I spent the weekend with some of my family for the first time since at least Christmas, and a lot longer in some cases. Some “hilarious” quips about how I’m “still a student” and how I don’t have a “real” job were met with the usual disdain from myself because as everyone who has done a PhD knows, you a definitely no longer a student and you get out precisely what you put in. Personally, I’m of the opinion that if I am being paid, then I probably should spend a fairly high proportion of the working week, you know, working. I may not get taxed on my pay, but it’s not like I earn a fortune. Anyway, enough of my ranting and on to my Monday.
As I previously mentioned, I was at home for the weekend. I would have travelled back to university yesterday but as the British people among you will know, travelling by train on a Sunday is a monumental error. A two hour train journey during the week would have taken close to four hours last night because part of the train journey had been replaced what I can only imagine was either a moped or a horse and cart. Anyway, I travelled back in rush hour this morning which was highly entertaining. I managed to catch a train chock full of schoolchildren for a solid half of my journey. My phone and mp3 player has run out of battery at this point so I spent an hour listening to inane chatter. Looking back, how I managed to avoid killing someone is quite frankly beyond me.
I arrived at work around half 10, had a cup of coffee and then planned out my day. “This week will largely involve me making lots of starting materials and thus should move along without a hitch” I thought smugly to myself. How wrong I was. Two literature procedures were planned for today. This involved me essentially following recipes and getting pretty white crystals. I had even done one of them before but this did not stop it being a royal pain. For some reason unbeknownst to be me, it completely failed taking 36 grams of reagent with it and turning it into horrible black oil (never, and I repeat never, a good sign in organic chemistry). The other reaction, after excessive tinkering on my part finally showed signs of progressing just as it dawned on me I had forgotten something. Tonight was the start of the voluntary French lessons I enthusiastically signed up for at some point before Christmas.
I walked in five minutes late because the Chemistry department lock the front door at half five, a fact that had slipped my mind. I said “Bonjour” to everyone and then proceeded to realise over the course of two hours how much French I had forgotten since I got an A* in French in my GCSE’s eight years ago. This was not the most entertaining two hours I have ever spent; I will tell you that for nothing. Oh well, that’s how the next nine Monday evenings will be spent, so I guess I’m going to have to grit my teeth and get on with it. Oh well, at least I’m not paying for it I guess…