As you can see, this whole process takes a lot, a LOT of time and effort, and it's easy to get overwhelmed and claustrophobic (well, at least to me). As one who blatantly chooses to not comply with any expendable schedules and rules, I've doctored this up by choosing to morph my own schedule so that each workday still comprises everything that I love to do. As I've said before, science is not 100% of my life (an essential point, as I believe diversity in many fields is what ultimately leads to inspired ideas and creations), so I don't let it consume 100% of my day.
I thought this time I'd share how I (somewhat oddly) have chosen to set up my life in LA. So here we go, last day of chemistry before we transition into the mass spectrometer instrument room. (Note: this is usually completed over two days, but we are in crunch mode because I fly back to Atlanta in less than a week... so don't get scared about the intensity, it's not too normal)
11:30am: Class with Malaya at EDGE, absolutely amazing, I am so fortunate!!!
1:00pm: Ride back to Caltech from Hollywood (Fun note: After a recent serious bike accident related to too much exercise strain on my body, I now only ride back if I feel up to it and the weather isn't over 100 degrees; there is also a subway system that takes the same amount of time that I can use.)
To finish, I add a drop of perchloric acid one last time to each of the uranium and thorium Teflon beakers and dry down on the hot plate again (which should remove any remaining organics), then repeat with a drop of nitric acid. We now have a batch of Teflon beakers filled with a tiny thorium solid and a batch of Teflon beakers filled with a tiny uranium solid. YES! We're ready! Time to move into the instrument room with the incredibly complex and expensive inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometer. Boom!
12:00am: And time to ride home :)
Fun night-bike-ride through Pasadena.