Debbie Knight

A Day in the Life: March 28, 2012

In research log on March 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm

From time to time, I will give a glimpse into the “glamorous” life of a research associate and talk about what I’m doing in the lab on a particular day. These entries I will call “A Day in the Life…”

Cleaning off your desk is that you can throw out something that you haven’t needed in months (or years) pretty much guarantees that you’ll need it the very next day (or soon thereafter). Such was the case with my office desk. Piles of papers piled semi-neatly on a corner of my desk. Piled there because I needed them but hadn’t quite gotten around to filing them or they were in purgatory — I wasn’t sure if I would need them or not and by placing them in the pile it deferred any immediate need to make a decisive decision.

I was sifting through the time capsule of a pile because I needed one of those papers. And while I sifted, I began purging the pile.

Seminar announcement from two months ago that I didn’t attend?


Journal article on autoimmunity?


An advertisement from a scientific supply company from a year ago?


Old flow cytometry results from testing a reagent for a lab class I helped teach?


This happened about a month ago.

Guess what I needed today?

Those old flow cytometry results. I needed to use the very same reagent in today’s experiment. Those sheets of paper would have told me how much of the reagent to optimally use. But now? Now I have to scroll through the scientific literature to find a ballpark amount of the reagent to use. Why, oh, why did I throw out those sheets of paper?

A month ago, I had no idea I would need it since it wasn’t directly related to my research.

How short sighted of me!


Such was my day today. Hope yours is going better.

  1. Don’t forget to recycle. 🙂

    Fun post, good idea for content.

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