April 29, 2009

In Awe Of Construction.

The neighbouring house where I live is being heavily and thoroughly reconstructed and renovated. It is really getting a facelift that will last probably for decades to come.
To be honest, it is not something very pleasant for us living in the vicinity. There is noise, obstructions and dust. But to be fair to everyone involved, it is done with minimal trouble and nuisance, considering the amount and the extend of work being performed.

I love watching workers renovating or building something. It doesn’t matter what it is they do; it can be just a facade lift, reconstructions of sidewalks, reparation or resurfacing of roads or even renovations of roofs. But the best is of course to watch them building a house from scratch.
There is something extremely fascinating in observing professionals in creating something marvellous such as a new building. To me, who knows close to nothing about most of the DIY work and who relies heavily on the Irishman to help me out, seeing collaboration between skilled craftsmen and watching them construct magnificent pieces of art is very rewarding.

Even in my work, which is very abstract for most parts, the best aspect of the science I carry out is something called “protein purification”. In my field, this means to purify one single component out of a crude mixture, such as human blood, by using different systems and procedures, until I have one single pure element, also called a protein. In my profession, I deal with parts of human biology, which are minute and invisible to human eye. Most of what I do is so called "basic research" which is like a step stone for other scientists. They can use my data to make discoveries that can possibly revolutionize the world.

Therefore ending up with a pure material that I can visibly identify after weeks of effort is the most rewarding aspect of my work; the feeling must be similar to that a builder feels when he can gaze upon a renovated structure or a brand new building that he has taken part in constructing. There is a true satisfaction in seeing the fruits of ones labour.

17 comments:

Julie Hibbard said...

We must meet someday. Watching something be built or renovated is one of my favorite aspects of life. The elementary school I attended is across the street from the hotel where I work. The building was 50 years old and falling apart. They announced renovation and I went to take photos. I have now been watching the renovation--each day's process--and I love it. Yes, noisy, dusty, intrusive. But, it will be so beautiful!
The fruits of labor ARE the satisfaction of life. Whether it is in your children, your work or your garden!
Lovely!

Valentine said...

The way you described your work is part of the reason why I wanted to be a scientist when I was younger.. the things you learn from it must be fascinating! *sigh*

As for me, construction work is indeed fascinating.. just as long as it isnt happening outside my window.. hehe..

ps

I tagged you!

xx

V

Betsy said...

How fun for you to have this happening where you can watch the progress! We've had 3 additions put on our house over the last 20 years...each one of them so fun and exciting. I also love to walk through a new house being built...imagining the walls where the studs are going up...so fun!

Gal Friday said...

What a postive view you have of things! Whereas I would most likely only complain of the noise and dust and disruption if I were having a house remodelled next door to me, you are able appreciate it for the way the workers are creating something new out of something old and different and even comparing to to your own field of science!
**Nice learning a little bit more about exactly what is you do in your lab(besides play with dry ice..ha..ha!!)and I agree that one of the best feelings is that "satisfaction" you get when a job is completed.
I get a litle taste of that from time to time at the frame shop, muself, but on a far less grand scale compared to a house being constructed or your research.

Diane said...

I love watching renovations... it's why I spend a lot of time on HGTV. I definitely wouldn't want to live through one, though. Hell, even painting a room is a pain in the butt! :)

Claus said...

I agree. No matter what your field of work is, whenever you accomplish something, that ultimately is useful and helpful towards great advances, it is a great feeling.

I love renovations!, though I truly dislike the dust from them :-( Nevertheless, one has to think of the good results out of that dust, right?

Michelle H. said...

Sorry you have to deal with the noise and dust with the neighbor's renovations. It's amazing how you can take a simple construction project and find such fascinating and enlightening things from it. People must love having you as a neighbor. :)

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Ooh I like watching builders too, know what I mean, nudge nudge wink wink...

Just kidding. I do know what you mean, I am always in awe when I see buildings come together. Your job sounds utterly fascinating. Would love to hear more.

Jeanne said...

How amazing that you can make a positive out of a negative. I would simply be complaining about the noise and disruption if a neighbouring building was being renovated!
Very interesting to hear about the work you do in your lab - would love to hear more ...!:)

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Hazel Designs said...

I agree! I think this is why I love those home shows on TV so much, when they renovate homes and turn them from ordinary to something beautiful. It must be very satisfying!

Shelly's Style Shop said...

You have such a beautiful and positive attitude about everthing. I love reading your post because you make one simple thing sound so interesting and different than what other people may see it. Your way is much more interesting.

I do find it fascinating on how fast they can build something these days. Your line of work amazes me too. I hope you are having a great week.

xoxo, shelly

Hilary said...

I like the way that you can tie your own life's work in with that of others.. construction whether buildings or scientific structures, is indeed awe-inspiring. Great post. :)

Mahmud Yussop said...

I've been a contractor for as many as 15 years ( civil and renovation) and the amount of technicalities to overcome is overwhelming. Lots of sleepless nights, stress - limited time, weather and clients,not to mention financial. But I must say that one of my best experience was when at the last site meeting when I handed over the completed project to my client, I was given a big cake by them to cut for doing a job safely, in time and within budget( a 4 months job with no single day of rest and holidays allowed!) The sense of accomplishment is beyond description.Recogniton came in later with a certificate of appreciation. The project was undertaken in a 'live ' environment in the biggest LNG plant in th world at Bintulu. Doing it was like me being a doctor working on a 'live' patient. I have opted out of civil works now and I find farming a very peaceful job though plaqued with high risks of the unseen and unanticipated kinds e.g. diseases, changing market and demands,etc. The only consolation is that now I'm not pushed by people and I can experiment with my concept of eco-farming. That's it ,just to share a bit about a contractor's life.

Protege said...

=Julie,
thank you for completely getting and understanding this post.;) And meeting you would be a wonderful experience, your optimism and joy is highly contagious.;)) Thank you for your always wonderful comments.;)xo

=Valentine,
you know it is not late yet, you can still become a scientist if you wish.;) And with your maturity and intellect and you artistic inclination you would be a great one as well.;)
Thank you or the tag, you know how much I love those.;))) xo

=Betsy,
how exciting it must truly be to watch something being build that is going to be your own! All I have ever done in my house was having the fireplace built and it was so exciting, each hour something was changed.
The neighbor house is being seriously rebuilt; it has been without a roof for weeks and there were seriously large holes in the outer walls and ditches around it. But now it starts looking like a house again, a completely new house. It is so amazing!;)))

=Tina,
what a wonderful comment; beautiful compliment and kind words.;) Yes, I do a bit more than playing with dry ice indeed, hehe.;)))
You know, when P got me a reproduction of my favorite painting for my birthday last year ("The meeting on turret stairs"), I was looking for a shop that would frame it for me. Finally I decided for a gallery/frame shop that was closest to me and had the best online website. The girl that owned it and framed my painting, was around our age and I was in complete awe of her. I remember thinking clearly that I am in the wrong profession.
To me, you have the best job in the world.;)

=Diane,
yes I remember you dedicated a post to that TC channel.;)) I too love to watch DYI programs, there are many on the BBC channels.;) And I understand your sentiment about not wanting to have to do it yourself; it is much more fun to watch it being done.;))

=Claus,
so right you are, seeing the product of hard work is wonderfully satisfying.;)
I agree, he dust is the worst. In my case, also the fact that the workers rebuilding the roof can stare right into my terrace where I love to lie and relax. Hehe.;))

=Michelle,
so kind you are; I hope I am a good neighbor although I have to be honest;I can also find things to complain and lament about. As I live in such a close proximity to my neighbors, sometimes it feels like they are in my backyard;)) But the are all wonderful and I am happy to be truly lucky in this area.;))

=Reasons to be Cheerful...,
hehehe, your comment made me laugh out loud! I guess it reminded me of a clip I was once send from a British comedy show called "Smack the pony", depicting workers and a kitten or something like that.;)) I ma sure you know which one I mean.;)) Hehe;))
I will be happy to write more about my work at some point, I am always worried about boring people with it though.;))

=Jeanne,
I guess I am an optimist at heart, I have always been that.;) That is why I love the quote in my header.;)
Thank you for expressing interest in my work, I will try to focus a post or two in that area.;) Always glad when you stop by.;)) xo

=sarah,
thank you for stopping by, your give away sounds exciting.;)

=Hazel,
when I first moved into my house, i was obsessed with DYI shows and I watched them every Saturday morning.;) I so know what you mean.;))

=Shelly,
what a beautifully touching comment, I am flattered that you feel this way about my writing. I am always happy when you stop for a visit. I m also glad that you like to hear about my work; as others have expressed an interest as well, I guess some post in the future might be dedicated to my professional life.;)
Likewise hope your week is going well.;))xo

=Hilary,
a compliment from you means the world to me. Glad you liked this; your visits are always appreciated, my dearest friend.;)) xoxo

=Mahmud,
what a wonderfully insightful description of your profession! You keep surprising me at all times;, an artist, an gardener, an adventurer, a writer and a poet! And a contractor?! Isn't there anything you can not do.;)) Love to hear more about this profession. I think I completely understand some of the stress of meeting the deadlines and dealing with the customers.
What a great comment.;)

A Woman Of No Importance said...

That is so interesting, Z, to find out more about what important scientific work you do... And, once again, that you have taken the time to stop and watch renovation, building, and to share it with us - So many of us live life not noticing things happening around us.

That frightens me most about human nature...

You are an exception and have exceptional talent for noticing, reflecting and reportage, my dahlink! xxooxx

Protege said...

=Fhina,
how wonderful that you stopped by and left lovely comments and kind compliments on all my posts, that is so nice of you.
I am happy that you found my thoughts about this somewhat mundane subject interesting; sometimes I just like to find magic in everything around me and I have realized that if I only look, it is there. Glad someone else agrees.;)xo