Man, I just spent about an hour reading all my old emails between my UBC supervisor and myself.
I just logged on to that email to get info about an old account, why the hell did I decide reading all that crap was a good idea? I feel physically sick now.
Seriously. If I were to ever rank all the relationships I’ve ever had on a scale from “unhealthiest” to “healthiest,” that one would probably be the low point on the “unhealthiest” side.
That was not a fun time.
BRB, gonna throw up.
The semester is officially* OVER! We shall not discuss the Multivariate Analysis final. Instead, it’s time for a very important list.
Claudia’s Top Ten Reasons Why Round II of Grad School is better than Round I of Grad School (ordered from least important to most important)
10. I was excited to move to Calgary.
I didn’t give a crap about Vancouver when I moved there. UBC was the only school that accepted me, and so that’s where I went. Location didn’t really matter. This time I had a choice (sort of (and it was a hard one)), but I pretty much knew as soon as I was accepted at U of C that Calgary would be a cool place to live and that I wanted to move there.
9. I “fit in” here.
This isn’t too big of a deal to me, but it’s nice to be around people who are actually interested in the same stuff as I am, school-wise. When I was at UBC, I was the ONLY one in the quantitative psychology division of the department, and thus was kind of isolated. Here, we’re all together in the same program, which is nice.
8. I’m older now.
I GOTS TEH WISDOM!!!1!
Seriously though, I think being in grad school at 27 instead of 21 makes a huge difference. This is the most cliché thing ever, but I feel like I’m mature enough for grad school this time around. (And probably would have been at 23 or 24, too, but I was busy doing other things then. Like more undergrad.)
7. I actually have a solid math background now.
Well, as solid a math background as I can have. Surprisingly, a solid math background is helpful in statistics. Who would have guessed?
6. I actually give a crap this time.
I did NOT give a crap last time. Not one little itty bitty crap.
5. I’ve been through all this nonsense before and thus know I can do it.
There were a few times at UBC where I was positive I was not going to be able to make it through because I didn’t think I was the type to be able to complete and defend a thesis. But now I know!
4. It almost never rains here.
It almost never iraining in Vancouver. As you can tell by how far up this is on the list, weather was a major downside to Grad School Round I.
3. I get along with my supervisor here.
2. I like what I’m doing now.
I guess I liked quant psych too, since I was practically doing a stats degree, but now it’s ALL ABOUT THE STATS, not just their application to psychology. And I’m just so damn happy to finally be doing JUST STATS, not stats mixed with some other crap because I’m too chicken to just do stats.
1. I have a reason for being in grad school this time.
I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do once I finished grad school back at UBC. Teach? Maybe. Work for the Census Bureau? Maybe. Who knows? But now that I KNOW I’m good at teaching stats and enjoy doing so immensely, that’s given me a very solid reason for being back at grad school. And that’s probably more important than all the other items on this list combined.
*Well okay, I still have to invigilate exams on Monday, but that’s easy.
For my presentation* in my seminar class, I’m basically presenting some of the main results of my MA thesis. This has required me to dredge up this old notebook from way back when.
This notebook brings back bad memories.
This notebook brings back thoughts of UBC.
This notebook brings back thoughts of how, every morning, I would dread going to campus with every fiber of my being.
This notebook brings back thoughts of how I would have a panic attack every Thursday because Thursday was the day I was supposed to meet with my supervisor.
This notebook brings back thoughts of how much I eventually stopped caring about school—something I hate admitting even now.
This notebook reminds me that I lost two years of my early twenties to misery, fear, dread, and depression, among other things.
This notebook brings back bad memories.
Aaaaaaaand now I’m sad.
*You may be asking, “if this brings back so many bad memories, why the hell are you doing your presentation on your old thesis results? Because the presentation is focused more on our presentation skills rather than the content, so it was recommended that we just use some results/ideas that we’ve come up with in the past and focus on the “presenting” part rather than try to come up with something new.
I defended my Master’s thesis.
That’s all I feel like saying today.
Hey, I formally graduate with my MA tomorrow. Snazzy.
That is all. It’s been a crappy day.
I don’t know how many of you guys follow Piled Higher and Deeper, a comic by Jorge Cham that is the most accurate portrayal of graduate life I’ve ever seen*, but they’re making a live-action movie of it and it’s screening here at UWO on the 23rd.
How freaking cool is that?!
Also, I’m TA-ing PHIL 2020, Basic Logic, class this semester, which is pretty snazzy considering we have to pass a logic competencey exam in our first year of PhD and this will do for a good refresher. Shout-out to Dr. O’Rourke for being an amazing teacher and making logic accessible to me, someone who had no intuitive grasp of proofs prior to the course.
HOLY SHIT IT’S OVER.
I successfully defended my thesis this afternoon. Received a nice high grade and was told it was PhD-level work.
Relief level: beyond belief.
Sanity level: depleted, but recharging slowly.
To-do list for the next few days: absolutely nothing, except incessant Fallout playing.
My revisions are limited to typos and a few additional references to check out, then I’m set to turn it in to Grad Studies and get it out there.
I’m going to go do something mindless for awhile. Because I finally can.
Longer entry on thesis conclusion to come later, promise.
Kill me now. I honestly don’t know if I’ll make it through tomorrow.
Anybody want to come to a party at my house tonight? We’ll be talking about structural equation modeling. Model fit, in particular.
My poor mother will have to undergo three semesters’ worth of math and stats in about half an hour so she can be caught up on my research
to follow my defense presentation enough to be able to ask questions.
The fact that she agreed to do this is one of like five billion reasons why I love her.
Anyway, you all should come. There will be a huge whiteboard and a lot of lambdas.
Be there or be square.
Thesis = done.
It shall be turned in tomorrow.
Right now I’m going to not do anything productive (read: play Fallout and not work on my defense slides) and maybe clean.
Due to yesterday’s events, my mom shall be coming up here tomorrow.
A month from now, I will be defending my thesis.
Scared all to hell.
Solution: apartment temperature cranked to 78 degrees, Top Chef, making pretty graphs for my thesis, and not going to campus.
Why isn’t there a MyLifeIsPathetic.com yet?
I don’t even care anymore.
YAY, classes are done for the semester. Once this thesis insanity is over, I’m freeee! Which may be another few months, unfortunately.
Sorry for the short blog. Long day. April’s always the least exciting time of the year for me.
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Dear undergraduates of the world:
So there’s this cool little invention I’d like to tell you all about, ‘cause I think it could really improve your life and the lives of those around you. It’s called a staple and it’s here to reinvent the idea of a cohesive set of homework pages belonging to a single individual.
Let me lead you now through the thought process of an overworked TA as they truck through the grading of 100+ intro stats assignments.
1:23 AM: Only ten more assignments to go, this shouldn’t take much longer!
1:24 AM: Oh look, this group of papers is held together by a folded corner. What genius thought that type of binding would hold up being shoved around in a box with 200 other assignments?
1:24 AM: Surprise surprise, there’s only a name on the first sheet.
1:24 AM: And the sheets are all done in different colors of pen (seriously, this really happens).
1:27 AM: Now that I’ve wasted precious minutes making sure the handwriting looks similar enough across the pages to assume that they came from the same individual, let’s get down to grading.
1:31 AM: Handling grading this with the key would be much more streamlined if these pages were all somehow cohesively bound.
1:36 AM: I HATE THIS STUDENT SO MUCH RIGHT NOW.
1:38 AM: THEY CAN’T SPELL OR ATTACH PIECES OF PAPER TO ONE ANOTHER.
1:38 AM: F-!
1:39 AM: MUST TRY TO LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE TO SURVIVABLE LEVEL.
1:48 AM: Sigh. Okay. That one’s done. Let’s move on.
1:49 AM: Oh look, this group of papers is held together by a folded corner.
Seriously. Not a tough concept. Staples are not an endangered species, nor are they protected under any sort of natural resource safeguard law.
Use them. PLEASE.