For anyone who didn't come over from the other blog, my history with RTL is a long, complicated one. It is located near a field site and I visited in 2006 to make possible connections. That worked well so my advisor and I wrote a grant, got funding and I moved to RTL in January 2007. Here I lived for 8 months during which time I completed the project we were funded for while running all the experiments for my dissertation in my spare time. I was miserable most of the time, had very few-outside-of-work friends and was living in an ex-FEMA trailer that pretty much had no kitchen or bathroom**. When I left, there were still samples to be analyzed and leaving them was a difficult decision. It isn't ideal to rely upon others for your work-but sometimes you have to. The lab had an out of sight, out of mind attitude towards me and my work so I waited over a year to get the results. That brings us to the samples being messed up and my coming back here to try to figure it all out.
I spent this week pouring over the tech's lab notebook and the analyses looking for patterns. After finding them, it turns out there was a technical error that accounted for most of the errors and I was able to reanalyze those samples. The fact that it all worked is amazing- I usually have really bad luck at the bench after a period away. It has been a year since I did bench work and this week resulted in the prettiest data I have ever produced. Fixing the errors did change the downstream analyses of the data so in addition to feeling confident about the changes in the data I made, the resulting conclusions will be more interesting.
I'll be on another 7:30am flight tomorrow.
*I'm also mad as hell but that will be my next post.
**I had to shower in a different trailer and seriously, the toilet didn't work.