academia animal care day in the life graduate school lab work poetry

Breaks on Campus

What happens when everyone goes on vacation during school breaks? Why would someone choose to stay and work?

My rats don’t know about the holidays.
My rats don’t know there’s a blizzard outside.
My rats don’t know the busses run less frequently these days.
My rats don’t know they could save lives with the data they provide.

My rats probably know there are fewer people around.
My rats probably know we’re less rushed without scheduling impediments.
My rats probably know it’s peaceful and easier to focus with fewer sounds.
My rats probably know I’ll still be here every morning to run their experiments.

My rats do know they’ll receive a reward if they press the correct lever.
My rats do know they get one chance each day to earn some sucrose.
My rats do know they benefit from being clever.
My rats do know I feed them every day so they don’t starve or come close.

I don’t know what I’d rather be doing or where I’d rather be.
I probably know I should take more vacations.
I do know I accomplish something every day in the lab, progressing toward an increased knowledge and understanding of our world; a worthwhile investment to me.

tls post 2 LabViewWinter

Figure 1. The view from my lab this winter break, December 2017. I can appreciate the beautiful snow from a warm workspace. Image Credit: Emma Dauster

More From Thats Life [Science]

Dialogue & Discussion