I’ve been a postdoc at MIT for just over 2 months now. This past week I got settled into my cubicle after squatting in another labmate’s cubicle while he is away for the summer and the others were all full. A labmate moved back to Illinois finish his PhD there. So we’ve basically traded places. I got his cubicle and one large flat screen monitor, and he gets to take over my GIGATRON computer in RAL. My work laptop finally arrived on July 31, almost 4 weeks after ordering it instead of the promised 4-5 business days. A second large flat screen monitor and a docking station were included in the order. I’ve had fun getting everything installed and playing with new versions of my favorite software packages. I love having the docking station. I plug the laptop into a base with a box that sits behind the computer. That box has connections for USB cables and monitors. I close the laptop and use the monitors and external keyboard and mouse. It’s like having a desktop, except that I can unlock it and take it with me without having to transfer my files over before a trip or just to do some work outside my office. I am also feeling very nice in my new space. I’m no longer surrounded by two columns of my textbooks (no room on the shelves in shared cubicle). Things are neatly organized on the shelves on my desk. I have organized the layout to my tastes and have decorated a little bit (frames of my family and of Joel and I at graduation, sticky note quotes, my Dr. Ashlee N. Ford Versypt, Ph.D. name plate, my OU business card holder with MIT business cards, DOE CSGF conference name badge, my Nemo toys to remind me to just keep swimming). I’m very comfortable in the cubicle now. Also with a new laptop dedicated to work, I’m quite focused and exert more self-discipline than with my personal laptop. Having the new large dual monitor setup instead of laptop + slightly smaller monitor has been great for working on a poster for the conference I’m going to this week. I worked 65 hours this past week—a new high for me at MIT. Between the computer setup, poster preparation, contributing to a talk for our industry project update meeting (that I will miss this week), and having a very productive meeting with my advisor just before my conference the week before, I had a lot to do, but I also have an exciting plan forward and the tools and environment to do well. My confidence has soared, and I found myself really enjoying my work.
A work in progress
The new setup