad. school lab are windows.
Throughout graduate school I was surrounded by concrete blocks, so much so that my cell reception was zip. Even the majority of the hallways in my department were lacking windows, thanks to new construction. Apparently this lack of windows really bothered my fellow grad. students and the post-docs that worked in my department. In fact, the desire for a window was so great that a fake window was constructed in the lunch room.
For me, windows are distracting. Back in the day when I attended classes, I always felt that the windows were diverting my attention from the lecture. No matter what, I always ended up staring out of them, wondering what the people outside were doing. I figured a window in the lab would be just as distracting, so I wasn't really that upset about not having them. I don't need to set my hair on fire because I was watching someone outside.
So, now microbiologist xx, who doesn't care about windows, has a bench and a desk situated right next to windows. I am wondering how these windows will effect my work. I think for a while I will just forget that the windows are there, but eventually I am going to become accustomed to these windows and then who knows what will happen then.


transientreporter said...

Glad to see you're settling in.

During my postdoc days, next to my lab bench was a window that had a view of... the Pacific Ocean! Try doing research under those conditions.

Ambivalent Academic said...

You'll get used to it. I'm a window gazer too, and now my desk in GradLab is right next to a floor-to-ceiling window.

The view is of the next-door building's roof though so pretty uninspiring and therefore not distracting. It sure is nice to have natural light for most of the day though. Makes me feel like less of a vampire.

ScientistMother said...

Oh my gosh, I so could not work without windows. I get depressed without natural light.

microbiologist xx said...

transient reporter - The pacific ocean...Wow. Yeah, I am pretty sure that would distract me.

Ambivalent Academic - You make a good point. I can see buildings, streets and a parking lot. Not exactly interesting subject matter.

Scientist Mother - Sometimes in the winter I would get a little depressed since I arrived and left work in complete darkness. In those cases windows would have helped, even if only to verify that the sun did actually come out on those days. :)

quietandsmalladventures said...

oh i'm so jealous, i live in concrete block land!!

ryc: i start with running 2 miles and just keep adding as i get better at it. i hadn't run in while (about a year), so i'm up to almost 4 miles this week. i have til mid march to work up to regular 7-10 mile runs. after that i know i can finish the rest even without having done a 13 mile long run. if you're dying at 4 miles, then hold that mileage (or vary it, do a 4-3-5-4 week) til it's easier. oh and i run outside, so the weather always factors in to how i feel about runs. good luck!!