11 January 2010

And It Starts All Over Again

Today marked the start of my tenth semester. Wow. I feel old. Anyway, nothing much new to report, except that in a way, I am full of energy again with respect to working. I know, geeky, but hey, that's how it is.

So for today, I did exactly that. I went to school early in the morning, and I went ahead and posted fliers for my experiments for one of my projects. We still need a few more participants for the norming part, and so that's what we are hoping to accomplish now. Once that clears up, then we'll conduct the main experiment, and that's where we start hoping that the numbers we get are good enough to produce a statistically significant result, and therefore bring out another publication. We're targeting this conference in York (the old version) which will occur in September, and hopefully my collaborator can go in my behalf.

Then, I met my friend, whose help I needed because she has a big car and I needed some transportation. A few graduate students who are older than me in the program are finally graduating, and so they have been holding yard sales and such. I got myself two medium-sized bookshelves since I needed some place to put my stuff in my apartment-slash-office. It's funny that now that I am almost nearing the end of my graduate career, but only now have I started to make my apartment personal. I suppose I was too functional and pragmatic. I had an office for the past 4 and a half years, so why would I make this apartment workable? I'd simply head to my office on campus if I needed to work. But, I dunno, I am slowly liking this idea of working from home. So, for just one dollar for each piece (if that sounds cheap, then it costs 18,500 Vietnamese dong), I was able to buy two bookshelves and now my books are arranged in some place other than cardboard boxes.

Then after my yard sale shopping, we went to have lunch in the local activist's diner near my house. The food is so-so, but I suppose I go there for the people. It's one of the places that I know I will miss once I leave Buffalo. I really don't know how to describe it, it's like the Shopping Center Complex in UP Diliman, or Telegraph Avenue in UC Berkeley, where undergrads hang out and discuss ideas. Eating there once in a while makes me feel younger.

Then, we headed to the grocery shop. Time to restock my fridge. I am thinking of eliminating meat from my diet again, but I need inspiration. I've always been attempting to do it again these past years, especially since I've not been meat-free after I came back from the Czech Republic in 2006. I guess I need good recipes. Come to think of it, the eggplant parmigiana sandwich I ate for lunch was superb. Maybe I should try reproducing that.

Then, I went back home. I went to work. I had to construct a database for our participants, so that we can keep track of who actually was in the lab and took part in our experiments, since one thing you don't want is to violate the theoretical assumptions of the statistical test that you'll be using, including random sampling and independence of samples. Once a person does the experiment, the person cannot partake in any other experiment related to that group of experiments, since he or she has already seen the materials before and therefore the responses for the next session isn't independent anymore of any other confounding factors. I like the strict mathematical precision of things, such as stats.

So yeah, that's my day so far, and it hasn't ended yet. I still have a few job applications to submit to, and I need to prepare something for tomorrow's lab meeting. I need some numbers for submission, so I'll bring out my calculator and deal with that. The semester starts and I am busy yet again. Oh wait, that's old news.

Whew. 2010. I have a feeling this year will be quick.

(Points, from my Hirschhorn Museum Series)


  1. I am a new reader of your blog. I'm from hong kong and I am going to sit for a public exam this year so to me 2010 is not gonna be quick... I have been trying to improve my english and I noticed that you're a linguist. I learn more from you so it would be fantastic if you sent me your MSN or Email address to me, assuming you're a nice person lol. My email address is crazychrislau93@hotmail.com please send me your contact info :) Thank you!

    and now u see how I suck at english

  2. Crazychrislau,

    Welcome to my blog. If you ever want to contact me, my contact information is on the sidebar of this blog!

  3. I started the semester last week and boy, I lack motivation this time. I hate going to class when it's dark and cold plus I'm swamped at work.

    I feel super old because I'm taking a 1st year class (a prerequisite I must take). I already took that class before and I find it... weird. Anyway, the teacher was explaining that "globalization became big in the 1980... which was a long long time ago".

    I was BORN in 1983!!!

  4. Zhu,

    Hahaha. I know. I also find it interesting to wrap my head around the idea that most freshmen nowadays aren't even born during the fall of the Berlin Wall. That for me is a borderline of a generation. I completely remember that event, while the people I teach nowadays weren't even around to witness that.