Optimistic and going home

I'm out in Remote Technical Lab (RTL) and have been working away. Things are going well and I am optimistic* about my ability to fix the data, finish things here and get home. I am wrapping things up today and heading home tomorrow, actually.

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.


Amanda said...

Yay! It sounds like things are working out rather nicely. I'm so glad that it can be salvaged.

ScienceGirl said...

So glad that this source of stress is finally going away for you. I hope arriving back home, with even more interesting than expected data, will feel good!

Dr. Brazen Hussy said...

Yay, I'm glad you got that worked out!

Laurie said...

Yay! Glad to hear you are optimistic!

Albatross said...

Thanks! I am very pleased with how it turned out. There was just so much stress from not even knowing what the situation was. Very glad to move on.