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Pipetting

So, yesterday January 30th 2016 the postdoc from the algae group who I have been working with just got shocked because I told him that the standard curve he made was even weirder that the ones that he made at the previous days. It is supposed to be a straight line with R2 near to 1 of course. But his standard curve was kinda a smooth curve like a quadratic ones.

He blamed it into the pipette. And i was like.. I used the pipettes available in the lab but the result of the standard curve I made was always fine. Not as good as Allan’s or Shuai’s, but it is good.

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Then I said “I will make mine, so you can use mine to get your samples’ concentration”. I started but he still was not that satisfied. Still blamed on the pipette though. Then i took the white and blue pipettes and saw the volume they made. It was fine. He said “It is not enough to see based on the volume, lets weigh it”. We weighed the 1 ml and 0.5 ml of DI water we put into the eppendorfs and compare those two pipettes performances. The result I took was fine. Then, he took the pipette and tried by himself. The result was always below me which was not that good because it means that the result was far from the targeted weight. He tried several times, and the result was pretty consistent.

In the end, he let me did it again one more time. He said “Oh i know what is the difference”. He took the pipette again and did the pipetting slowly now. The result was getting closer to mine, but still below.

“No… It must be slowly to get the better result”

I was frowning.. “well it was supposed to be slowly and gently to get the accurate result. It is what Shuai and Allan taught me when I learn how to use the pipette”. I never used those kind of pipettes in my lab in ITB and in BPPT. So, for me, I only got the chance to do the pipetting using those kind of pipettes are here, in WSU.

“But this is how I usually do the pipetting”.

I was frowning again, thinking that the way we pipette will influence the concentration, right? Then the accuracy will be doubted. More importantly, dealing with the IC that has detection limit within 0.5 to 20 ppm get us do the pipetting several times to dilute the solution we want to analyse.

“It is still the pipette’s fault that we cannot do the pipetting in a quick way!!”

Ah.. I got some kind of opinion from what he said. I mean he said he always did the pipetting like that and it was proven to be not really accurate.. then.. Well…. I dont know.. I cannot judge his overall result from only this part of method.. but.. ah.. sudahlah wkwkwkkw….

It gives me a very valuable lesson learnt…that I am writing down here implicitly or some thought that are still hanging inside my mind even until now. Whatever it is, I am still trying my very best to get the best result as accurate as I can ^___^.

Proses menunggu ^____^

Ada banyak proses yang mau ga mau si saya harus menunggu.  Contohnya ini.. si cinta bernama biogas bacteria consortium ini memang kerjanya slow slow gmana gt. Tapi emang agak dimengerti sih yang dimakannya  memang lebih keras dr yang biasa dia makan ^_^. Biasanya cuma makan ready organic substance yang daya degradabilitasnya emang relatif mudah. Tapi yang dimakannya di penelitian iin ini adalah biomass which has something called biomass recalcitrance. Biomass recalcitrance is the most challenging factor for every bio-conversion that can hindrance any biological process to convert the biomass waste into something more valuable like biofuel.

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Dan si saya ceritanya bercita-cita mengambil bagian di dunia biomass recalcitrance ini supaya si biomass bisa sedikit lunak dan ramah buat para bacteria yang bekerja keras mencernanya untuk menjadi lebih bermanfaat.

Nah… si saya teh ngambil perannya di biogas which takes a very loooong time to finish. The last two batches I accomplished took almost two months. If the result is good which is as you expect, then it is wonderful. If not, then you should prepare possible explanation or you should repeat again the batch which will take another 2 months ahahha…

dan di masa penantian ini, si saya harap-harap cemas gmanaa gt hihi.. bukan apa2.. ini kompetisi sama deadline graduation. mudah2an masih keburu,, dan si saya bisa pulang tepat waktu.. aaamiiin

Bioproduct and Bioprocessing Engineering Laboratory Annual Retreat 2015

So, this is the continuation of my previous pieces. This event was held one day after my individual evaluation meeting. This event was when every single members of BBEL gave presentation to summary the accomplishment they have in previous year (2015) and the the target of the next year (2016).

All 27 members including post-docs, visiting researchers, PHD and master students gave 10-minute-presentation, and everyone can ask, evaluate, and give some suggestions.

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Since I am the members of 2 groups I can choose whether I will give the presentation in the morning with the AD group or in the afternoon with the pretreatment group. I choose morning tbh, not because I dont want to be a part of the pretreatment group but only because my morning’s spirit will be much more higher ^_^.

The most amusing part of my presentation was the fact that the Professor walked by himself and turn off the light to see my presentation better. He could just ask his student to do that, but he didnt. Or he could just turn that since very beginning, but he did that after two presenters. Well, it was just I felt a little bit touched to see how enthusiastic the Professor to see my presentation. It seems that it was a proof how interested he is with the silica removal concept.

There were some suggestions coming from Dr Li and Xiaochao after I finished the presentation. I noted and also recorded it. Well I always record my presentation to see how far I am improved.

In the end of the retreat, the Professor give a quite long lecture and mention how expensive the cost he was spent in 2015 to fulfill all of the necessity in the lab, almost one million dollars if I was not mistaken. A lot, isn’t it?

The most mixed feelings I got from this annual retreat was how hard it is to be a PHD student.. My mind run wildly remembering the Professor’s offer. I dont know whether I will really accept that offer or not. hehehe…. I know it is a chance,, but let see..

Oh then I also got this award. I remembered that last year, he only gave the award for two most excellent students. 2015 has 6, and I was included. To be honest I was not that excellent. My result for the HCSolb needs to be repeated to see the reproducibility. But again, the new par concept caught the professor’s attention. Moreover, electron microscopy class I took at the Fall semester obviously gave some beautiful pictures to prove that concept.

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Standing between those 5 most excellent students makes me a little bit off.. it is a pressure for sure. But it is also a valuable encouragement for me to keep moving forward and put my best effort in my remaining time here.

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(Professor, Rishi, Liang, Xiaochao, Innu, me, Jose)

Tantangan Professor, PHd Offer, and Hard Work

There is a habit or ritual in the BBEL (Bioproduct-Bioprocess Engineering Laboratory of Biological System Engineering-WSU in the beginning of every year that the Professor will evaluate the student’s performance for one year before and determine the target for one year ahead.

My evaluation in the individual meeting was scheduled at January 7th 2016, exactly one year difference with my very first individual meeting last year.

It was basically me telling the story for what I have accomplished in 2015 so far, what was the most interesting and significant findings, what was my major difficulties, and what was the suggestion for the better management. He wrote the evaluation in his file in the computer, and also in his note.

He was really interested about my result..to be exact a little bit hyped about it. That’s why when I gave myself the evaluation score, he always gave me higher score than that.

The most wonderful thing that he said at that time was that he offered me the PHD position. Unlike the others who perhaps asked for it.. Actually i did nothing.. He was the one who offered that. This thing is more or less based on my expectation regarding the fact that I am the only official student in the AD group while the other members are postdoc and long-distance-students in China, meanwhile there are abundant work in the AD field. So.. more or less I can see it coming. But well,I cannot hide my excitement and happiness when the offer came though.. This was more or less a recognition from what I have done so far.. and I am really thankful for that although I dont really feell I truly deserved it. REALLY…..

He said that I was the only master student that he already gave a promise for PHD support when I decide to continue my program here. and he also said that he only gave this chance to an excellent student..

To be honest, I was really mixed at that time. My result was not that good although he thought that the parameter I proposed is a new thing for the biogas evaluation parameter. There was a load too when I heard him saying that.. I mean,.. I am not that excellent, I am not that hardworking.. only Allah knows how I truly am.
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But that thing was said and although my original plan is to go back first and continue the doctoral program at Germany. TBH, this makes me thinks again about what I am really gonna do. I dont know yet now… The only thing that I need to focus on is the Spring Graduation and academic paper submission if I really want to end everything safely.. ehheheh…

In that evaluation., The professor wrote in the form, that “IF I can GRADUATE ON-TIME and submit 2 papers, I will be the most productive MS student in BBEL in the last 10 years”.

innalillah… this challenge hit me right in the kokoro hehhehe…. I mean.. I dont know whether I can meet this expectation or not, although there is a possibility I can do that. But bismillah….. the challenge is on…

The last thing he said was about the award that he will give to the best 6 presenters in the BBEL Annual retreat 2015 that was scheduled at January 8th. If I can make a very good presentation, I can also get the recognition from the peers. (This story will be written later ^____^). But he said, “even though you didnt get that award tomorrow, at least until now, you have the highest score from my evaluation.. and please keep the good work.”

Some of his advice were already put in the facebook though, so I will not repeat it again here.

But btw, when I told my mom regarding this, she was little sad that she thinks it will be much more better If i can come back and continue the S3 in Indonesia, get married and have a happyly ever after ending hehehhe…

well,,, so far Allah always give the best surprise for me.. so as long as I give my best for the remaining 4 months I will be happy whatever the result is..