Normally, my synthesis class is pretty great. 8 hours of lab a week, Wednesday and Friday, 5-9 pm. The Friday session usually isn’t as grueling as you’d think. As I’ve said before, I don’t mind late hours in lab, and as for any Friday night festivities, 9pm is still early enough to not miss anything good. Given that its the late session, and it includes a Friday night, most people stray from it, and it’s a much less hectic lab experience than the other options. Usually makes for a good time…
Last night, however, was by far the most draining lab experience ever, as there was NOBODY there. Of the 2 people I really talk to in lab, one guy was out sick, one girl left after about 40 minutes into the lab period (she didn’t really feel like being there last night, and she was on the cusp of having finished all her previous work, but not having enough time to successfully start the next step, so I don’t blame her.) Of everyone else in the lab, there’s the two Asians who only really talk to each other, and my TA. My TA is good for casual conversation, but that’s not always logistically possible if he’s taking care of things on the opposite side of lab.
After 3 hours of listening to nothing but the low rumble of the fume hoods I wanted to gouge my eyes out, and considered personally testing my products for biological activity. I thoroughly sympathize with any readers who have non-talkative labmates AND can’t even listen to music. Perhaps we can form a support group? If you do happen to work in an environment with NO sound, please tell me if/how you’ve avoided complete insanity. Thanks.
In related news, last night marked a lovely milestone for me: using ALL of the product from my latest step for a carbon NMR in a decently timely manner. The sample still had to be submitted in the night queue, so now the fate of my project rests in spinner 45 of the autosampler. I’ve held a vigil to honor the NMR gods, praying that the sample runs as expected, the tube doesn’t crack in the machine, and the autosampler spinners aren’t randomly cleaned out. I’m also pouring a bottle of CDCl3 in the waste container for my samples that couldn’t be here, just in case.