Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Characteristically Mayfly-Like

I was talking to my mom about how to inform the advisor that research science is not in my future. 'I'll tell him the truth,' I said. 'I love research, and I'll be very sad to leave the bench, but I truly feel the need to work in science education, because I want to do something that can more directly benefit people's lives.'

'That's the truth?' she asked.

'Well, mostly.'

One of the things I loathe about science is this: if you let your attention wander for two seconds, you'll screw up days of work. There you are, thinking idly of Senate votes, when suddenly you've poured Sample A into Sample B and poof! There goes a week. Or you're loading bricks onto a barrow when you see something fly by the window and next thing you know, half the bricks are broken to shards all over the floor and you have to start again.

It's a great deal easier to pay attention to interesting tasks. Sadly, much of science is very repetitive. Either there are multiple samples or multiple conditions, or the same movement over and over again... which is why, yesterday, I poured the wrong buffer in and my samples levitated out.

I need to reset my attention span.