Debbie Knight

Time flies when you’re having fun … in the lab

In observation on August 15, 2012 at 9:30 am

Twenty-two years ago this week, I started working at The Ohio State University.

Back then I lived my life in one-year allotments, probably a result of signing a string of one-year apartment leases.  (I moved around a lot).

And I remember how difficult and scary it was for me to commit to two years for my first job here. Two years seemed like a lifetime commitment to my younger self.

But the two years soon became eight and a half years. The years with this boss flew by. I guess I was having too much fun. (Well most of the time).

Never did I imagine myself working in one place for that long.

My first two weeks on the job were a crazy, stressful blur. I had to learn everything there was to know about growing human cells, culturing virus, staining cells, etc. in those brief 14 days before the student left for dental school.

I was totally out of my element. I had only worked with bacteria and never viruses.  In my former job I wanted bacteria to grow, but in my new job the bacteria were the enemy. And while I had a pretty good set of laboratory skills, I had never done anything like what I was learning to do in my new job.

It was a crash course, but I caught on. Anna taught me well.

I even outdid her when it came to putting coverslips on slides.  (This “Grasshopper” certainly snatched that pebble from her master’s hand.)

Here’s a photo about eight or nine years later … and I was still smiling.

And now? I’m still having fun most days. I won’t kid you. There are days when nothing goes right or the experiment goes up in glorious blazing flames (figuratively, not literally). That’s okay because there are just as many (if not more) days where things go well, when an “aha” moment happens or I break out into a happy dance (think Snoopy’s happy dance from the Peanuts comic strip).


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