Friday, January 29, 2016

Life Lessons From The Lab

With the end of the second set of practicals, I think it's time to write about what that extra white place with bright lights and a lot of breakable things (aka the lab) has taught me. To be honest I never thought I'll learn so much about myself and life from the lab but I guess it's bound to happen if we spend most of our day in there. Bare with me while I get philosophical about my somehow self awareness journey in there.

You see, I'm impatient with things not working the way I want them to and a little bit insecure about my lab skills. This time, I entered the lab with some illusion of confidence and eventually tricked my mind into it. Everyday, I'd follow the protocol like I know what I'm doing and eventually I feel like I got the hang of things. Not the entire two weeks went smoothly, some days were stressful but I learned to suck it up and move on. After all, we're just experimenting or like Filippo likes to say "we're just playing". I promised myself before coming to London that I'll force myself to give labs a real chance to sort its way out of that little part of my brain that controls hate, I think its finally finding a way out. So here is a post to come back to when I need a reminder.

  1. Labs are like a game of hopscotch, sometimes the stone falls right into the drawn box and other times it doesn't. Sometimes the stone falls in the right place but you lose your balance jumping from one box to the other. And other times, you win the game. But at the end, just remember, always have fun!
  2. Labs are the best teachers of patience. You spend around 6 hours working on an experiment hoping everything works out fine, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Patience is key to survive in there.
  3. Labs teach you to accept disappointment on top of patience. After a long day, there is a high probability that your experiment won't come up with the expected results. You won't always know the reason why. However, whatever the result is, keep going.
  4. Labs and life have something in common, something we have to realise and accept sooner than later. Working hard DOES NOT always mean you'll get positive results. The sooner you realise that the less disappointments you'll face. But that also doesn't mean that you should stop trying.  Don't give up.
  5. Finally, keep believing in the power of luck for sometimes that's all you have in your hands after working all day. Don't get stressed in front of the UV light machine it's just there to let you know how you did.