Are My Experiments Doomed?

I just got back from a two week conference at NIMBioS, hosted by the University of Tennessee. It was great. However, I posted before I left that I had just put all my experiments in the ground and still didn’t have the power outlets installed. The question was: Will the electrical staff and power company finally get power running to the garden, after two months of telephone calls and begging?

Well. No. They didn’t. I put in the request for this work in mid-April, and the staff here and the electrical company BGE pretty much blew me off so now its only about 60% complete. The electrician just left for a new job (which wasn’t exactly a surprise) and there’s no one around to finish the work. The growing season is blowing by pretty fast, and I’m starting to worry that the incompetence of the electrician (who pretty much stopped showing up to work for the last month) and, to the same extent BGE, is going to cost me an entire year of grad school.

My two weeks at NIMBioS and my experience in trying to get things done here have opened my eyes to a new possibility: Screw experiments. Do math.

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3 thoughts on “Are My Experiments Doomed?

    • So.. I actually believe most of what EO Wilson said, and I agree with his take home point (although not everyone does). Regardless, at least in math if something takes forever and doesn’t work, it’s not because the power company isn’t returning phone calls or gave you the wrong work order number.

  1. There’s a completely under-appreciated component to grad school that people never talk about, which is: you can be the most dedicated hard working student ever, but nothing ever works as you planned (they tell you this), but large swathes of that “not working” part are due to incompetence or disinterest of others. Whole projects and/or years will be lost, simply because somebody you only have to interact with once or twice doesn’t care about their job.

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