Friday, July 1, 2011

Watching the Clock

Labs are more complicated than I had perceived them.

A large contribution to the difficulties is time management. Instead of working independently and getting it done at my own pace, I had to rely on coordinating the centrifuge with other students today—centrifuging took 8 minutes, which had to be repeated three times. I also faced problems with the cell pellet, but that would have happened nonetheless.

The other difficulty is interpreting the procedure. Teachers can tell a student, a student can ask a question, but when there is a time restraint, a student must understand. I faced this problem today because the other students at my lab bench understood one of the procedures “one drop at a time” to mean the specified amount, while I added one drop and mixed the solution. If I had followed those students I would have been done, and I wouldn’t have had to worry about meeting Ms. Larson after class. I was probably wrong about “one drop,” but when it comes to a lab that can never be repeated sometimes over analyzing a procedure could determine if I saved or ruined my experiment.

We did not make too much progress into the lab; there was a lot of waiting, and there will be more waiting. In essence, that is labwork: waiting for procedures and then waiting for analysis. I enjoy waiting and, with an example of this week, more labs can be performed during that waiting time.


  1. Erinn,

    I share your frustration with having to share all the while staring at the clock hoping you won't run out of time. If you take more lab courses in college you'll learn that this can be the most frustrating part of your education.

    I never liked having to share or wait so I've often found ways to secure my own equipment. Can't really do that in a lab, though, with equipment costing what it does. I guess this comes down to what you wrote about at the beginning of your blog: time management.

    When you get that mastered let me know so I can take some lessons from you.

  2. Erinn! I also like being able to work at my own pace because I like being really precise and with precision comes the need for plenty of time.. I felt your pain there.


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