I’ve been sitting in my chair and typing since morning. Let me also emphasize that I’m at my workplace, and the last thing I’m paid to do is type. My supervisor is occupying another chair far less than a few meters away. She’s also typing. It’s a part of her job to type. This post might go into the two
a.m. scribbling section of the website because I plan to continue typing this till two and in these two long hours that I intend to waste, I am going to tell you what science labs are like, and what I am like, in them.
Over the years, so many people have looked at me with their eyebrows like a sine graph when I tell them I’m doing science, not literature. And as much interested as everybody is, in deciding who should be doing who (or what!) they suggest I don’t look sciency and maybe I should just ditch this pursuit of science and become a writer. (If you are one of those people who told me this, you’re not alone. The world is with you …at Sharda University!) Passion. Adventure, and fairy-tale – three things that not always cheer me up. So in this moment, I’m deciding to take a good look at the three other women in the same lab as me.
Outcome: My supervisor is managing data in her laptop with a tight fist. Something is not in place. Things are often not in place when it comes to data in science labs. It is photoshopped so much that I sometimes wonder if my DNA would really look like the Watson-Crick thingy. (I hope it does. My education sort-of depends on it!)
Another lady in the same lab was watching some video in her laptop till few seconds ago. Discipline is to stick at mp3, like I do!
The third lady is talking to another lady from neighbor lab about how hungry they both are, with a tint of an estranged humor. Bhery phunny!
So science labs aren’t exactly the kind of place we’d imagined in primary school. No. Einstein is not looking at dissociating matter very carefully, and Benjamin is not on the roof flying a kite. What if all major discoveries have already been made and we’re just wasting time here? (chokes!)
We’re not. Discoveries are still being made. But to my utter realization since some years, the pace at which something gets discovered is very unpredictable. Specially if you are a protocol person, you might not end up making major discoveries like some people with the apple and the kite did. The last crucial discovery I made was the primers we bought from a certain company were not quality. So i was not getting desired results despite repetitive *coughs* protocol. Believe it or not, this discovery ended up changing the whole course of my dissertation thesis, and also how I look at things now. I shift the blame to the primers, because who knows!
Science is fun. Because it is science. Because we are never wholly responsible for how something turns out to become. Precisely why scientists always like to believe they are always awesome. My parents are convinced too that I’m on the path to awesomeness (Wait! I’m already there!)
Why I am convinced that I am the kind of person who should do science is very simple!
Galileo wanted to become a priest. His father kicked him into medical school where he was always looking at things like chandelier and pendulum with more interest that hearts and limbs. He ended up taking mathematics and natural philosophy and made significant astronomical discoveries. You see the link? Neither can I!
Newton was at Cambridge developing a mathematical concept called calculus, which makes us detest him, but then an apple fall on his head and got him thinking. Why did the apple fall? I still wonder what Newton was doing beneath an apple tree while who knows the rest of his fellas were in the mathematics classroom STUDYING mathematics. But Newton does not care; Newton only cares about apples!
And Marie Curie. Always torn between Physics and Chemistry (also bagging a Nobel for each!) I thought specialization was a thing!
So science is not like literature where your job is to imagine and write. Science is more of observing (and observing closely!) and writing. Sometimes you can also closely observe your supervisor and write about him/her. That would make you a social scientist. But there’s no escaping it.
Like I always say, I love what science has done to me. Instead of being in an imaginary state, I have swept into my observant self. I study closely. Sometimes objects; sometimes people. I write about it. And writing makes people think I’m not into science. You don’t know science!
That was a long disclaimer just in case one day my Wiki says she compromised her tryst with literature for science. I did not!