After the beginning of the week being this huge push to get menial data analysis done, I am now at the stage where no more data will be generated, and I have to figure out how to turn a so-so set of results into a compelling story for my talk.
This is made more complicated by two main facts: (1) I am essentially new to the sub-sub-field and am not finding it easy to make the interpretations or even know what things need to be interpreted, (2) while I can present an observed set of phenomena, we really don't know the mechanisms that create the phenomena. So I'm left with "well, we see this, and then this happens, but we don't really know why, but it could be one (or more) of these 10 things..." Which is fine, but not good. And good would be a really nice impression to make. (sigh)
However, even if I were to get no sleep for the next week, and have a brain transplant, we will not know the mechanism any time soon. So that's just the way it's going to be.
Having re-formed the conclusion that the science is only so-so, the stress is gone. Instead it is replaced with a draining of my energy. Who cares about this talk? Not me. I'd rather go back to polishing my manuscript, writing job apps, sleeping...just about anything.
But giving up isn't an option, so I guess I'll go back to working on the powerpoint.