Graduate School Experience, Laura

Fourth of July: Weekend Writing

Fourth of July

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!

I celebrated Independence Day by sleeping in, eating home-made lasagna, and buying some much-needed jeans from American Eagle. I typically get my denim from Target, but I’ve found that the quality of clothes has really deteriorated.

I usually love walking into Target and grabbing a cute shirt/dress/pair of jeans as I grocery shop, but I’ve been really disappointed lately. The shirts come apart, the dresses shrink, and the jeans get holes in them within weeks. I can’t wear the clothes out in public, let alone wear them into lab. Luckily, my wife is a former shopaholic, and has tons of insight into what brands are good and inexpensive, as well as good and expensive aha!

Shey has had AE jeans from over 10 years ago… and they look brand new. So of course, I had to try them out. I picked out some jeggings, and I’m hoping that they can withstand the trials and tribulations of lab and Chicago commuting.

lincoln park

When we weren’t shopping, we were out visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo, hoping to find the Honeycomb.

Usually, I don’t enjoy the zoo. Something about seeing these beautiful animals in such a tight space behind fences makes me uneasy. But there is no doubt–they are gorgeous. We were able to see the tiger pacing back and forth in the sun and I was astounded. If you ever happen to visit Chicago, or if you want some beautiful greenery/city pictures, visit the Lincoln Park Zoo. You’ll be able to grab a few pictures, and then cross the street to get to the beach.

Disclaimer: The beach is really imported sand by the lake… but it’s still a lot of fun!

You’ll be able to grill out, play in some sand, and then head back home via public transportation or your car. Parking does get a little expensive, starting at $25 and going up to $35 for over 4 hours. But for a day out, it’s completely worth it.


The holiday weekend wasn’t all fun and games, though. I actually spent a lot of the weekend revising and rewriting two manuscripts. One has been accepted for publication and just needed a few minor revisions. Once it’s fully accepted, you’ll be able to see the link under my CV tab!

How did I edit the final proof of the manuscript? Well, via my iPad! I received this iPad as a gift when I graduated from college, and honestly did not know what to do with it. I’ve always been a pen-and-paper type of notetaker, but with technology advancing so fast I have had to catch up. I have started to download pdf versions of papers/manuscripts/etc. and I will use Notability to take notes directly on the document.

I’ll upload the pdf onto Box for safe-keeping, easy access, and for future reference. The process isn’t always perfect, and it might be a little time-consuming, especially if you’re not used to using a tablet. In the long run, I think that it’s a good way to keep track of your notes across different platforms.

The other review that I have been working on for the past few months was submitted to JNR yesterday. Eek! As this is my first ever first-author manuscript I’m submitting for publication, I am incredibly nervous, and even more excited.

How do researchers deal with the stress and possible rejection that comes from writing? What if you’re never really done editing, but you have to submit anyway? It’s been really fun writing and editing, and now we’ll just wait and see!

Hope your week is short, that your data is significant, and that your experiments go flawlessly! Happy editing!


Disclaimer: Some links in this post will direct you to Amazon for purchase. If you purchase that product or related products within 24 hours, I may get a small fee credit. I only link to products that are useful to me, as they might be useful to you.

2 thoughts on “Fourth of July: Weekend Writing

    1. Thank you so much! Chicago is filled with fun events during the summer! Now to find some very, very comfortable, but cute, walking shoes lol. I’ll be in Glasgow, UK, for a conference in September, and I’m hoping to start buying some cute, professional clothes that I can use at the conference, and then again when I go out into the city. I’ll probably go to your blog for inspiration!

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