04 April 2007

An Assortment of Sorts

Ah, the air of being busy.

Plenty of things happened in the past few days, so let me recount them one by one.

First off, after recovering from my cold and eye infection, I got back to work. I finally got approval for my experiment to run, so I started running them this week. People have already signed up for it, and just today, I met with about 8 people to conduct the experiment with them. So I am getting the data that I needed. Casually looking at the results, I can see that my hypothesis is true to a certain extent. That is a good sign, so that I have something to write about.

Speaking of experiments, if you want to be a participant of a linguistic experiment, then why not visit this site? I saw this before on LinguistList and so I clicked on it. It is free, it will only take 10 minutes of your time. And you don't have to be a native speaker of any language for you to participate. I guess since I am an experimental linguist, I take my time to be a participant for other experiments as well, I guess it is just a courtesy. If I want participants, I should be willing to be a participant as well.

Some exciting news. By this time, I am already sure that I will be heading to Manila this May-June to conduct a series of experiments in my Alma Mater. So I already notified the proper authorities and is currently in the process of getting an official documentation of access. In return, a professor in the department asked me to give a lecture series. He wants me to give three lectures in different topics. I thought about it, and why not? I guess he sees this as an opportunity to inject new ideas to the department. I have to say, when I was there, all I did was syntax, and within syntax, all I did was one flavor of syntax. The other branches of the field simply isn't being given proper attention. For crying out loud, there isn't even a Phonetics Lab, a Computational Linguistics Lab, and these subjects aren't being taught to the students at all! Everything revolves around syntax. So in I come with ideas in other branches of the field, and this may be a way of trying to get the department branch out. So I will be preparing 3 30-minute talks that I will give during June. Well, I guess after this, I have something to put in my "Invited Talks and Colloquia" section in my CV.

I was reading the news the other day, and I saw some interesting news from Japan. According to this article, a group of Japanese musicians played non-stop for 184 hours, making this event the longest concert ever held. And an earthquake wasn't able to stop them either. Amazing.

There has been some drama in the department and also in my life recently. This is the sort of stuff that usually happen in high school, and I thought that in graduate school, you don't see it anymore, but alas, I am wrong. I am not intending to rant here about what happened, I don't want other people to see what the not-so-good qualities of this person are, so all I will be saying will be from my side. I don't like "babysitting". I don't like giving away answers. If a person needs help, as a teacher, I will do my best to guide the student to the answer, and so that he or she will be the one to discover what the answer will be. I do not simply give it away. In the long run, this will help the student exercise his mind and be independent. If the student does not like my methodology, then go ahead and find someone who is willing to give the answer away.

Now, this is graduate school. I guess if one is intending on being in graduate school, there are a couple of points that one has to keep in mind. First, the era where you are the shining star in your class is over. Unlike in undergrad, where you can be the brightest kid and earn the respect of your teachers and be the subject of envy of your classmates, in grad school, everyone else is as bright or may be brighter than you. Deal with it. So if you are not used to being the one on the top of the class, then be prepared to get used to it pretty soon. Second, due to the fact that people are expected to work on their own now, be prepared to work on your own as well. Do not expect people to hand in answers to your face. The graduate school environment is a competitive one: if students are put into teams, other students will want a teammate who can contribute to the goal. So if you are just writing out stuff that was given to you, and not actively putting in something to the pot, then you'll be out one way or the other. Finally, grad school is a place for studying, not a place for socializing. Do not expect everyone to be friendly and chatty. People have work to do, experiments to conduct, papers to read, and quizzes and tests to grade. O course, I do believe in the adage that "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." but an office is a place for studying and working, not chatting.

So there, one of my officemates moved out of the office and switched with someone else's. So I have a new officemate, which in turn is actually good. With this one, I can bounce ideas off my head, and we seem to get along well. Hopefully, things will be better from this point onward.

Oh wow, I just illustrated another example of Social Darwinism.

So before I go, let me post another of my Lackawanna Basilica Series. This one still has people expressing their devotion as the subject. Black and white as usual.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, good luck on your experiments in UP. Oh cool... you're actually giving three lectures. You're doing well LIW.

    Petty social politics... I think it happens everywhere. People don't really grow up from their high school pettiness.

    I love your Basilica series. Where is this?