Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Murphy's Law in the Lab

It's rather quiet here in the dungeon. It's final exams on campus and it's summer term, and those two combined means that there are a mere handful of students roaming the darkened corridors of the basement of the Widstoe. I sit at the computer, compiling my data and working on my thesis and the presentation for my defense, always aware in the back of my mind of the row of plantlets in the next room, which I very much need to grow quickly so I can use them to get the rest of my research done. I am terrified that they will shrivel up and die.

To fill the stark stillness in the lab, broken only by the hum of various pieces of machinery and occasionally by the sound of footsteps, and sometimes obnoxious smells, I turn on some music. It helps a lot.

There are two other people in the lab, being very quiet. I turn off the music in order to turn on a short Google video. At this precise moment, a professor and a student come into the lab far enough to be rather close to my computer and begin talking in very loud voices. What are the odds? I turn off the video and write this post while I wait for them to leave so I can actually hear the audio.

Sometimes solitude can make one go slightly crazy.

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