(one of Michka's transiency_scenarios)

My head aches. The flickering neon lights of my windowless basement office do not help. I have been stuck on this modelisation for several weeks, and I cannot get rid of this nauseous feeling at the sight of the flashy amino-acids turning around on my screen.

I have every morning a harder time to gather the energy to get up. I don't really know if I should incriminate chronic fatigue or simple lack of motivation.

My days are evenly split between few sleeping hours in my small appartment on the upper East Side and the Molecular Modeling Center of New York University. When I am not getting crazy in front of my computer screen, I spend some time to teach sleepy students how to solve Gibbs Energy Optimization equations using Comsol in another window-less computer room.

I really have to figure out the issue with this simulation now, even if I have to spend my night on it. Tomorrow at nine, my plane takes off. I go to Zurich, to attend a symposium on “Multi-Factor Gibbs Energy Optimization Problems: from Quantic Models to Physical Chemistry”. I have to present some obscure work for my professor, who is currently attending a symposium on “Biodiversity & Health: How Rain Forests will Save Us All” in Costa Rica. Fortunately, I will have the chance to share dinner with my parents who will come to Zurich for the occasion. However, I will not have time to see my native village: I have to teach the day after to NYU students. With the jetlag headache, it will be fun.

I thought that working as a free-lance researcher would grant me some time to be involved in some of the flourishing urban agriculture experiments here in New York, or to volunteer at the Park Slope Cooperative Grocery Shop. However, more and more budget cuts reduced free-lancer salaries by half, and I have now to work from dawn to dusk without any brain left for anything but TV and bed.

And still, I should be happy I got hired. The budget with the lowest-cuts being the military research, they kept investing in the defense against biological weapons. That's how I ended up docking thousands of small molecules to several Ebola virus' critical proteins. And got a few uncomfortable discussions with some of my republican colleagues, on how they were proud to help maintain the supremacy of their country by their technical skills. Feeling lonely in the greatest city on Earth… Great job.


One of Four biotechnologist_scenarios: