“When I see a crowd, I examine the accessibility of the food, and whether I’ll have to make a conversation. Usually I head the other way.” ~My postdoc. I might be heading back into lab this semester! but I’m in the process of starting another blog about my dental/med school experiences that’s a little bit more thoughtful. Hope you keep reading!
Fourteen months and more than a thousand hours later, I was sad to finally bid adieu to my PI, postdoc, and lab mates as I graduated from college and stopped working in the lab as a lowly research assistant. That means no more witticisms from the fantastic people in the lab for this blog… for now. I will be returning to Harvard dental school in the fall as a first-year dental student! Who...
“But we’re buddies! If you tell me, I’ll tell you THE biggest secret you can imagine,” my postdoc said, regarding my thesis grades.
“Can you come in on Monday?” “Nope, I have 7 hours of class on Monday.” “You already got into all the dental schools. Why on earth are you still going to class? It’s just learning.”
“When is the Helen Manual of Laboratory Techniques coming out? Chapter 1: Using Cardboard as a Film Substitute.” ~ my postdoc
“This girl will be drilling on her patients’ teeth one day, and her boyfriend’s call will come up on those Google Glasses, and god help the patient,” a postdoc commented on how I check facebook between centrifuge spins
During lunch yesterday my postdoc, two other people, and I got into a really long discussion over why I still believe in God: “How can you say that priests have more answers that you do? You’re all reading the same book!” my postdoc said. “It’s like in school, where everyone studies the same textbook, but some people gets 100s and others get 60s. You would have...
“You should sign up to be a research mentor!” I exclaimed to my postdoc after seeing a spam email pop up. “I don’t know, I might discourage them from research.”
“I can give the dental school an extra $50,000 just by preventing him from graduating. What a good idea!” my PI joked over lunch, referring to a resident about to defend his research dissertation in May.
“The atmosphere seems to have much less joy these days. Do I need to give you guys an injection?” said my PI.
“I want to cut the gel.” “Nope. It’s the most exciting part of my day, and I’m going to do it,” my postdoc said.
“When I’m in the position to make decisions, I will move the dental school off campus to make more lab room. Maybe somewhere in the Atlantic, as far as possible,” my postdoc declared.
“How can you see a spill and say that there was no leak? Do you work for BP?” said my postdoc, when he pointed out that my agarose liquid spilled from the tray.
“This bread is incredible! You can freeze it, microwave it, and it still tastes great!” My postdoc exclaimed. Oh the things that only poor grad students and postdocs say…
“If I could do magic, I would use it to summon things so I don’t have to run around the lab unnecessarily,” I said. “If you had magic powers, you would seriously still come to lab?” said my postdoc, raising his eyebrows in skepticism.
“You know, the wind blows at you faster if you run.” the building guard commented as I rushed inside, shivering from the cold.
“Wow this solution is actually really easy to make,” I remarked. “Why do you think you’re the one making it? I no longer have patience for adjusting pH,” my postdoc said.
“Until you’re actually dean of the dental school, I can still boss you around and tell you to pick up the paper from the printer,” said my postdoc.
“When you see him, can you tell _fellow postdoc_ that his mice needs to be separated immediately? Otherwise the lab has to pay someone $500 to do it for him,” the lab manager told me. “So if I go down there and do it, will I be paid five hundred dollars?” I asked. “Ha, no.”
“I don’t think I’m smart enough to hold a PhD,” I said. “That’s okay. You go into a PhD program clueless (gestures to me), and six years later you leave as a genius (gestures to himself),” said/joked my postdoc.
“One day, when you’re presenting in front of a thousand people, are you going to use ‘ripened’ in public?” my postdoc asked me. “What’s wrong with the word ripened?” “It describes fruit, not the BCA assay.”
“Look at this! Do I have to audit your lab notebook from now on?” my postdoc exclaims, leafing through my notebook looking for a procedure. “Leonardo da Vinci wrote his notes messily and backwards on purpose!” I responded. “That’s bullshit. Anyone could’ve just used a mirror and read his notes,” he retorted. “And you… are no da...
“Yeah sure, you can goof off for a while, but have an Excel spreadsheet ready in case the boss walks by.” ~My postdoc.
“Are you snoozing your timer? Unbelievable,” exclaimed my postdoc when he saw that I added one more minute to the timer after it beeped.
“This scale was clearly not designed by scientists. Is a DD twice as big as a D? Is it based on volume? And it’s not even standard across the world. Did you know the scale changes, based on the place? A North American B is like a C in Asia,” noted my postdoc. Lol.
“”Look at those women! Where can I find them?” said a postdoc, after we watched Lil Wayne’s Lollipop music video.
“If there is one thing that your postdoc can teach you, it’s that your first drink should be a single malt whiskey. Or a nice aged rum. On the rocks. Not that sweet fruity stuff I suspect you will go for,” said my postdoc.
“The world is not a Christian pillow.” ~Words of wisdom from my postdoc.
“Wow, I’m impressed!” my PI exclaimed after he walked past, observing me pipetting diligently. “But then I get impressed really easily,” he added as an afterthought.
“Yes, my girlfriend has her own nickname, and you will never find out what it is. Never ever, ever ever!” My postdoc listens to Kanye?
I was complaining about my SLS20 midterm grade. My postdoc, upon hearing that I was not in the top twenty percentile, said, “Ms. Yang, I’m extremely disappointed in your test performance. Can you find out who got the 99th percentile and tell them that I’m looking for a new research assistant?”
“We’re going to install video cameras around the lab. This way, I can watch you guys on my iPhone while I go sailing,” joked my PI over lunch.
“Hey!” I exclaimed after my postdoc handed my laptop back after helping me revise my letter of recommendation. “What? What’s wrong?” he asked. At the end of a paragraph, I noticed he added “…makes her very well-suited to embark on this new project. Her tremendous appetite for Chinese food is, however, very disturbing.”
“How long will you continue doing research here?” A researcher asked me upon seeing my return to lab. “Oh, she’s a tenured summer student now. We can’t make her leave even if we wanted to,” my postdoc answered.
After giving me a slew of instructions, my postdoc said, “Good luck! I’m heading to the mouse room.” “I need luck to work in this lab?” “You need more than that. You also need anti-depressants.”
Yay I'm back in L-A-B
“I’m going to be stabbed in the back someday. By a drill,” my postdoc said, after making fun of dentists again.
Just got home after 10 amazing weeks in Cambridge. It’ll be a couple of weeks before I’m back in lab, but rest assured that this blog/my love for research/my postdoc’s wit is not dead.
“What’re you all watching?” I asked, when I passed by three researchers huddled over a piece of film swirling in solution. “We’re doing magic,” one postdoc said. “If you wait, in one moment your future husband’s name will appear,” said another research fellow.
“Short and sweet, that’s my life motto,” said my postdoc. After a brief pause, he added, “That’s how I wish my papers could be too.”
“RNA extraction or concert, and you’re picking concert?” my postdoc said incredulously when he asked me if I could come into lab this weekend.
“Okay, today I’m returning to my ebonic roots,” my postdoc declared. “Can you go get me some bling bling?” “Bling bling,” I stared at him. “Like, ice?” “Yeah, bling bling. We’re goin’ to Western, yo.”
“Ugh, my life is either in one of two states: starving or too full, sleepy or sleeping,” I complained. “Very primal,” my postdoc said. “My mom used to say that if I keep this attitude towards life up I’ll never make anything of myself.” “Well, she was right. You made it to Harvard.” he remarked.
“Have you seen Reno 9-1-1?” my postdoc asked, watching me scoop ice. “You need to be able to move like a cheetah!”
“We should be nicer to Helen. She might be in the position to offer us faculty positions in the future,” my postdoc remarked to the another postdoc next to us after poking fun of me for wanting to be a dentist.
“Okay focus. I’m going to give you a lot of work so I can goof off,” said my postdoc. And then we both cracked up.
“Under the methods section, we shall write that our cells were trypsinized to one Judas time unit,” said my postdoc, upon learning that I time procedures using songs on my iPod.
“We’ll talk about [your data] tomorrow. There are too many Muggles hanging around,” my postdoc said.
“You’re blowing your nose on Kimwipes?!” my postdoc exclaimed. “You know each piece costs like five dollars, right?”
“Okay. I’ve decided that since you’re not feeling well, you can have tomorrow off,” my postdoc said graciously yesterday. At 6 p.m. on a Friday. Lol.
“So my experiments are being done to the Backstreet Boys soundtrack?” I nodded. My postdoc chuckled. ”Yeah. That’s how we get our papers in Nature and Cell.”