Sunday, June 20, 2010



First draft = done. Was it really that bad? No. Maybe. I sent it to my adviser, who will likely want me to make a fair number of changes. It's possible that it needs to be completely revised, but I don't think it was a particularly poorly written first draft. The problem I experience when writing is that I can't get started. I'm secretly more of an editor than a writer. As a result, everything I write has to get past a quality check. An extensive quality check. But by setting the bar high like that, nothing ever gets written.

This time, it was different. As a way of forcing myself to start writing, I wrote a version I promised myself no-one (but me) would ever get to read. It did the trick. Apparently writing is less intimidating if I know I'll be the only one who will read the piece of crap. It's okay if it's bad, I won't tell anyone.

It turned out to be less crappy than I thought it would be. Surely there were some spots that were unclear and that needed revision. But overall, it wasn't too-too bad. And I actually enjoyed being a *real* editor of my own work.

I think I just found a way to save myself LOTS of time.

Friday, June 11, 2010


It's weekend.

Yes, that's right. I'm taking the weekend off. All of it. For the first time in what seems like forever. Not because I deserved it (while this week wasn't bad in terms of productivity, I didn't really accomplish anything major), but because I wanted it. And there won't be any cheating for sure. I am leaving, my laptop will stay at home, and my friend will prevent me at least from talking about science. Well, that's not entirely true - there'll be lots of science talk, but in a cheerful way. Cool findings, comparison of our schools, perhaps some discussion of future plans. But no evil I-wonder-why-randomization-X-did-not-work thoughts.

My phone and iPod are charged, my (non-academic!) books (for on the road) are packed, and my clothes are in the dryer as we speak. Let the weekend begin!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Signs of a sad life

Not conducive to writing: I made something pretty and now I can't stop admiring it.

More conducive to writing: I made something pretty and now I must stop admiring the stupid thing and start writing this paper. Envisioning a not-so-happy and disappointed former adviser might do the trick.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

On marriage

Today at work, I accidentally got myself into a discussion about marriage. It involved quite a few colleagues (both younger and older) and let's just say that I'm shocked that my opinion was by far a minority one. It almost felt like I was being transported some 50 years back in time.

I'm not necessarily against marriage. It's true that I don't really feel the urge to get married myself, but if there was a good reason to do so, I wouldn't be opposed to it. I just don't consider it as the ultimate confirmation of someone's love. And I most certainly don't see it as a condition for living with your partner. In fact, I would argue that having lived with your partner for a substantial amount of time before getting married is probably a good thing. Seems to me that that would give you the most realistic idea about what being with a specific someone (for the rest of your life?) entails. Surprisingly (to me at least), none of my age peers agreed with me. The only person nodding their head was a 60+-year-old male professor...

In other news, I finally got some writing done. It's just an outline (an approved outline!), but a good outline will do half the job. Now I just need to fill the pages with intelligent words.