22 October 2009


This week has been very hectic, and it seems that I have had stuff to do for every hour or minute of it.

Anyway, in the realm of my dissertation, I have been told by my adviser to think about the deep shit. What this meant was that I had to step back a little and think about the most basic of the basic principles when it comes to what I am working on. I have been working on discourse coherence, and so I had to think what exactly are the basic mechanisms that I need for this to happen. Until now, I have been thinking about the architecture of the models that I am proposing, and so I had to step back and see the bigger and more basic picture.

I also had meetings every day with people relevant to my dissertation. It's getting hectic than ever. I met with my adviser on Monday, and I met with another professor in the department on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I met with my adviser and this other professor jointly. Today was supposed to be a meeting with another member of my committee from the Psychology Department, but she canceled at the last minute due to student obligations, so we are moving it to Tuesday. And tomorrow, I meet with my adviser again, at 8:00 AM.

My blackboard in my office is full of my diagrams contrasting the opposing views that my dissertation is tackling. Now the critical point in my dissertation progress is actually coming up with a set of experiments that would contrast and test these two opposing views.

I have also been conducting tons of experimental sessions with human participants lately. I guess we just have had good fortune when it comes to recruitment this time around. This afternoon, I will be seeing five people, which brings us closer to our cap for this experiment. Then after this, I will have to do the statistics and perform some tests, and see whether our hypotheses are true or not. This means that I need to spend some time with my best friend, none other than SPSS. Once this current experiment comes to a close, there is another experiment that I will be running, but for a different project with different collaborators. Hopefully, I will get a few publications for this year and the next.

This coming Saturday, my good friend and I are hosting a few friends for an Arabian-inspired dinner. We figured that it would be a good way to unwind, by relaxing and spending a good time with some friends from school, and sharing dinner with them. My friend will be opening her kasbah for us, while I will be in charge of the kitchen. I am planning a tagine of chicken with spices and fresh mint, coupled with some couscous with dried apricot. Before that, we'll have two types of hummus accompanied by good Middle Eastern bread. Regarding the dessert, I don't really have a good expertise when it comes to dessert, so I will leave that to my sidekick. I also have some good Middle Eastern music to accompany the whole evening.

So yeah, I have been occupied lately and therefore aren't prolific with my blogging as I used to. Anyway, before I close this post, I would like to point out the new photo series I have. The pictures I have been showing here since last Friday were taken during my December 2007 visit to Washington DC, and two museums that I really enjoyed were the Sackler and Freer Museums, which are part of the Smithsonian Museums in the National Mall.

(Mask, from my Sackler and Freer Collection Series)


  1. I am writing a study plan for my PhD and I am full of conflicting ideas and easily distracted by everything I read. No focus or a fixed line of thought. I wonder if this is a healthy sign... what will happen to me when I get to the stage you are at...

  2. You're still more prolific than most people.

    Work on your dissertation seems interesting with diagrams and talks with different kinds of people.

  3. Priyank,

    It is always a rare case that one already knows what one wants to do research in for the PhD dissertation. I came in to this department wanting to do something but later turned out to do something else that had very little connection with what I wanted to do in the first place. You'll have your focus when you crystallize your ideas in due time.


    Hehe. Yes, sometimes it helps to put ideas into visual modes.