07:00 – My alarm goes off! Usually I have another two alarms that go of 15mins apart from each other, but I had watched this video the night before, which explains why snoozing doesn’t actually make waking up any easier and I thought I would give it a go! So I drag myself out of bed and crawl into the shower.

07:30 – I’m just about ready to start the day now, although whether I feel any better getting up on first alarm is…debatable. Anyway, the one thing that always helps is a coffee!

justin1

So I weigh out the beans and I find myself constantly gazing over to my pudding for tonight, while reminding myself that it’s just not acceptable to have pudding for breakfast! So I take a breath and get back to the main business at hand…but I’m so excited for pudding! I then grind the beans and start the brewing. It’s that smell of fresh coffee that really gets me up in the morning.

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08:27 – After taking a slow 45mins to enjoy my morning fix and catching up with the daily news I make my way to the station to get to work. I was pleasantly surprised that my train was actually on time today! It feels like the day has certainly started right!

09:15 – I walk into office #1 and get ready to attack my email. Once that’s done its straight to work! I had prepared an experiment for today and I have an unusually optimistic feeling about it. I give the software I had written for it a quick look over to see if there are any glaring mistakes that I need to correct and then I make my way to office #2!

justin3

09:35 – I get to the lab for the first time this week and I realize the computer that controls my microscope is turned off. Typical! Ordinarily I wouldn’t mind but this computer takes FOREVER to turn on so I don’t usually turn it off, although maintenance work over the weekend meant that I had no choice. I have been a bit nervous about computers having their power cut unexpectedly recently because one of my hard drives completely died when my laptop’s battery ran out. Thankfully though I didn’t lose any data!

justin4

Eventually it turns back on (YAY!). But celebrations are short lived. There is a particular PCI card in the computer that I need to run the experiment I had planned, and the computer isn’t recognizing it! This has been the bane of my life recently, and another reason why I often don’t turn the computer off. Here begins a cycle of turning the computer on and off again until the card is recognized.

11:20 – AT LAST! The computer has recognized the card and now I can start testing the software I had prepared. A bug presents itself after the first run, in the form of a big fat error message…you have to love invalid input parameters. I now start the debugging process which I hope will take no more than a couple of hours.

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12:15 – Its lunch time and I’m starving. Unfortunately I hadn’t finished debugging my software but my stomach is most definitely calling. So I run to grab some food from the canteen and make my way to the lunch room to eat, and I’m greeted by these lovely people! They taught me how to take a selfie, for which I will be eternally grateful (although I am unlikely to take another one ever again!).

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13:00 – Back to work. I had almost forgot how much of a pain this software was being. Every change I had made so far had resulted in another bug.

15:00 – My software still isn’t free of bugs. It’s starting to feel a lot like playing a perpetual game of whack-a-mole, only it’s a digital whack-a-bug instead! I am in desperate need of another coffee…and maybe a slice of cake too.

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15:30 – Back to work again. That raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake was exactly the pick-me-up I needed!

16:30 – I don’t know how I still surprise myself when these things take longer than originally anticipated and I think back my “couple of hours” deadline and just…well…laugh. This software is still not free of bugs and I’m not swimming in the data I had originally hoped I would at this time in the day. Very frustrating indeed but not the end of the world, just yet anyway. I finish the day with a quick catch up/update with my supervisor and one of the postdocs in the lab.

17:15 – It’s time to go home! A little earlier than normal but I figure attacking this problem with a fresh pair of eyes tomorrow will probably be better than now, which feels like trying to play “Where’s Wally?” while using a kaleidoscope.

18:30 – I manage to wrestle my way through the rush hour traffic and eventually get home. I remember the pudding I have been looking forward to all day! Of course I start with dinner (only because apparently it’s weird to start with pudding?) and I sit and eat over an episode of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

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18:45 – It’s the moment I have been waiting for! Its sticky toffee pudding time! Immediately all the day’s struggles are forgotten as I revel in its deliciousness.

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19:00 – Refuelled and another episode Kimmy Schmidt down, I sit back to the computer to work on something for the department which is, at this time, shrouded in secrecy until next week!

21:30 – My batteries have officially run out. I finish up all the work I was doing and relax a bit for the rest of the evening. I watch another episode of Kimmy Schmidt and then crawl into bed again, with rather a poetic symmetry to this morning.

Written by Justin Aluko