Having written a draft of the results for my thesis, I’ve now turned to the introductory chapter. It’s slow going. I had sort of an idea about how I wanted to start the whole thing off–you know, the introduction to the introduction–and I’ve gotten two pages (double-spaced) written. But I looked it over and I glanced at a couple of thesis introductions from former lab members and most of what I have written so far is waaaaaayyyy too simplistic. I know, I know, I should just keep writing, but guys, what I’ve got is probably Cell Bio 101 material. Maybe even remedial cell bio material. So, it’s totally going to have to be trashed. However, writing it has helped me organize my thoughts which were so frazzled yesterday afternoon (when I started this endeavor) that for a moment, I couldn’t remember what the big picture was. Actually, not the big picture, but the BIG big picture. As in, why the hell the cell needed what I’m studying anyway.
I know. It’s incomprehensible that I had that sort of brain function meltdown at this stage in my career, but I’ve been so focused on the knitty-gritty details of two of the proteins I’m studying that, while I could instantly spout off why what I’m studying is important and interesting to my field, for a moment I drew a blank when contemplating why what I’m studying is important to LIFE.
*shakes head in dismay*
Additionally, I keep getting side-tracked looking up tangential information. I spent a ridiculous amount of time yesterday trying to confirm an aspect of this function in prokaryotes which I mentioned in one sentence. A sentence that I will likely be throwing out. I found one review that mentioned something interesting which led me to another review about a related topic which led me to another review and another and another until I was finally reading about some unrelated topic.* Also, I pulled down my college cell bio texts. That was when the post-doc who works at the other bench in my bay told me I was on the road to crazyville and should probably just go home.
Today is going much better. The content of my writing has gradually turned into something much more sophisticated. So, in the end, I’ll probably just cut off those first six paragraphs or so and nobody will ever read the portion that should probably be named “Cell Biology for Dummies” (or possibly “Cell Biology for Senior Grad Students Who Are So Caught Up in Their Work They Cannot See the Forest for the Trees”).
*This happens to me when I look up words in the dictionary, too. I get distracted by the guide words at the top of each page as I’m flipping through it (and, any drawings or pictures on that page–ooh pretty pictures!) which is why it takes me half an hour to look up a definition.