Goodbye Clay Lab :(

When May ended, my adviser transferred to Ilocos to continue his work on an ongoing research project.  When he left UPD, there was no one available to take his place as head of the Clay Lab, which meant that our beloved lab had to shut down.  We knew it was going to happen, he talked to us about his plans of moving way back in January, which is the reason why Amie and I rushed to finish our experiments and spent so many sleepless nights in the lab trying to do everything we can before he left.   When May came around, we slowly began to pack up and started trying to get used to the idea that our lab, which we called home for the past 6 months, would eventually just be a memory.  I know it’s been more than a month since our lab officially shut down, but I haven’t really felt the loss until a few days ago.  Up until recently, I’ve still been going to NIGS and hanging out at the XRD lab with Beulah.  Although her boss (my adviser) left, her contract doesn’t end until the last week of June, which meant she still spends a lot of her time at NIGS, and Amie and I drop by whenever we can to visit her.  But June is now coming to a close, which means that Beulah will be leaving soon.  She’ll still be at UPD, but working in a different building.  Her leaving is making me feel like I’m saying goodbye to our lab all over again.

Anyway, I’m not really in the mood to write a lengthy post about how sad the whole thing is, so I’ll just spam this entry with pictures of random clay lab moments. (I tried to choose ones which I haven’t already posted in a previous entry and just link older clay lab-related posts below.)

Self-cam during my first day of working on my thesis back in August 2010.  I did mainly wet sieving back then.  I couldn’t get started on sedimentation because we didn’t have settling tubes available yet.  My adviser bought some acrylic tubes about a month after this, but Amie and I didn’t manage to set them up until December.

Amie and I cut the tubes in half in the lab, but we had to get help from the engineering department in UPLB when it came to making the bottom pieces.  (We actually took those four huge acrylic tubes with us on the bus back to LB.)  That’s Mang Eugene operating the machine in the picture.  I remember back when I was did my undergraduate thesis 5 years ago, he was also the one who helped Ena and me find a stainless steel pipe which we needed for our pelletizer.

The bottom part all done.  Mang Eugene did a great job.  He finished four of these in just a few minutes.

After Mang Eugene finished the bottom pieces, we took them and the tubes to the Physics Division’s machine shop and asked Mang Tino to help us put them together. (Mang Tino also helped me out A LOT during my undergraduate thesis days.)

Me with the unassembled settling tubes.

After putting the tubes together, we took them back to our lab in UPD.  We didn’t want to risk the tubes breaking or falling apart on the bus, so we hired a driver to take us (and the tubes) to UPD safely.  Our adviser arrived the next day to help us get started on the sedimentation process.

Setting up the clay for sedimentation.  I love how they’re all different colors XD

Anyway, when 2011 came, Amie and I started to really focus on our experiments.  We’d spend most of the week in the lab processing clay and making our samples.  We also had occasional clay lab meetings, progress reports and gimmiks.

Amie busy working (or Facebooking? XD)  Messy tables indicate a lot of work being done, haha

Our lab’s sink and storage area.  That’s not a washing machine there btw, that’s our centrifuge XD

Beulah having fun getting dirty as she processed the clay we brought back from Ilocos

Amie and I at Cloud 9 – a restaurant in Antipolo.  This was after our first progress report.  My adviser was pleased with what we have done so he treated all of us to dinner.

Our lab’s messy whiteboard with my methodology flowchart

Our oven and furnace

Centrifuge tubes

Little red M&M wants to say hello

Beulah says hi too

Beulah preparing FTIR samples wearing her wedge heels

This was taken when Brinks dropped by our lab after a job interview.  She bought us donuts and cute hair clips from the Ozine Fest.

Fighting stance using the wrenches for the FTIR sample prep

Amie looking so happy doing her experiment

Vanity shot in the XRD lab

Amie and I drinking tea while waiting for our dinner takeout at Hap Chan

My very messy work area

My samples ready for firing in the furnace

Amie washing our lab gowns in the sink using dish washing detergent, LOL

Our whiteboard again, with a few random notes on our thesis

Dinner with Amie, Beulah, Daisy and Lynne (Amie took the picture).  This is where Lynne introduced me to angel hair puttanesca and I started to get addicted to it.

Beulah with our pizza

Explaining to my adviser how I computed for the settling periods of my clay particles

Another vanity shot in the XRD lab

We drew a chibi Beulah on our lab’s whiteboard for Beulah’s birthday

Amie watching movies while waiting for her FTIR results

Amie’s samples and stuff needed for FTIR analysis

Me stirring the clay suspension before sedimentation


Ordering takeout from KFC right before we watched Pirates of the Caribbean 4 at Trinoma with Lynne and Daisy

Beulah and Amie waiting for our food

Messy table at the XRD lab where I spent most of May waiting for my XRD results

My adviser left his guitar in the lab and I tried to learn how to play by looking for tutorials online.  I was a little successful I think – I managed to figure out how to play (a very simplified version) of He’s a Pirate and If We Hold On Together by myself.

Whiteboard at the XRD lab.  I drew a chibi version of myself (the one in blue) just for fun, and after a few weeks, people started drawing other EMS members too 😀  (I also drew the little red chibi in the bottom left corner.)

When May arrived, we started slowly packing up small items in the lab.  Beulah, being the only chemist, was in charge of packing all the chemicals.

Some of the chemicals, all packed and ready for transport.

Most of our experiments involved a lot of waiting (for analysis to finish, for heat treatment, etc), so sometimes we would watch movies in the lab.  Normally we’d watch on our own laptops, but there came a time when we all wanted to see Season of the Witch so we used our lab’s computer monitor and speakers to create a mini theater.  That’s Amie setting up the monitor and my adviser getting the speakers in place.

Beulah smiling while applying lipbalm

Still smiling as she organized all our lab’s receipts and computed for our expenses

Towards the middle of May, most of our lab equipment have been packed into different containers, reminding us of what’s to come

More containers and boxes

Amie and I feeling sad about having to close the lab

Packing up the rest of the lab equipment.  Tamz and Larry dropped by to help us

So much stuff to pack

Larry looking happy because Sir Chelo gave all of our glasswares to him since he didn’t want to bring it with him to Ilocos


Amie and I saying goodbye to the settling tubes we worked so hard on

From the pictures, you can probably tell that we were a very small lab.  In fact, there were only six of us (seven if you count my adviser) – Amie, Beulah, Kat, Ate Love, Kuya Don and me.   During my stay at the lab, I spent most of my time with Amie and Beulah (Kat and Ate Love haven’t started on their thesis yet so they didn’t really spend a lot of time there).  We saw each other practically everyday and spent most of our waking hours together, sometimes we would even have sleepovers.  I guess it’s because of this that I started to see them more as sisters rather than colleagues, which makes it a million times harder to say good bye.   I know that we’ll still see each other a lot (especially Amie and me), so I might be being a bit over dramatic, but it still wouldn’t be the same.  I also know that I complained a lot this year about having to spend so much time in the lab and about being homesick, etc., but if I think about it, I actually had a lot of fun there.  I enjoyed going ukay shopping with the girls, watching movies, doing kikay stuff,  celebrating each other’s birthdays, etc.  We might have spent just a short amount of time together, but I know that those 6 months will be something I will treasure forever.


I guess I better end this entry before I start getting all emotional again.

Anyway, here are the links to past clay lab-related entries on this blog:


5 thoughts on “Goodbye Clay Lab :(

  1. Goodbye sounds so final. So I never say goodbye, I just say ….see you around……or see you again sometiime……then you will feel that it is not goodbye but just a pause…..YTG

  2. Pingback: Apartment Life : Goodbye Regina 1503 | What I have shown you is reality …

  3. Pingback: A look back on 2011 « What I have shown you is reality …

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