09 November 2014

One day of research

I had gone back to the lab to sieve some samples to see if there was anything in there I could use for radiocarbon dating, and later I'd been back to weigh what I had. And then the teaching exploded. But these samples were not sampled to gather dust in a corner. They had to get off to Scotland. And I basically lay low and just did teaching-related stuff until someone would kick me in the arse and force me to do something with them. And then that day came!

I had only cleaned the samples by hand, so I had to clean them in an ultrasonic bath, dry them, and put them into vials. And then send them off. It's more work than you'd think! Together with Guy I made little bags for  the samples in which they could be dangled in the ultrasonic bath (which actually was rather ultrasonic - not like the F16-like noise machines of Amsterdam and Plymouth); I had six of them in there at max. And with 25 samples that means 50 bathings so many sessions! And of course there is a lot of cleaning and labelling involved. And faffing with tiny baby shells that don't want to come out of the bag. So it took all day. But it's done! They are sent off! And the next batch is ready to go. In two weeks or so there is a project meeting so I'll have to prepare a bit for that, but otherwise I think I can now return to my teaching obligations. I have two piles of marking waiting for me! And two lectures to prepare. I won't have to be bored.

Our brilliant set-up of the ultrasonic bath; homemade mesh bags, fold-back clips, paperclips, stirring rods... all comes in handy! 

Samples drying in the oven

No comments: