Word to the Wise

The Lego Movie has a song in which Batman rages in mock-screamo tones about his origin story.

“DARKNESS. NO PARENTS. LOTS OF MONEY.  KINDA MAKES IT BETTER.”

 

While the vast majority of that song relates to me in absolutely no way, the darkness part is feeling a little too real right now.

Microscopy work, of the sort I have to do for my project, requires complete darkness.  That darkness often comes hand in hand with isolation.

These things are very little fun.

So, in today’s tips and tricks for the modern scientist, I have a recommendation for all you baby scientists who also have to do research in isolated dark environments: podcasts.

Music is nice in theory, but eventually, all you can think about is just how many songs have passed while you’ve been counting viruses in a microscope and it becomes more harm than good.  “I’ve listened to twelve songs now.  At three minutes a song, that’s 36 minutes.  That’s basically 40 minutes.  Which is basically an hour.  And now I’m really hungry.  And this room is feeling really small.  WHEN CAN I ESCAPE THIS SELF-IMPOSED TORTURE? WHY DID I THINK I WANTED TO BE A SCIENTIST? I WANT TO SLEEP FOREVER.”

As you can imagine, this thought process is not beneficial to your work.  So, podcasts.  Podcasts create the illusion of friendly conversation, without any real distraction.  They keep you from considering just how long you’ve spent staring at a screen and they’re free.

Listen to someone who has been there: download some podcasts, enjoy your life.