The summer is officially more than halfway over and the specter of the academic year is looming. For the last 3 weeks I have essentially been out of the office, between traveling and a 'vacation' that turned into "let's do every home improvement project we've been putting off for the last year all in less than a week". The break from my desk has been good, however, even if has not been a time of relaxation.
The break also provides an opportunity to sit back and look things over now that I've had some distance. Grants have been submitted, so that deadline is no longer an issue for a little while. An enormous amount of data has come back as well, and suddenly we have a much more comprehensive dataset than we had originally thought we would. These data and others have been gathering for a while and now that the lab is back from traveling, we will finally be able to sink our teeth in and churn out the papers from them.
We also have two new members joining the lab within the next 6 weeks and one graduating, so there will be a time of change to deal with as we incorporate the new people into the mix and figure out where they best fit and what new they can bring to the work we are doing. It also means saying goodbye to the lab's first student, which will be a landmark event in itself.
Inescapably, it's also time to assess our financial situation. The conference season was excellent for the students and myself, but dude, we spent money like a drunken bachelor in Vegas for the first time. There were flights, there was accommodation and there was food (some which I still know the identity of). I don't regret it, but we took a good hit to the account. This week it will be time to look over everything and figure out what we can and can not do in the next 6 - 12 months without outside funding. I'm hoping the answer isn't terrifying, but at least we have a sea of data to wade through.
Finally, I have been thinking a lot about this blog and where to go next. I have figured a few things out and have some changes planned. Stay tuned.