100% Chance of Brainstorm

Performing experiments, obtaining results and having moments of inspiration are the stereotypical themes of research . However, in the day to day, one can’t do that all the time. For starters, constant strokes of genius would be exhausting!  Or, more often, experiments fail or give unexpected results and  you have to take a step back, evaluate where you are, and carefully plan the next steps. This often means hours pouring over Google Scholar articles looking for hints of what has worked elsewhere. A stack of papers flipped open to the experimental sections inevitably creeps over the entirety of your desk along with notes jotted down on scraps of paper towel, the mess relegating the all-important  lab notebook to a chair or lap. If your more organized, the papers will map out regions of subject matter, in my case SERS city being next to Gamboge county, just across the computer keyboard from Raman village. Though it’s necessary to spend time in this paper whirlpool, it’s also important to get out before the eye strain sets in. Luckily, the chemistry departments provides enough creative distraction to balance out the hard work. Liquid nitrogen ice cream is a cool relief on Wednesdays and lab lunch is always a great way to end the week. As it was the Wustholz lab’s turn to make ice cream this past week, we whipped up PB&J, mint mocha and blueberry crumble flavors. Taking breaks like this allows us all to flex our creative muscle and take a fresh look at our projects when we return to them.