I have a journal club to prepare for a couple of weeks’ time, and I guess it could be handy to write a guide on preparing for a journal club presentation. Or at least, this is what I do about it.

Selection of journal : I tend to choose a journal which is related to my work, but still contain plenty of information that would be of interest to everyone else in my lab. Such as methods or statistics that would be useful to most of my colleagues.

Informing others : well, this is obvious. I normally send an internal email with the article in PDF so everyone can at the very least have a quick look through, without having to go through the trouble of searching and downloading the paper again.

Preparing presentation :  give a background to the paper, look into the methods that were used, summarising the main findings and discuss the authors’ conclusion. I try to use mainly the graphs/tables etc in the paper as a mean of presenting the results, as oppose to wordy descriptions.

Discussion and critiques : just because something has been published, it doesn’t mean it’s flawless. With the group, we have Q&As to try to dissect the analysis and the data/result validity, and how the method would have worked in a different projects, how adaptations can be made, how statistics can be more appropriately interpretated, etc.

Reviewing the week

16 March 2008

Work has been slow and not quite all that forthcoming. Especially when plagued with a dataset that’s not at all consistent across the board, and I live in constant fear that I’m going to introduce some bugs in my code which subsequently lead to errors that I have no way of tracking easily.

Ah the joy of bioinformatics – not!

I also barely managed to get half of my readings done, which is much too slow to my liking. I don’t know what has happened to my productivity. I can’t seem to concentrate and ended up re-reading paragraphs upon paragraphs, and kept on doubling back to check on details. I really need to put away my personal worries, or at least stash them at home when I leave for the lab in the morning, and get my research back on track.

Personal tasks for the week though had been duly carried out and completed, which I supposed says for something, that I still feel some sort of control over my life. That can only be a good thing right?

I’ve been on the emotional rollercoaster in the past few weeks, up and down, up and down. So much so that I’m nearly afraid to trust my own instinct and feeling anymore. I have just crash and burn after letting go of my usual tightly reined control of my emotions, and I frankly don’t think I’d want any surprises right now.

So what do you do when you think someone else is seeking more than friendship from you, after lending a listening ear through the difficult time?

Maybe I am overreacting, imagining things that are not there, and reading too much into everything. This friend in question may just happen to be really nice and supportive, and therefore a little more sensitive to my feelings etc.

But past experience had taught me not to take this for granted.

For another friend a few years back, after seeing me through the break down of a relationship, ended up spilling his feelings and making things very awkward between us. We stopped talking for such a long time, which was rather upsetting given we were very close as friends. To this day, even though we still talk and hang out, things never went back the way it was and I guess we never recovered.

I fear for something like this right now too…

I have tried to be subtle in dropping hints that I’m still not quite over the boy right now, and even when I do, I have a preference for different kind of guy. What else can I do? I’ve been keeping some distance and not try to give the wrong signals, but I also know that, as human, we sometimes blatantly ignore signs that we don’t want to see. What then?