Another semester done! This semester flew by in a whirlwind of new biochemistry lab experiments, attempting to be in 19 places at once advising the lab projects, preparing assignments and exams for intro organic, grading, committee meetings, and trying to stay up with the students in my research lab.

The bustle of the semester has transitioned to the bustle of the holidays and a break from classes. A question I always get from my students is “do you get a break?” or “do you get to relax between the semesters?”. The short answer is sort of… The long answer is I have an immense list of to-do’s that get put on the back burner during the semester that I have to get done. Although I tend to come into work a little later (8 instead of 7:15) and sometimes work from my couch or my parents’ kitchen table in Michigan, there is a lot that a professor has to do over the “break”. Here’s my to-do list for this break:

  1. Defrost freezer in research lab.
  2. Clean biochem lab space and return all the reagents borrowed for experimental biochemistry.
  3. Inventory consumables in research lab and order more.
  4. Figure out why Hyejin’s deprotection isn’t working and come up with a plan for her synthesis next semester.
  5. Write a syllabus for research for credit.
  6. Write a grant (this is a big one!).
  7. Plan experiments for the students for next semester (and order appropriate reagents, if necessary).
  8. Organize the organic chem notes so that they are ready for the next time I teach the class.
  9. Prepare syllabus for biochem lecture in the spring and determine if I’m going to do anything different with the course.
  10. Write and submit a number of letters of recommendation

A few has been accomplished already (and it is officially the last day of exams!) but there is still a lot to go. Wish me luck!

Happy holidays to all. Best wishes for a safe and wonderful season filled with family, delicious food, productivity, and as much relaxation time as you can find!