Today I spent what I hope was my last day in the clean lab. While it is not something I am sad to say goodbye to, it is the one place I am guaranteed to feel like a scientist. In contrast to my field work, research in the clean lab is exact.
Before entering the room, which is pressurized to prevent any air from entering the lab, little white booties are put on over my shoes. Then I stand on sticky mat to clean off the bottom of the booties. Upon entering the room, which of course requires the correct code to unlock the door, a white lab coat is put over my clothes. Then I am surrounded by the soft hum of the air filters and the fume hood with the black and white checker floor beneath my booted feet. While in the clean lab, I work with dangerous acids and use disposable equipment, all while wearing safety goggles and special gloves. I work in concentrations of parts per million and parts per billion.
If you were to walk into the lab today, there would be no question in your mind about what you sawâ€”everything points to a scientist hard at work. It makes me smile. And then I laugh because I prefer to be the scientist jerry rigging equipment in the field covered with mud from head to toe. But if anyone ever asks, I can say that I was once the perfect image of a scientist.
This week my gi tract has not been my best friend. Further descriptions of this were written, but are now erased; I easily forget what is considered acceptable conversation by most people. Suffice it to say that now everything stays in, but my stomach cramps whenever I eat. (On a side note, this is supposed to happen when I am in the African bush not in a city in the Midwest, US of A.) This means that my diet has been reduced to simple carbs. I thought I could enjoy this for a while. It makes food easy to prepare and I donâ€™t have to feel bad about having toast for dinner. But the doc also said no dairy and to stay away from fiber.
This means that the pork tenderloins I bought are now in the freezer, that the spaghetti squash is uncooked, and the wonderful veggies from the farmerâ€™s market remain in the drawer of my fridge. No spicy black beans or stir fried veggies. No fresh tomato sauce. The leftover pear apple cobbler from Sunday dinner remains uneaten.
Tonight I mixed up my diet and had white pancakes with syrup. No whole wheat pancakes with bananas and pecans.
Today I found a recipe for zucchini pear soup. I canâ€™t wait to feel good again.
Where have I been?
Writing and editing my dissertation.
in the lab
Empty gas tanks
an inch of water
No black tea
Forgotten steamed milk
Empty half and half
the dayâ€™s end
hours of Deciphering
finds Bizarre data
a New day
Clay details have iron oxide wash that is not glazed.
Porcelain, white glaze.Â