The quiet of the laboratory was overwhelming. Machines from left and far hummed as their fans stirred. Overhead vents bustled like swarms of bees, muffled. And alarms beeped. One-two-three. Pause. One-two-three.
In those solemn, lonely moments, waiting on the machine to beep in completion and in beckoning for the scientist to click the green arrow, one was lost in the laboratory. Surrounded only by immaculate, sterile equipment, blues, and bright oranges gave a falsified life to the otherwise empty hall. The carroty stool became a resting place for nine hours.
Yet, the method of gathering data for a fact that could be expressed in a sentence of less is tedious. Regardless of the criteria necessitated by applications and expounded upon in detached resumes, one could easily presume that any individual could be trained to press and write. Aptly put, the only difference between screwing around and science is that the latter is esoterically written.
Yet, while other scientific moments demand originality and innovation and above all, attention to detail, the in-betweens of pipetting and pressing play allow a special kind of opportunity. In that downtime, there are minutes to read scientific literature, respond to emails, or merely wait aimlessly.
For me, I fill those minutes with sound bites from NPR on happenings of faraway places and perspectives on the human condition. When my energy is low, I blast the playlist of an emotional roller coaster. I read memoirs and poetry, fantasies and introspections. And in the quiet of the laboratory, I build my own escape into thoughts. I write.
Image credit: Jessica Shin