Who is this James person anyway

Sep 15th, 2004

I have already partially introduced myself, but feel I should provide more detail as to who I am and where I am at the moment.

For the past few weeks I have had a summer job working in the Medical Research Council’s ‘Laboratory of Molecular Biology’ or LMB in Cambridge. This has meant that I’ve spent much of the summer in Cambridge, rather than in Wiltshire, which is where I spend the other half of the year. You see, the awkward thing about being a student is you live in two places, and not only does the constant shifting from one place to another get annoying on my part, but it also acts to confuse all manner of forms and websites. Having said this, this will all soon come to an end. As I am about to enter my last year of uni life I will soon end up establishing a more or less permanent address myself, and with it all manner of REALLIFE(TM) problems that I have so far only heard of.

Now this summer has been interesting, as my place of work has pretty much been my target since I was very young. I don’t mean to say that at six I wanted to be working at the LMB, I didn’t even know about the place, but I did want to be a scientist, or an inventor, or an easter egg tester. The third didn’t last for long, mainly for an easter, but slowly the first two coalesced together as I gained a better understanding of what exactly ‘being a scientist entailed.’ By the time I started my A-levels I knew I wanted to go into research and become an academic, and yet it was only this summer that I really began to get a taster of exactly what that entailed.

But what about practicals?
Practicals, even up into the first two years of a degree don’t really entail research. Instead they are more like a recipe which you follow, and rather than a cake at the end you will instead gain results that more or less (usually less) correspond with what you learnt in theory. This isn’t real science. In real science you don’t know exactly what you will find, you may have an idea, but if you knew for sure there would be no point in doing the experiment. In research the results you find tell you something new and, if you are lucky, have paid attention to the journals and haven’t been beaten to the mark, you will be the first person to know that, ever. All practicals do is give experience with the skill set that allows you to achieve this.

But what about the rest of you?

I never know how to describe myself, whenever I do so I end up falling into cliches. It seems, in trying to avoid pigeon holing themselves, everyone tries to say in one form or another, that they are unique. However everyone is unique, and all this achieves is creating a new slot for people who like to class themselves as unique, and thereby just move themselves into another pigeon hole. Like the scene in Life of Brian we are all shouting ‘Yes, we are all individuals,’ and ‘Yes, we are all different.’ Thus, in keeping with this train of thought, I shall say ‘I’m not!’ and be done with it.

And in non-pretentious form please…

I still don’t know what to say. I’m me and I suppose that should come across here. I’m sceptical, occasionally overly opinionated (Though try to avoid this) have a scientific approach to ideas, occasionally applying it when it doesn’t work, or ignoring it when it would be perfectly suited. I try and be kind and considerate, though like all of us I will occasionally fail. I’m dedicated to my work, yet balance it with a social life. I’m left wing in my own views, or though believe that a stable and balanced government will have to be more central. I dislike the representation of controversial and moral subjects in terms of polarized viewpoints, and more-so when viewed in terms of polarised solutions. I feel its important to try and respect others views, although occasionally fail in the implementation of this. And like all people, I’m human. I make mistakes and fail in good intentions, as does everyone. So whatever I say, whatever I argue, I’m may be, and in many cases probably am, wrong, so don’t take anything I do say too much to heart. Besides, in some cases we may both be wrong.

I’ll make another, slightly more down to earth journal entry soon. I apologise if this one comes across as slightly pompous, I sometimes get carried away in my own thoughts.

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