Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Who turned out the light?

I like to refer to my degree as the never ending PhD because, well, that's what it seems like. At my defense I'm going to need someone to pinch me so I'm know I'm not dreaming. Occasionally I see the light at the end of the tunnel. It always seems closer than it is. Kinda like that time my family and I went on what was supposed to be an hour or two hike. We saw this waterfall in the distance and thought it would be cool to hike there. After four hours of walking around a lake, crossing a rock pile that even a seasoned mountain goat would have trouble navigating, and an almost straight vertical hike up the side of a mountain the waterfall still didn't seem that much closer. We did get a good picture though. Just like the light at the end of the tunnel - I can see it, I could probably even get a good picture of it but getting there is a whole other story.

This week that light seems to be getting further and further away. If I squint really hard I could probably still get a glimpse but for the most part it has disappeared. Ahh.. the joys or research. One step forward, five steps back. Just when I think the next experiment will solve all my questions it ends up adding ten more. I like to think I'm on the verge of a big discovery and any moment one experiment will tie it all together into a neat package that my committee will buy and I will be onto bigger and hopefully better things. Hey, a girl needs something to keep her going. Such is science though. I was prepared for the ups and downs but it still sucks. When things are going well it's almost like the science gods look down on you and think, "Whoa, things are going a bit too well. We gotta rein in some of that cockiness. We'll just add some confusing results into the mix. That should humble her enough". Perhaps it's time to make an offering to the science gods. Do they take lab mates?

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