Apparently I use this solely as a procrastination technique, so that when I have a lot to do but am not completely crushed, I write something; and when I am either crushed or bored, I don't.

Okay. So. Many. Things. Have. Happened.

1. I finished my thesis, which involved a poster (which was surprisingly difficult), a presentation (which was petrifying, but ultimately went all right), and a long, drawn-out process of editing. But I survived, barely, and the Roommate and I watched Korra in celebration. Yay!

2. I finished all of my classes ... barely. I had two final papers (for biogeography and intonational phonology), both of which I finished late. But I passed both classes, so apparently the professors didn't mind too much. (And in all fairness, they weren't that late, only half an hour for the one and 10 minutes for the other.)

3. My brother got stomach flu; I didn't realize it was contagious, so I promptly got stomach flu. It was actually kind of amazing how much it flattened me. Also, I lost ten pounds of water; and I only regained about half of that back, which is probably the result of basically not eating for five days. Oh well.

4. Senior week! It was surprisingly fun: we didn't do hardly any of the normal activities. The Magician and Fortitude and I went to laser tag, where we happened to run into Other Me; then, on Monday and Tuesday (May 20 and 21) we all (me, the Roommate, the Magician, Fortitude, and the Tower) went to Block Island. It was AMAZING. My pictures are crappy because my camera didn't handle the mist well, so 1) I am going to get a new camera, and 2) I will have to steal pictures from everyone else. But! We walked around a lot and saw a giant cemetery, and then biked to the south lighthouse (where I almost passed out for some reason that I'm not sure about). Then we biked to the north lighthouse, which was great fun. There was a 9/11 memorial there, too, which seemed a bit out of place. Also, the sea gulls were nesting, and became very angry if we got within a few feet, but they still refused to move off their nests. It was really cool, over all.

5. Graduation! I did it. It is over. It was kind of fun, considering all the tromping around we did in cap-and-gown. I got sunburned on half of my face, which was fun. Also, because we have departmental ceremonies instead of the president reading off everyone's name (thank God!), they had one person from each degree category go up to accept their degree symbolically for the whole of the class. I didn't realize how it worked, however, so I stood up when they called bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and dual degree folks. It was exciting, especially since they didn't really tell us dual-degreers to stand up or sit down ... we kind of just did whatever ...

6. North Carolina! I went home, and I cleaned my WHOLE ROOM. Actually, not quite, but almost. You can actually see the floor! I also met with a lawyer, who spent about ten minutes talking about clothes and clearly wanted to eke as much money out of us as possible. Oh well. I am going to have a living will, yay?

7. I returned to Providence! My room is kind of strange, it is basically a second common room that is convertible to a bedroom if needed. That means it has many windows and is very light in the morning, has no closet, and is huge. In some ways it's great: the Hermit came and visited this week, and there is a couch-like object in my room that can serve as a guest bed; and Fortitude is going to stay here on Sunday night, so it has already gotten a fair amount of use. Unfortunately, the doors have very little noise control, but so far this hasn't been much of a problem.

8. I ... finally decided to apply for a Fulbright to Ecuador! I found something to get excited about: volunteering at biological stations across the whole country! I started writing a letter to this guy there whose research looks interesting, but I haven't finished yet. I will finish by Monday, though ... I have to if I actually want someone's sponsorship. :( But I also found some programs for teaching English in various countries across the world, so I am starting to feel like I will actually manage to make this thing work—next year at the Smithsonian, the following year abroad, then graduate school. Yay!

8.b. On the topic of grad school, I went to visit my cousin at Harvard on Wednesday, and saw the Harvard OEB building. It is BEAUTIFUL, at least on the outside and in the corridors. I wish they had research there that is closer to what I want to do; I will probably end up applying, but it really isn't the best school for my area. Oh well ...

9. Newport! I am about to go to Newport with Fortitude and the Tower to visit the Roommate and do Cliffwalk and visit the mansions and things. Yay! I want to buy a new camera, so I wish I had gotten around to this before leaving for Newport, but oh well. Hopefully the Roommate will take lots of pictures.

That's about it. I should go get ready.
I guess I forgot how long it's been since I've updated this ... basically, I have been working on my thesis non-stop. (Well, almost non-stop—about as non-stop as my brain will allow.) I have all my data (!), though I feel a somewhat inexplicable urge to go count another hundred grains per slide (:'(), and I am feeling an inexplicable lack of an urge to actually write. This is bad.

I should be writing right now—which I am, just not what I need to write. Alas.

Well, a brief recap of spring break: it was fun, I tried to work on my thesis, and I did work on my thesis, just not as much as I should have. We went to trivia night on Wednesday, which was really fun—we did really badly, but we got a few cool questions (like, which candy bar was named after the owner's family horse? Snickers!), and the restaurant had a phone booth in it! (A red phone booth, but it was the closest I've seen in America that wasn't supposed to be a replica!)

Okay, off to writing. MUST WRITE.

Oops

Mar. 12th, 2012 03:07 pm
I had a meeting with my whole thesis committee (what, me? a COMMITTEE?) this afternoon, and I think I might have annoyed the retired member of my committee because I didn't actually have my data all finished. Oops. I knew I should have gotten a little farther, but seriously, I spent six hours counting slides this past weekend; I don't feel like I've been slacking too much. I will, however, finish counting the rest of my slides before Wednesday afternoon, at which point I will (hopefully!) generate my first pollen diagram. Ooh, exciting.

On the other hand, I now feel like I have a ton of work to do, because once I actually get a chance to play around with my data, I will have to spend LOTS AND LOTS OF TIME looking at it. This is my biggest problem when it comes to class projects—I spend all the time getting the data (seriously, ALL THE TIME, by which I mean probably fifty or sixty hours) and not enough time actually looking at it and understanding it. This is triply sad because I spent so much time getting the data, enjoy playing with the data the most, and deprive myself of that opportunity precisely because I spent so much time getting it in the first place.

I won't do that with my biogeography project, or my linguistics project, or my thesis, I won't!

Also, I did so much work this past weekend—I counted three slides, I read six articles, I cleaned out all my emails, I sent a bunch of emails I didn't want to send, I saw my father, I walked 31,000 steps, I inquired about summer internships, I read Other Me's story, I started to read the Hermit's NaNo, I didn't watch very much TV, I didn't play very much Dominion. And then this morning I counted another two slides, had two meetings, studied for my linguistics exam, and am now taking a break. But it won't last long! I've decided to be productive in my life, and here I am, being productive!

Lastly, my brother's girlfriend got in to Harvard, and was uber excited. She was so excited, she was shaking. I think it is her life's goal to go to Harvard; I'm sure the program there is good, but unless it just so happens to be the best in her field, she seems a little overexcited. Perhaps I have just gotten over the awe of Harvard a bit, but she is way too invested in one school. The Juggler was much more relaxed about it, and aware that there are other programs that might even fit her better; but Harvard has the great advantage of location, which is the main reason why it is still on her list. I don't know, I probably shouldn't mock my brother's girlfriend, seeing as I too will probably want to go to Harvard when I decide whether I want to do ecology or social psychology, seeing as both departments have people who do almost exactly what I would want to do. But I sincerely hope I won't be shaking from excitement, that would be way too pathetic.

Ugh

Mar. 5th, 2012 10:26 pm
I have been totally failing at working on my thesis, but right now I just can't conjure the energy to do homework. This is the problem with watching television: it is automatically more interesting in the moment, especially when I am a bit enthralled and am watching the entire series from start to finish.

God only knows why I am watching Prison Break again, because its redeeming features are slim to none. But I am.

I need to be working on my thesis, and on my classes, but I just can't bring myself to do it.
Ugh, I felt pretty terrible this afternoon. I got back from the lab, but just could not get up the energy to do anything productive; mostly, my biogeography exam is eating at me. The problem is that I know several things: 1) I have taken entire classes on the topics of single chapters in the textbook, so I am very familiar with the material; 2) I am in my fifth year, so have had many more science classes, nearly all of which have been on similar topics, than most of the other students in the class; 3) the other students have all had classes with my professor before, so they know what his tests are like, and I don't; 4) the professor told us specifically that he pretty much wanted us to know everything.

All in all, this makes me feel like I should be studying, but because I already know most of it, I'm not sure what to study. Hence, the great black cloud consumed my afternoon, and I felt pretty pathetic and terrible and like I was procrastinating and all sorts of other horrible things.

Luckily, I called my mom and ranted for about half an hour (during which time I discovered how I am in terrible shape; I am totally going to start going to the gym, I will!), then spent some time going over vocabulary and figuring out which ones I don't know completely, and then rearranged my room. I have no idea why, but rearranging my room always makes me feel better.

(Actually, I might have some idea why: it's more physical exertion than I usually put forth at a single time in a day, so perhaps it is that? Not that it is very much exertion, mind you, but more than usual, and in my as-previously-mentioned state of poor fitness, it might be enough to make me feel better.)

At the very least, I always like getting a new perspective on my walls. Hopefully I will sleep well tonight, and wake up tomorrow to go to the gym, and be a little happier and more productive tomorrow.
Wow, this weekend was long. Friday night the Roommate, Fortitude, the Tower, the Juggler, and I all played Bananagrams and Dominion for about four hours before the Roommate and I pleaded exhaustion and kicked them out. It was really fun, though; more fun than watching Sherlock or Merlin together, I think, so I wonder if we're going to watch any movies at all this year.

Then, Saturday, I spent pretty much the whole day doing readings for this week. I literally read seven articles on Saturday, I think, and another four on Sunday morning; I haven't been this efficient in quite a while. It was awesome to just be finishing everything.

Saturday night we went ice skating, which we've been meaning to do for a long time. It was really fun, but also quite painful, because I fell down three times. The first two times I knocked my funny bone, once on each arm, and then the third time I got the wind knocked out of me a little and started to feel faint. At that point, I decided I'd had enough and the Roommate and I quit; everyone else stopped ten or fifteen minutes later, and since we'd already been on the rink for about two and a half hours, it was fine.

Sunday morning, the Roommate and I met with the Emperor, which was interesting. She showed up late after having "not made it" to church, and then left half an hour later to go to the lab. She told us about her life, and then asked what we'd been doing; I got a few minutes through ... something, I don't even remember, when all of a sudden she just had to up and go. She clearly didn't care about the Roommate's life at all, and only marginally about mine. I don't know why we even try, but I guess she's a friend?

Then Sunday afternoon, I spent a long time hanging out with Other Me, who was having a rough weekend, even though she seems to be doing better over all.

Sunday night, all of us except the Roommate went over to the engineering and physics building for an astronomy lab, where Fortitude and the Juggler got us into one of the astronomy lab sections for the evening. We went up to the roof and looked through telescopes and saw constellations and Jupiter and Mars, and learned how to use a star chart. It was awesome.

Phew. It was fun, but long, and now I am covered in bruises and tired. Also, I did nothing on my thesis, which I had been intending to work on; so now this week is going to be exciting.
I am supposed to go talk to my plants professor in a couple of hours about doing an independent study with her on the plant fossil record, but I am really not sure I want to do it. It seems like it will just be a lot of hassle, and since she doesn't know much about the topic I would pretty much be learning and reading and writing a ton by myself. That isn't necessarily a problem, but while I have the opportunity to take classes with great professors I feel like I might as well take advantage of that.

So ... I am going to be enrolled in my thesis class, intonational phonology, biogeography, sociology (deviance, crime, and social control), and my thesis advisor's graduate seminar. That's five, yes, but I will probably drop either biogeography or the grad seminar; the grad seminar might not even run if there aren't enough students, so then I won't have a problem.

Biogeography looks really interesting, though it will probably stress me out a lot at various points in the semester. Nonetheless, it seems like a great capstone course to a huge amount of the material I've studied in college, so I am looking forward to it—and the discussion we had yesterday was actually pretty good. Hopefully it will continue being good.

I think I will ask my plants professor if I can work on my final project for the biogeography class with her, and/or get her input—that would be a good way to continue working with her and learning from her without forcing myself to do an independent study. I'm still a little worried about recommendations, but this seems like a decent solution.

Ugh. I might try to go talk to the deans to get their input, but it doesn't sit right with me to take a class with a professor solely so that I will have taken multiple classes with the same professor.
So, I have decided that I just won't go to the class ("Plants on a changing planet" or something like that) that I told the professor I would go to. She won't really care; there were plenty of people in the room, so my presence or absence will have no effect on her happiness.

Ha. That means that I am officially done with shopping period—at least, to some extent. I know three classes I am definitely taking: my thesis, intonational phonology, and a sociology class called "Deviance, Crime, and Social Control." For a fourth class, I am deciding between three things: my thesis advisor's graduate seminar, the biogeography class, and an independent study with my plants professor from last term.

So, no more shopping. It's down to the elimination phase. My professor's graduate seminar may not actually be offered, since only four people showed up and at least one was on the fence about the class. The independent study may not happen, because it depends on whether I 1) get my act together, 2) am allowed to, and 3) actually want to. I am pretty sure I want to, though I am equally sure that I will regret the decision later in the term.

Anyway ... yay! I am now able to do homework just for the classes I know I will take, rather than doing readings for a class that I know I won't take. (Yeah, I know: I was doing readings for a class that I wasn't planning on taking and wasn't really enjoying? Crazy?)

On another note, I am getting a little obsessed with criminal profiling. Criminal minds has ruined me; I am going to spend the semester thinking about something other than what I should be thinking about, namely my thesis. But is there really anything wrong with being interested in something? No, I tell myself, though it would be nice if my obsessions had a bit more timeliness to them. Why couldn't I get interested in this over the summer?
The last week or so has been crazy busy—what with transfer orientation wrapping up, and the first few days of classes, I am glad the weekend is here so I can spend some quality time with my books trying to figure out what to take.  Thus far, I haven't been entirely sold on any of my classes—I know I am taking my thesis and the intonational phonology course, but those are requirements I still have to fulfill.  Otherwise, I am looking for a science class, and there are four major options:  my thesis advisor's graduate seminar, an independent study with my plants professor from last term, biogeography, and a class on plant adaptations to climate change.  The last of these I doubt I will take, if only because biogeography is slightly more interesting and, to be honest, less work—I've already read half of the textbook, so I have already done about a third of the reading.  To be fair, though, I've probably done the easiest third.  Hopefully I will get to do an independent study, which will make my decision a lot easier (and my workload a lot more manageable).

I've also been looking into a sociology class on deviance, crime, and social control.  The social control bit is a little less interesting, but most of the topics seem fascinating given that I wish the class were on psychology and the law; I suppose I could talk to one of the professors in psych to ask about maybe doing an independent study on psychology and the law, but two independent studies, a thesis, and one class that actually meets probably wouldn't be good for me to actually get things done.  Maybe if either of my independent studies had other people, but I don't think it would be good for me to do them alone.

Anyway, the sociology class looks interesting, even if it isn't quite what I was looking for.  It does look like it'll be a lot of work, and I am trying very, very hard not to crush myself with work this term; so, I will definitely be taking it pass fail if I take it.

Otherwise ... transfer orientation went well, not too many students panicking and registration was a lot easier than normal because there were no other new students to compete with the transfers.

Lastly, I have been consumed by Criminal Minds.  I really, really like some of the characters, and I think they do a decent job on the plots, though by now I have seen enough that it's fairly predictable.  Nonetheless, it's fun to watch because if they mention anything about psych I can 1) look it up, or 2) already know what it is.  They actually did a good job of explaining capgras syndrome, as well as on diatoms; but otherwise, I haven't known enough about many of the topics to actually say how accurate it is.  I ... possibly have a thing for Reid's drug addiction, I wish they had made that a larger subplot rather than just a few mentions here and there, one shot of him about to take Dilaudid, and then suddenly he's at an AA (equivalent) meeting saying he's been clean for 10 months.  But that's okay ...

Okay, off to run errands.
This week was incredibly long. I cannot believe that on Tuesday, I turned in my plants final paper—now I just have to get working on those final exam questions, that class will be completely done! It's sad, I've really enjoyed it, and I have even thought about asking Erika if I could pursue my project next semester as an independent study or research (for the record, that would have me taking: thesis, intonational phonology, GIS, plant research, and geo grad seminar ... and not biogeography, so). I think I would be crushed if I tried to do my thesis and research for Erika next semester, but it was so much fun this semester that I almost want to try! If I ignore how much work next semester's classes will be (mostly, GIS and biogeography, plus my thesis) then it sounds feasible; when I start to think about GIS and biogeography and my thesis and> plants research, I start to feel a little panicky. Not good when the semester hasn't even started yet, even if it all sounds fun.

On another note, I talked to someone at the Smithsonian on Thursday about working with him for next year, and he basically said yes! There is still the issue of funding, but at least he wants me to come, so that's exciting. I have a job for next year! Now I just need to get paid!

Lastly, we (me, the Roommate, Fortitude, the Juggler, and the Tower) went to the annual gingerbread competition. Our house totally failed, but it was a lot of fun.
I just spend the last two hours grading synopses and organizing ALL THE THINGS for section. Like, literally, ALL THE THINGS. It was kind of ridiculous, but I am no longer absurdly behind on section. It is no longer hanging over my head like a ginormous Cloud of Synopses of Doom. That is one less thing to worry about—though I have to remember to send out grades to everyone in section over Thanksgiving, which is going to be annoying.

Ugh. Today I was supposed to do lab work, but my thesis supervisor (can't remember what I called her, just now) apparently had a meeting today she'd forgotten about, so I didn't have to do lab work today.

I feel so much more in control of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For my evolutionary bio sections, I've been a little disappointed at how little people talk—I try to ask what I think is an interesting question, but then no one responds; or if they do, they think there is a right answer and that they'll get the question "wrong". Most of the time, I just want them to think through the question with evolutionary logic.

So today, I decided that it was stupid to ask questions that everyone was too intimidated to answer, so we broke up in to groups and had people talk individually. It wasn't exactly brilliant, in the sense that if I'd been a little more on top of things I would have tried this earlier; but, it worked so much better. The same people talked who always talked, but there were a couple of people new people, too. We didn't exactly stay on target the whole time, but that's okay—and everyone was actually talking and thinking about evolution. So yay!!!! We're definitely going to this next week, too.

In other news, I am proceeding along with my pollen. Given how often we get set back, I think I might not actually finish before Thanksgiving is over; but I'm still going to try. This weekend is going to be hellish because I want to finish making my character matrix for my plants project on the Santalales, I need to study for my plants midterm coming up next Tuesday, I need to catch up on my NaNo (25,000 by the end of the weekend, I think ...), I need to plan my class with the Roommate for Splash next weekend, I need to read an entire book for anthro because I have a paper to write for it that's due shortly after Splash ... is that it? It's also our model UN conference this weekend, which means that a whole bunch of New Hampshirites that I know will be coming in to town, and on top of having games night with the gang tomorrow and movie night on Saturday, I am going to try to get lunch or dinner with my old social studies teacher.

Goodness. I'm getting tired just thinking about it. I need to stop playing Dominion and read about Santalales.
I'm not sure if I've ever had such a long weekend in college. Monday (yesterday, a.k.a. Halloween) didn't feel like class; it seems like the week just started today.

I went to the observatory Halloween party last night—it was fairly fun, with lots of ghosts and dead bodies and decapitated heads and things like that everywhere. Unfortunately, they didn't do liquid nitrogen ice cream this year, which they did two years ago and which was awesome; that was a bit of a disappointment. And also unfortunately, it was cloudy, so we didn't get to look at any stars or planets or things. So ... basically it was a haunted house for lots of children, which was kind of fun but not as much fun as two years ago.

The Roommate, the Juggler, and I also went to the midnight organ concert. It was AWESOME, except for the part about it being midnight. He played roughly eight different songs in the space of an hour, which was so much easier to sit through than the chorus or orchestra thirty-minute pieces; two of them I really, really liked. I forget what they were called, but I have the program so I will hopefully look them up later. He also played a Harry Potter song, which was cool, but it was more cool because he was playing it than because the song was actually nice. (Also, it wasn't awkward, which was an extra bonus!)

I talked to the Tower for a long time at dinner yesterday, which was fun. I almost convinced him to come to the observatory party and/or the midnight organ concert, but alas, I evidently failed. Also, I heard at the House meeting last night that ... er, we may or may not have done some pranking in one of his classes, so hopefully I will see him again before I forget to ask him what happened!

This morning I FINALLY got to sample one of my sediment cores, so I should be starting processing this week, and will hopefully finish processing for both cores before Thanksgiving. Yay! Except that I spilled one of the samples ... luckily, all we had to do was take another sample, but still. Care and precision are NOT my strong suits.

NaNo started today, and I successfully did NOT start last night after the organ concert. I am currently 348 words in, and I have a pretty good idea where I want to go for the next set of chapters; I'm sort of leaving the overall plot to the winds, but I know the broad outline. I just haven't picked all of the specifics yet, which is bad, because those specifics are the ones that are going to make it difficult. The broad outline is easy. But I really like where this year is going!

And on a completely unrelated note, my plants professor likes my research topic! And I do too! It's a win-win!
This week was absurdly long. I spent a lot of time in the lab learning more pollen processing, and got to look at sediment cores (!) on Wednesday. Wednesday night was the second Evolutionary Bio exam, so I spent a lot of time on Tuesday and Wednesday tutoring/TAing (or whatever it should be called). I spent at least three hours on Thursday evening working with one student who completely bombed the first exam, so hopefully she did better on the second one. She got to take it late because, on top of doing horribly the first time, she also had pneumonia for the past two weeks. Talk about a tough time!

On Thursday during Human Evolution section, we got to look at bones. BONES!!!!!!!! Okay, bones are really really cool. It's amazing how it's possible to look at a bone and figure things out about its history—not just in the evolutionary sense (is it a tetrapod? a synapsid?), but also in the forensic anthropology and taphonomic sense. I LOVE BONES. I tried to go to my professor's office hours on Thursday to ask about bones we didn't talk about in class, but he wasn't there; so, I'm going to go back on Monday.

I confess that my enthusiasm for bones makes me think that vertebrate paleontology might actually be something I'd want to study—after all, you pretty much get to spend a lot of time looking at bones. Unfortunately, you might have to spend a lot of time dissecting things too, which is not exactly something I want in my future. Alternatively, human evolution would be cool, but I do NOT want to go to grad school in an anthropology department, so I think human evolution is off the table. Finally, forensic anthropology would be SO COOL, but unfortunately I would have to 1) go to grad school in an anthropology department, and 2) probably have to dissect humans, which is even worse than other things.

Yesterday (Friday) I graded exams in the morning, then went for a meeting with Dimetrodon which she couldn't make because she was stuck in traffic, then went back to grade some more exams, then went to a TA meeting for Evolutionary Bio (whose exams I was grading), then went to class where we started to learn officially how to use Praat (which I already know how to use), then went to a meeting with someone who had worked at the Smithsonian as an intern five summers ago, then met with Dimetrodon about my thesis, then lost my keys and went traipsing around campus to find them before realizing I'd just left them in the lab, then saw a hawk outside of House and spent fifteen minutes staring at it, then went to dinner where I consumed copious amounts of ice cream, then went to the Juggler's a capella concert (she joined Disney a capella), then talked to the Tower for a little while about Merlin, then went to the Roommate's a capella concert, then went to bed.

It was a long day, as that extremely long run-on sentence demonstrates.

Anyway ... I finally this morning sent off an email to someone at the Smithsonian, so hopefully he will get back to me and I will have a job for next year! Of course, hopefully he will actually be able to pay me, but. The Roommate is going to talk to someone one Tuesday about what she would do at the Smithsonian. Hopefully everything will work out, and I will actually be able to call her my roommate without sort of kind of maybe lying.

And now, as a reward for finally finishing that email, I am going to work on my NaNo outline. I should do something important, but alas, I am not going to.
Last night I had a little blip, but it was okay because it only lasted for a few hours. I've only had one other minor episode in the last month or two (can't really remember what August was like), so that's good. I've basically been stable (well, normal—there were months and months there in the last three years where I was "stable" but miserable) for at least a month now, so I can't complain! Yay! \o/

In other news, I'm going back to New Hampshire this weekend!!!!! NEW HAMPSHIRE I LOVE YOU. Trees. Leaves. YAY! Anyway ... hopefully it will be fun, and I'm glad that last night's episode was so short, because it would have been awful to be down all weekend. :P

And in still other news ... I AM FINALLY STARTING THESIS RESEARCH!!!!! Not entirely, because I won't have samples until some time next week, but I met with Pachypteris today and she started to show me how to count pollen, about pollen features, and those sorts of things. She also gave me a lab manual to go through to teach me more about actually identifying pollen. Unfortunately, the person in charge of the lab (JR) doesn't seem terribly happy that we're coopting some of his space; so, it's going to be interesting, trying to actually get my own lab bench and drawer, and trying to gain access to the fume hood where I can use HF for pollen processing.

It's definitely not ideal, so I am going to ask Dimetrodon if she can give me some space in her lab. The fume hood situation is unavoidable, but all I need to count pollen is a microscope, a corner of a lab, and a computer. I could do it in my dorm room if absolutely necessary, but someone somewhere will manage to find me some lab space. Hopefully it won't be before JR throws a fit, though.
This was possibly the weirdest episode of Doctor Who I've ever seen.  Spoilers, of course. )

I'm glad that we have Doctor Who Sunday this afternoon, so that I can watch it again and hopefully get a better handle on what happened. There was so much switching back and forth in time that it was very confusing.

In other news, last night (yes, SATURDAY NIGHT!) I think I started to partially repair my relationship with one of my geo professors. We had a bit of a difficult time when I was in her class, because I like to ask questions and she thought my questions were stupid; whether they were or not I have no idea. But anyway, she came into the undergrad geo room to get ice cream, and I was there reading for Human Evolution, and we started talking. I explained about how I had started working on my thesis 1.0, and how I'd learned a lot about what kind of lab work I definitely don't want to do, but how I'd also figured out about how much I like doing research. It's all about the most tedious part of the job—if I can handle the most tedious part, it'll be fine. Anyway, it was good to know that not everyone in every department hates me. (Yes, I know, "hate" is a bit of a strong term; more, like they think I'm too much trouble. Which I probably am, but that's okay.)

Well, at least I know of a few professors who like me, and are willing to write me good recommendations. At a certain point, with all the switching around through departments that I've done, that's the most important thing.
As usual, the world seems to be either aligned for me or against me. Yesterday, it was definitely going in my favor. YAY!!! Basically, I went in to see my thesis advisor, and she said she had gotten my email about grad school and was excited, and was definitely willing to meet with me soon. Slightly before that, my research thesis advisor emailed me to say we could meet on Monday, basically the minute she gets back—I hope I won't impede her ability to get back into her own research, but oh well. I CAN'T WAIT TO START!!!!!! Then, I went to the Career people and the person I saw said that I had definitely done a lot of research, and that I was a competitive candidate for pretty much whatever I wanted to apply for. I kind of don't believe her, but it was still nice to hear. :)

Unfortunately, though, most REUs don't take recent college graduates; hopefully my preferred REU, that I really really really really really want to do (at the Smithsonian), will consider my application even though I will no longer be an undergad. I could also ask the Empress, who did an internship at the American Museum of Natural History in New York after she graduated; but I'm not entirely sure that I want to live in New York, even for a summer. And how exactly would I afford this? I am not entirely sure where all these people I know who do things get their money. I mean, I have some money saved up from my childhood, but I'm not about to blow it all on living in New York for a summer, or taking a surprise trip to Panama.

Anyway ... the world has continued its spin around from Everything Sucks to Everything Rocks!
I'm feeling a little better today, which is good; I was a little worried I would waste away the whole weekend, moping. But no! I did some reading this afternoon, and spent some more time looking up grad schools. It looks like pretty much my only options in the UK are Oxford and Cambridge, which is even more elitist than my current school. So ... basically, not entirely sure I really want to do that, but they have some awesome natural history museums.

I'm also not 100% sure on my field of study—paleontology/paleobiology is an obvious choice, but a GIS masters would be extremely useful, if I ever wanted to work not in academia. The other issue with paleontology is that it often involves dating fossils—and I definitely don't want to spend my life running isotopes. Running isotopes would be marginally better than dissecting things, though. At any rate, there's a project at Oxford that looks really interesting, I just have to find out if it's still accepting students.

The grad school websites are a little weird, because they expect you to come in with a project—but it can be either a project that the professor has already outlined, or you can propose your own. I'm not really sure if one is better than the other when it comes to admissions, but at least at Oxford there's something that definition sounds interesting, and will let me learn a lot about fish.

The biggest problem I'm having at the moment is navigating their websites, and finding scholarships that aren't ridiculously competitive. Not that it doesn't make sense for them to be really competitive, since I'm kind of hoping to get a full ride here; but still, it would be nice to feel like I won't have a 0.2% chance of being able to afford grad school. There are a few scholarships that provide full funding, but a lot that provide something like 1,000-5,000 pounds—which is great, but I'd need five of those to be able to go, and that's starting to sound like a lot of applications.

Hopefully I will get to talk to my advisor soon, so she can give me some better advice on whether I am totally crazy, who I could work with in the UK or Australia/New Zealand, and what to do in general with my life. Theoretically, that's what she's there for.

Tired

Sep. 23rd, 2011 12:21 pm
This week was pretty long, it's hard to believe it's only Friday. Classes are going well, but mostly I've been looking up grad schools and scholarships for next year. Also, I have to go to the career center soon to find out more about international internships in natural history museums. UGH!! So many applications! But luckily my thesis still hasn't started, really, and I'm ahead on my classes; hopefully I will get many applications done before the end of September (or at least seriously started) so that I won't be overwhelmed.

I started going to the MATLAB section this week, too—it was pretty lame. Basically, I understood nothing that happened in class, so I spent the time going through their lab on my own time, and that was fine. I'm not sure it's really worth it to go back to the class, since I don't think I'm going to learn anything there.

I'm starting to feel the first glimmerings of AHHHHHH!, which isn't good. But if I get a lot done this weekend, I'll feel a lot better—and to be honest, I've been reading articles for my thesis (yay!), looking up grad schools and scholarships, and organizing and reading for evolutionary bio. So I haven't been wasting time, but I've been going to a lot of events (field trip for Plant Evolution on Tuesday; House crafting circle on Tuesday; archaeology movie night on Wednesday, where we watched The Eagle; Career Fair on Wednesday, where I got four free T-shirts, a personal record; Science Café last night).

The Roommate and I tried to watch NCIS last night, but it was a lost cause. The Doctor must think we're betraying him or something, but it just would not play successfully; and then when we got it to play, the player quit on us halfway through. (We tried to watch it legally, but it blipped every second, which was really annoying.)

Basically ... I am tired, and looking forward to a quiet weekend. Except Sunday, where I'm volunteering at the Arts Festival.
The Roommate and I went to watch the pirate a capella group last night do an archsing. It was pretty spectacular, but they were passing around whiskey—which everyone was just sharing left, right, and center. It was a little gross. :P But the singing was awesome, even if the songs can only really be described as raunchy. In other words, if I didn't listen too closely, I loved it; when I listened closely, it was kind of odd.

We also watched The God Complex.Spoilers, obviously. But overall I liked it. )

At any rate, we have to go back and watch The Girl Who Waited and the The God Complex together. I think they'll go together a lot better than I currently think they do. Both of them are kind of maze-like, tricks of the mind. According to the Roommate, The God Complex was supposed to be in Series 5, but wasn't because Steven Moffat thought there were too many mazes in Series 5. To be honest, Series 6 seems full of mazes, especially Night Terrors, The Girl Who Waited, and The God Complex together. They are actually an interesting set.

Anyway, enough blabbering! Off to do homework. I've finally talked to my thesis advisors, and one of them isn't going to be back on campus until the end of September. So that gives me the next week or two to get ahead on my other classes, in time for October!

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lailoken

July 2012

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