ode to lab

oh, lab
how i detest thee
i come to you at 8 and don’t get to leave till 5 if i’m lucky
it’s nothing personal, really
it’s just that my major professor thinks he owns me
and that i’m merely his powerpoint bitch/secretary
not a human being let alone a graduate student
oh, lab
how i would love thee
if only my experiments worked
and i actually had something to do
besides gazing at my laptop screen and clicking away all day everyday

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  1. as the (lab) world turns (episode 1)Unsuspecting Super Bored Grad Student sits in her office surfing the internet as she does everyday. Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor comes by with the latest piece of juicy departmental gossip that she really could care less about. She has no choice but to indulge him. Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor: Dr. Chair of the Department is reassigning Dr. Next Door’s unauthorized lab bench to Dr. Needs a Bench. Super Bored Grad Student [without taking her eyes off of her laptop screen]: Uh-huh. Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor: Dr. Next Door isn’t going to be happy about it. I’m in trouble. Super Bored Grad Student: Well, it wasn’t his bench to begin with. Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor: Dr. Next Door doesn’t see it that way. Super Bored Grad Student: Yeeep. Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor then walks into his office and plops back into his chair to surf ESPN. Super Bored Grad Student resumes her endless surfing. She has reached the end of the internet at least 100 times already. All of a sudden, Dr. Next Door huffily opens his office door to step out and stands in the doorway of Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor’s office. Super Bored Grad Student knows that trouble is sure to ensue. But Super Bored Grad Student can’t escape without possibly also incurring the wrath of Dr. Next Door and Super Bored Grad Student definitely knows better. Super Bored Grad Student considers hiding under her desk as the fireworks begin. Dr. Next Door:...
  2. as the (lab) world turns (episode 7)Super Bored Stressed Grad Student has been trying really hard to maximize her time at lab by studying for her impending qualifying exam (instead of surfing her way to the end of the internet everyday, tempting as it is). Of course, Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor isn't making it easy for her. She happens to be on a page on EKGs. He waltzes into her office for no other reason than to bother her. Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor (rudely peers over her shoulder at her book and notices the EKG tracing): So, what does the QRS complex mean? Super Bored Stressed Grad Student (who actually has not gotten to that section yet and sadly does not actually remember what it means from her med school days): It's showing electrical activity in some part of the heart. Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor: Ha. Well, not that I would know since it's been 20 years since I studied that stuff. And then he walks away, leaving Super Bored Stressed Grad Student wondering what she has done to deserve this kind of treatment. But he doesn't walk far enough away. He stands outside her office door and carries on a pointless conversation with New Lab Scut Monkey about how great he is because the residents supposedly love him in a too-loud-for-anyone-to-possibly-ignore-even-if-they-tried voice. Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor: The residents are very good. They should all get funded. New Lab Scut Monkey: Uh-huh. Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor: Yeah, it's all thanks to...
  3. as the (lab) world turns (episode 2)Super Bored Grad Student is eating lunch and chatting with Fellow Lab Scut Monkey. It is 12:30 pm. There is no mistaking that this is their designated lunch time. Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor walks in and proceeds to shut the door behind him. Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor: Have departmental business we need to discuss. Confidential. Super Bored Grad Student and Fellow Lab Scut Monkey exchange looks. Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor is known to conveniently interrupt their lunch hours. It has something to do with him being a slave driver and thinking that his employees aren’t allowed to take lunch. Super Bored Grad Student and Fellow Lab Scut Monkey glance at the clock and note the time that he walked in. They will extend their lunch based on how much of their time he wastes. Super Bored Grad Student and Fellow Lab Scut Monkey don’t bother responding. They know that they have no choice but to listen. And the less they talk (which he always interprets as disagreeing with him), the sooner he finishes. Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor (to Fellow Lab Scut Monkey): Dr. Next Door has complained to Dr. Watches Out for Junior Faculty about losing his unauthorized bench. Dr. Chair of the Department and Dr. Watches Out for Junior Faculty will be having a walkthrough with Dr. Next Door to look at the space situation. Fellow Lab Scut Monkey: Uh-huh. Dr. Grumpy Old Major Professor: He’s going after Dr. Also Needs a Bench’s bench. So...

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