Apparently, I'm not the only person who has ever considered quitting and doing something else. I enjoy science (well, not as much recently), but, as I've been told, Science is Not A Care Bear Tea Party. I think that comment is supposed mean that if you can't handle the heat get out of the kitchen or some other (similar) cliche. Well, let me tell you I'm definitely not too happy with the heat right now. The whole non-progress issue is coupled with Advisor having been gone (and by gone, I mean no contact with anyone) for the past 6-8 weeks.
Advisor is normally pretty good. He's around often and will help with the whole troubleshooting process. He does well on the mentoring front, too. The only downside of this is that I'm not good at scavenging for help. Usually how this goes is that I scour the internet (and books and articles) to find a possible solution. Then, I try it. When that doesn't work, I'll repeat the aforementioned scouring. After a couple of tries at this, I'll knock on Advisor's door and ask for help. Having another set of eyes look at my problem (or just to tell me to trust the data I'm getting), not to mention encouragement, is helpful. So, now I'm trying to get other people to help me and it's just been strange (on the plus side I've gotten a bit over my shyness).
Let me tell you, though, this perseverance thing is tough. The getting out of bed in the morning to face the day thing becomes tough, too. Because I know that I'm heading into lab to either (a)tweak something and that may not (or may-- I'm just not too optimistic right now) solve my problem or (b) find out that what I did in (a) didn't solve my problem. This pretty much sucks all the joy out of science-ing. Never fear, though, I'm continuing to show up, try things, and pester Prof-that-is-intimidating-and-his-grad-students-haven't-a-clue-as-to-what-I'm-doing-wrong.
Anyhow, where does this leave me? I mean, besides the extra wine that I've been drinking and the running I've been taking. (As an aside, it was once suggested that we change the motto of our program to: "Don't drink? Well, [Program] is a great time to start!.") Well, I know that I won't quit until I get this experiment to work. After that I may not want to quit (as Scicurious noted, the getting of data usually provides a boost) and that's a likely outcome. But it may mean that this life isn't for me.