1st day back in the lab

Stanford Oval

My first day working from home was 12 March. Today is the 10th August, which means I have been working from home for five months!

Today we had some hand-over training that I had to attend and I was excited to leave the house and go to work. I considered taking a Lyft, but decided to go to work very early instead to avoid crowded public transport. I left the house at 6.30 am and was surprised to see El Camino Real practically empty. I walked by Safeway and saw that it was open. Then I entered the CalTrain platform and saw that I was almost the only one there. Two other people boarded the train with me, and the rest of the train was mostly empty. So far, so good! But when I arrived at Stanford station the Marguerite bus was crowded. Not as crowded as usual, but most seats were already filled. Still, everyone onboard wore facemasks and I imagined that most of them were headed for the Medical Center.

A new office

When I arrived at the Keck building it was mostly empty. I could see someone standing in front of the lobby entrance, but I entered through a side-door and met no-one all the way into my new office. Due to the need to space us out I have volunteered to change to another room in the building, which I will be sharing with a PhD student. He will be mostly in the lab, so I basically got the whole room to myself. It´s a big room with large windows and I spent the first half-hour re-arranging it until I got it the way I wanted. I will be spending a lot of time in this room, so I thought I might as well make myself comfortable.

Hands-on training

It´s difficult to conduct training and maintain social distancing, but I think we did well by making the group very small and looking in turns. I think I learned the things I was supposed to learn from this session and I´m looking forward to trying my hands on it for real! The instrument in question is the fluorometer in combination with an absorption spectrometer, both needed to calculate fluorescence quantum yields in fluorescent proteins. The rest of the week will be dedicated to actually expressing and purifying these fluorescent proteins with labmates observing and helping me out as I try it out myself. When I first arrived I got to observe senior students do all the steps, so I am looking forward to do it myself and see if my notes are good enough….

Tomorrow I´m getting a day off from the lab work, but I suppose that the rest of the week will be quite full. I don´t mind, because I feel like I am learning a lot in the lab, and I´m finally getting somewhere with my computational work. Now I need to stay on course and aim for full speed ahead!

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