Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Velcome again, Meester Bond. . .

Not really. Hi all, and welcome back to the Psych Blog!

Having finished number crunching, I have immediately proceeded to launch myself into testing for Experiment 3. Discouragingly, most of the first-year students in summer semester have not been properly imbued with the fear of not getting their research credit, and thus aren't signing up in droves to my wonderfully exciting and mind-expanding pre-experiment 3 experiment (read: surveys).

Hence, I've had time to take stock in between testing sessions and have a wee bit of R&R. Which it seems I needed rather badly. I liken the process to exercising to the point where you no longer realise that you're exhausted, and the moment you stop your body ceases to be a body and becomes some form of semi-rigid amoeba. Who then oozes onto the nearest couch/bed and proceeds to become immobile for the next little while. The important thing here is that your thinking organ needs time to rest too, even if you don't think you need it. Leaping from one task to the next at lightspeed may work for some, but I suspect such people are in the minority.

In my case, I've simply taken a few shorter days and have let myself sleep in. It's one thing to relax, it's another entirely to stop working, after all! A few rather amusing souls suggested that the Psych Christmas Party would be a wonderful way to relax, to which I silently laughed. Social occasions are even more exhausting than your standard statistics analysis, as far as I'm concerned. Fun, but exhausting.

Interestingly, I suspect I've also become a workaholic in the past few weeks; in the past I would get home and eagerly leap to my computer and access whatever computer game/screen-based insanity that had captured my interest. Nowadays though, I just get bored. I come into uni most weekends, not because I have crazy amounts of work to do but because I'm simply bored. Of course, it could also be that I've gone mad. The fact that I started listening to Kelly Clarkson's 'Since U Been Gone' and actually liking it may attest to this possibility. I may lose the respect of friends and colleagues for admitting that, however.

I shall return after Christmas (of which I hope you have a merry one, naturally), where I shall continue to babble about life in PhD-land!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Onwards, PhD!

Welcome again ladies and gentlemen to this blog!

You may have noticed the blogs have been coming fortnightly rather than weekly. This is mainly because I've had a fair chunk of work to do and writing a blog at the end of a day is slightly less appealing than going home, having a hot strong cup of tea and a dose of Gaming Therapy. Hence, fortnightly posts. Hope you don't mind too much :)

So, what's been happening? More of the stats stuff that I mentioned in my last blogpost. In fact, that's pretty much been my life for the past little while. Alas this isn't entirely the fun stuff, this is the rather painful monotonous stuff. It's taken me what feels like an age; it's one of those tasks that you just know will take forever the first time you do it, but when you do it for the second/third/etc time you'll kick yourself that it ever took any time at all, first time round.

As always, there are silver linings, some thinner than others. I have discovered a new genre of music that I rather like, I have listened to a number of podcasts, not to mention the truly heroic speed with which I seem to type and the skills in SPSS and Excel that I had to teach myself while doing these tasks.

So really, the stuff I learned is the prize of these tasks. I can do some pretty fancy shenanigans in SPSS and Excel now; I have slowly honed my work ethic for long tiring tasks, and so forth. And really, these things are just as the (perhaps more vaunted) skills such as concise writing, public speaking skills and so forth that a PhD requires on the surface. I have no doubt that they'll be of use for a long time to come.

See you next fortnight!