Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lab legacy

Every generation has a legacy. "Every generation has a chance to change the world," as Bono said. In lab life it is the same. Grad student pass down time-honored traditions from grad generation to grad generation (graduate generations only last around 7 years, but seem infinitely longer) and may be scoffed at by the incoming young buck but ultimately are handed down by him/her as well.

In my lab the tradition is symbolized by a bottle of Coors Light. It sits in the freezer section of our grad office fridge, which hasn't had the power to freeze anything since the time I've been around. The bottle is mysteriously capped but half empty (yes, grad students always see any beer container as half-empty, not half full), and the label dates it's origin to around 1997.

This one relic captures the spirit of much of the equipment in our lab. Mysterious, old and crusty, dubiously useful and yet, kept around in the hopes of being useful in an emergency.

Since it's a quarter to midnight and I'm still here, it might just be that time.

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