Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lofty and Ambitious Goals

Okay! Semester is off to a good start so far. I haven't been to all of my classes as of yet, and I'm not sure where my schedule is going to settle, but it looks promising. I'm still somewhat stuck in vacation mode, and it was really nice getting out of New Mexico for a couple weeks to visit family and friends before things got busy again. I was pretty desperate to see the ocean and sleep on a beach, and I was successful in checking that off my list of to-dos for the year. I came back from CT more tan than I ever get in NM, probably because I'm so paranoid about sunburns here that I slather myself in sunscreen pretty religiously.

Classes and work aside, I have some personal goals and things I'd like to see happen over the next couple months. I really want to get back into music, I really regret letting that part of me atrophy since college. Starting next week I'm going to schedule daily bass practice, at least 40 minutes a day. Given that I kind of putz around my apartment aimlessly every morning before getting myself out the door, I can easily reallocate this time to playing my electric. If I can commit myself to this successfully for a couple months, I'm going to sell my old upright that I left in CT and allow myself to buy a new one out here in NM. I've also acquired a contact for a voice instructor, and I'd love to take singing lessons and get back into singing somewhat seriously.

Exercise. I kind of became a gym rat over the summer, going for a couple hours roughly 5 times a week. I'd be happy exercising at least 3 times a week while the semester is going, because I turn into an antsy wreck if I sit around for too long at my desk. I'm not sure how I'm going to make this work, running and lifting during the day means I'm sweaty and gross for the remainder of the day, but going at night means I'm taking the bus in the dark, which is kind of sketchy. I might need to get a parking pass to make this doable.

And I am going to harass Russ until we get our papers written and done. There's no reason I shouldn't have at least 2 papers published from my master's research by the end of the spring.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Summer is gone... sigh

The new semester starts in 3 days, and I realize that I haven't posted in over a month. Part of the reason is that I found myself a little burnt out and discouraged. The other reason is that I have been taking a mental siesta during this time.

Let's just say the past few months haven't exactly gone according to plan. In my last post I was lamenting about how no matter how much time or effort I was putting into writing, it never reaches completion. A few weeks after writing that post my working group turned in the third(?) version of our review paper for my adviser to look over. Then we didn't hear anything for a few weeks. After making three figures, editing the crap out of the paper, and various people (including myself) leaving town, I more or less had moved on from this project. In my naivety I figured we were more or less done. Oh how wrong I was.

I strolled into my office the other day, my first day back at my desk for almost 3 weeks, and the first thing I see is our paper on my chair. Bleeding. It actually had more comments on it than the previous version. This isn't the end of the world, the figures aren't going to change and the edits are somewhat minor, but COMMON! I'm so over this.

Here's the thing. It's already a really well written paper, I have no problem saying that. Many of the edits are wordsmithing or tweaking, and I'm just not up for this. Granted, some of them are worth following up on, but others kind of change the meaning of what was originally written. And that drives me nuts. I've gone over all the comments, and Meghan and I are going to work on this some over the weekend or next week.Then maybe it'll be done? Maybe?

I also discovered another orphaned paper that somehow ended up on my desk: a non-dissertation related side project left over from a class last semester. I contacted the people involved with it yesterday to see if we could resurrect it and get it done, but so far I have heard nothing. I've decided I'm not even going to worry about it, it's not going anywhere as far as I'm concerned, and I can come back to it whenever. I just don't want to see it never come to completion, especially since so many man hours have already gone into it.

Since I'm not made of time or energy, I'm going to have to start forcing myself to not work so much on side projects. They have their place, but right now I have dissertation proposals to write and comps to get ready for.