25 Juli 2007

A Day in My Life in the Fatherland

For the weekdays:

~6:30 - I wake up at around 6:30, which is to say I really hit my snooze button and really get up around 7:00. Following this are the usual morning rituals -- a shower and maybe a light breakfast, all before 7:45, when I have to be ready to go to lab.

8:00-8:30 - Get my apparatus ready to go (attach cold traps, check for leaks, etc.) and unload the base bath. If nothing is pressing, I take my first coffee "break" of the day, which everyone does. This is essentially the stitch-and-bitch session. I kind of wish I knew more than the scant German I know now, but not really.

8:30-11:00 - Lab work. Start reactions, observe reactions from overnight, sample reactions, etc.

11:00-12:00 - Lunch, usually at the mensa (cafeteria). The food's not too bad.

12:00-12:30 - Coffee break number 2. I can't get to work even if I want to, because everyone else is still on their coffee break/gossip session zwei.

12:30-17:00 - Normal working hours. Most people leave after this. Note: on Fridays, all of the male chemists stop, grab a beer and some popcorn, and play Worms.

17:00-18:00 - "Special" working hours, followed by the take-down rituals for my apparatus, and the loading of base bath and oven.

18:30-19:00 - Return home... or something.

It's a long day, but not as long as others. The more hardcore organic synthesis labs might be in lab longer, or on the weekends, which our Prof. doesn't encourage.

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