University of Pittsburgh

Day in the Life of a Pitt Graduate Student

Erick Tatro

One Word - Coffee

6:00 – One Word - Coffee

6:15 I need clean clothes, so I run down to the dryer

6:20 Should I read Research articles & plan experiments?

6:21 Nothing new on Myspace.

7:00 Breakfast of champions

7:20 I depart home for the bus

7:25 Still walking, it’s chilly today

7:40 I arrive in Oakland, and look up the hill; I walk up & down this every day. It’s good for the gluteus maximus and the adductor magnus. Silly cars in line for the garage.

7:45 I made it…faster than those cars into the garage

7:45 4th floor--where the lab (aka “second home”) is. I would have taken a photo of the lobby, but security gets mad when we do that.

8:30 Working in the lab…I am washing membranes from a western blot

8:45 Working in the lab…I weigh out chemicals that go in the buffer

9:00 Working in the lab… I like to filter before using it, any antibodies that I use as reagents would stick to any insoluble components in the milk solution – not everyone else does this but I am OCD

9:15 Labmate, Karen arrives. Yeah for human contact!

9:15 Working in the lab…Applying antibody to the membranes

9:20 Working in the lab… They incubate overnight; I won’t have to think about it until tomorrow

10:00 Karen and look up Family Guy videos

11:00 I have to go to the grad-office and the student lounge. I like to have a gander out the window on the pedestrian bridge to assess the weather and traffic. My lab is in the building on the right just above the other pedestrian bridge.

11:05 In the student lounge. I need to get some info from the computers – I am organizing our ski trip this winter.

11:10 In the student lounge. Sending emails…ski trip postponed because there was NO SNOW the January. BTW – Pitt-wireless signal reaches throughout most of this building where the med-school is.

Noon Lunch meeting with the Biomedical Grad Student Association. Any opportunity for a free lunch is definitely exploited. On any day of the week, one can usually find a meeting, seminar, presentation, etc. for free lunch.

1:31 Back in the lab. Indeed they are. And that’s a good thing. Experiments can proceed. The universe stays in tact.

2:00 Working in the lab. I’m preparing reagents…

2:30 I’m reading in my cubicle. Note the bowl of soup. There’s a coffee-cart in the lobby of my building that sells café food. Grad student read a lot. A LOT. And all that reading makes you hungry.

4:30 Back in the lab, Treating cells for an experiment.

5:30 Leaving the lab to walk a few blocks.

5:35 I arrive at the Petersen – our gym is located here and I spend some time in the gym

6:45 After departing the gym, I like to have a look around, this is the Cathedral of Learning as seen from the entrance of the Petersen.

7:15 Hauling butt to get the bar before kick-off. This is the Cathedral of Learning as seen from the front seat of my car while driving on Forbes Ave.

7:30 I meet some friends at a bar in Shadyside to watch my alma mater play in a bowl game (I don’t want to talk about how it turned out)

7:45 The bar at Bites N’Brews

8:00 Barfood! (This isn’t typical, I swear)

What Makes Pittsburgh Distinctive?

  1. The views. It’s nice to have interesting scenery. Who can beat this? Not Detroit, that’s for sure.
  2. The mates. Classmates and coworkers make the days fun.
  3. Schenley Park, Awesome disc golf course in walking distance of the lab, what more could you ask for?