Friday, October 16, 2009

dissertation in progress

I made some significant progress in my dissertation this week by actually working on my proposal. Crazy, I know. I had a really good meeting with one of my committee members yesterday and talked to my advisor a bunch and I finally today feel like I have a manageable plan that will actually happen sometime in the near future. The IRB fun stuff is up first, since that needs to get approved and takes a while. Then I will finish the actual proposal in the next couple of weeks and get that approved in hopefully early November. The rest of the semester will be spent planning and refining the materials for an implementation in January/early February. This will give me enough time to analyze the data and write so I can finish in May. phew. It's going to be here before I know it.
In other career-related news, my NARST proposal got accepted to present at the conference in March (so I also need to have data analyzed to talk about then). AND, I got accepted as a NSF CADRE fellow for the upcoming PI meeting in Washington, DC next month. That should be a great learning and networking experience. I can't wait!
In non-career-related news, Laika is still the greatest dog ever, it is going to be 100 degrees here tomorrow (yuck), and I finished reading Infinite Jest (I finished it last month, but I still think it's best book I've ever read).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

cool clouds

there were some awesome clouds today right around the time I got home. there was a summer storm just west of here which is why it was all weird. here are a bunch of pictures (click on album to see more):

cool clouds

Monday, June 15, 2009

Academic English and Orwell

with regard to Academic English, from the text and a footnote of David Foster Wallace's "Authority and American Usage" found in *Consider the Lobster*:
"... in support of this total contempt and intolerance I cite no less an authority than Mr. G. Orwell, who 50 years ago had AE [Academic English] pegged as a 'mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence' in which 'it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning.'" -->footnote: "This was in his 1946 'Politics and the English Language,' an essay that despite its date (and the basic redundancy of its title) remains the definitive SNOOT statement on Academese. Orwell's famous AE translation of the gorgeous 'I saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift' part of Ecclesiastes as 'Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account' should be tattooed on the left wrist of every grad student in the anglophone world." (p. 114-115)

point noted.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

back from the dead

My blog is back from the dead. (Not me - I'm not a zombie. duh.) After a semester of neglect, I have decided to continue with the blog even though twitter will still be a much more immediate and consistently updated venue for my thoughts.

The last few months (i.e., the spring semester) was crazy and I have only recently begun to feel like things are back to "normal". I was taking two classes, teaching a class, and doing research. Oh, and working on my comprehensive exam and presenting at two conferences. All that stress is finally behind me and now I can concentrate on making my dissertation proposal (which I hope to have approved by the end of the summer) as awesome as possible. My research is still really interesting and is going pretty well. I just keep having minor panic attacks that the game/technology won't be ready in time and that it won't work and that the kids aren't going to like it and I won't be able to get any decent data and my data won't say anything interesting. So, no big deal, really.

Plans for the summer include: finally reading David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (with the Infinite Summer groups here on the intertubes), going camping a bunch, going to a conference in Michigan, going to a big research group meeting in Minnesota (I think), possibly going to my aunt and uncle's cabin on the Twin Lakes in California, and of course, working working working on my research.

I have also decided to start capitalizing sentences here. I'm not sure why.