Monday, April 14, 2008

Tales from an offline diary...

April 12

Every once in awhile, like when I finish a section of my paper, I allow myself a second of "I've almost graduated!" excitement.

Then the horror of "Now I have to get in front of a class and teach!" hits me. I have no fear of getting in front of a group and starting a discussion... that's what I specialize in. But to write and deliver my own material?

I've written up four syllabi now (3 to apply to Dawson, and the 4th was a requirement for my degree) and they're long and complex. You have to think of the most logical way to present the information--much like writing a paper. You have to figure out what to include or drop. You have to gage the reading level of your audience, and you're wading through all this research trying to find the best article to express a certain idea.

But that's just putting together the readings! I've never taken this material and written out lectures. Eep! Obviously that's what I should do next. Obviously once school is done it's the last thing I'm gonna wanna do.

Oh well. One step at a time, that's the only way to accomplish your goals. I learned longo time-o ago to not get overwhelmed by the thing that's a few steps ahead; you have to take the goals, break them down into short steps, and hack away at each one.

Which is to say... back to my friggin research paper.

Ap 13 7 PM

Man am I ever tired of nose blowing. I've been sick for over a week now--this is more than the average head cold, which usually lasts a few days for me. This is some nasty bug that wants to graduate with me so it can be called Master Buggy.

I'm editing today, and it's slow going. I tend to want my writing to sound like the fairies came out of the woods at night with magic typewriters. I like to produce good prose. It's harder when I get to describing my stats results--I'm less adept at that type of writing. Back I go...


The editing is done, conclusion written. Rice Krispie treats are in the freezer cooling, and it's time to do graphs and tables. If I can get these done tonight, then tomorrow I just have to do footnotes (which are about half done) and look up a few odds and sods. Where is my beer chugging team when I need them? Go! Go! Go!

2 Am Ap 14

Change of venue: Sitting in bed. I found an error in my paper which required correcting and a lot of RK squares. Then I ran through all my CLARIFY simulations, which is a software you can use in conjunction with Stata to describe your results in a clearer manner. It's taken me awhile to get the hang of it, but I'm pretty happy with my results.

Now I have to decide what tables and graphs I need, and build them. If you build it... the grades will come.

4:20 AM
Alright... no time for graphs tonight. Tables are soooo fiddly. It took me about 2 hours to make the main one. The Clarify one should hopefully be quicker. Eep! Eep! Then I'll abed. The graphs are done, at least, they too just need fiddling. Man... in some ways things must have been easier in The Olden Days when you did this crap by hand!

5:09 Off to bed we go.

Latest mabeltalk posts, so you can catch what interests you :-)

Where would I be without you?

Support Wikipedia