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Archive for November, 2008

so much data

Had our number crunching party tonight!  Went off very well – I think I got the info I needed for my paper, and it was neat to get to work through the program with my own data, having a clue about what various things mean and what would be unexpected, etc.  Good times.  I also made a lasagna for the crowd, and managed to stuff some of my leftover peanut butter pie down them as well.  All in all, quite a lovely night to cap off a lovely weekend.  Ooh, we got bulbs planted today as well!  Such productiveness.

The longest weekend!

So much good stuff going on these days, I wish I were blogging more regularly.  Oh blog, you’re such a demanding mistress.

Made it through classes Wednesday, and got a whole five kids in my section!  I brought them cookies and we had a short go at historical linguistics, which truth be told I’m rather glad I didn’t have to teach a full section of.  Maybe by spring quarter I’ll be up on historical linguistics and be less crap at explaining what’s going on.  Anyway, all I have left is this coming week which we’ll have to use for final review, and then we’re home free!

Seems like that means I should be panicking a bit more about my two final papers, but I’m feeling rather on top of it.  I finished coding my data today for the sociolinguistics project, and we’ve got a little party scheduled at our place tomorrow so some of our class can run through our stats analysis together.  I guess we’re officially grad school nerds!  Oh well!  The theory paper I’m writing came together really quickly last week while I was prepping for my presentation, so I’ve not got toomuch of the “hard” work left.  All I really need to do is the grunt work of sentence formation and junk, which I’m hoping I’m ready for!  I haven’t written an essay in a few years, but I feel like I got so much practice as an undergrad and I’ve had so much practice grading essays now…  I’m actually sort of looking forward to the challange!

So, lucky me, that means I’m not actually crazy busy over this holiday weekend.  My big task for the weekend was getting that sociolinguistics data ready, and I’ve had plenty of time to do other stuff besides that already!  We had a Thanksgiving party with Lewis’ family on Thursday night for which we made Cranberry Yummymuffins and had a good family time.  There was a Lawyer famliy friends post-Thanksgiving dinner last night which was a blast as well.  I always love seeing the Ladners and Coynes, and we stayed late and had a lovely chat with Lewis’ parents as well.  Yay.

Today I had set aside (besides work, of course) for holiday cheer!  I was feeling a little down, as I always do around the holidays because my family is so far away and things are so different now… so I spent the day making my own fun.  Started off by hitting up Ace to get Christmas lights for our ourdoors, and a wreath and wrapping paper and a present for our kitty!  We then got to go to the Co-op for the first time in literal weeks and got our pantry all stocked up.   I can’t explain how bolstering it is to get a few hundred dollars worth of groceries after weeks of living off the dregs in the cupboards.

Part of what we picked up today was stuff for a few of my weekend (it’s only Saturday!) cooking plans.  We got half a ham (6 pounds.. egad!) to bake for dinner tonight.  I made a glaze and baked it a la Cooks Illustrated, and it was sooooo incredibly good.  A little aggrivating without a proper meat thermometer (we have.. er had, one of those old school ones… which we broke while cooking tonight).  I made baking soda biscuits to go with it, and some mashed potatoes from Alice Waters’ vegetable cookbook.  So tasty!  I can’t believe how well it turned out!  We have enough ham for about 10 people at the moment… but I have at least a few plans for later in the week, including some tasty Navy Bean Soup.  Mm.   Tomorrow I’m going to make a lasagne for the folks coming over, and I’m holding out hopes for it!  I guess if it doesn’t work, there’s always ordering pizza as a backup.

Here’s to hoping we don’t need backup!  And to a fantastic and successful last week of my first quarter!


Did my 200a presentation today, and it went so much better than I could have anticipated.   I had practiced it twice last night, and spend a long time talking to Lewis about some of the finer theoretical points, and got up at 6 this morning to run through it once more.  I had been worried that it was going to be really dry because it’s a pure theory talk without any real-world-type application, which is what most the other students are doing, but I think I had overlooked the fact that no one would have taken this class if they weren’t at least a little interesting in theory, since it is the “Foundations of Linguistic Theory”.  Doy.

Anyway, the class got off to a good start, and everyone seemed chatty and awake, which is great.  I went second (there were three of us total) and presentation didn’t really go as planned.  Instead, the professor had questions for me as I went along and kept asking me to clarify points and repeat certain things.  Though this wasn’t out of my lack of clarity, I think, but rather asking me to go into information I was going to skip over because I thought it would be needlessly complicating.  Turns out the complicating factors were illustrative, and I was able to explain all the parts I had been struggling through last night.  Professor seemed impressed (and it’s one I’m rather keen on impressing) and the presentation left me feeling quite pleased with both my topic and my performance.  What more could I ask!

Spent the rest of my day revelling in a sense of having gotten past the hardest part of what’s left of my quarter, and finished up a buch of other somewhat less-pressing stuff.  Got the last of my papers graded, and all of the homeworks that were turned in yesterday.  I’ve only got one section to teach this week, which I got a chance to prepare a bit for, and then all that’s left in TA-ville this quarter is one more homework to grade, and the final review sessions to do!  Yay!  I’m so glad I’m not TAing next quarter… I’m definitely ready for a breather and I’ll be thankful (or at least, I’d better be!) for the chance to take some extra neat classes.

But right now, all I can think about is how I have an extra long weekend coming up!  I don’t even care what happens in these four days.. four days off to work on my papers and get ready for my last presentation seems fantastic.  Very fantastic indeed.  Phew.

Cliff diving

Tuckered out, that’s what I am.

Went home tonight after dinner with Lewis and his madre, though we were supposed to go to the high school jazz band concert.  I just came home and vegged out, and watched some TV, and generally chilled out.  I’ll profess to doing some linguistics reading in the middle of watching a documentary on Prince Charles, but that’s life!

Spent the afternoon TAing and talking about dirty words in my sections (our reading this week includes euphemism and taboo) and it sort of creeped me out.  I think maybe I shouldn’t have gone into that topic with them, but in all three of my sections the kids were very engaged and hopefully we had a fruitful discussion about hurtful words and turns of phrase.  I think it’s just scary to swear in class, especially when we’re talking racial epithets.  I guess we’ll see about that one.

Anyway… I think it’s an early-to-bed sort of night.  I’ve got a date with an awful lot of essays to grade tomorrow.  Woot.

The Real…

Just got home from a concert at Yoshi’s tonight!   Much fun!  Perhaps I’ll put up a picture or two tomorrow… but for now, bed!

Distinctive Features

Wednesdays.  You’re often good, but always stressful.

Today went well, but I’m definitely reaching a state of overwhelmedness.   We talked about taboo and euphemism and such things that everyone has experience with and thus a lot of folks get talking.  Good.  Next week is sort of a non-issue for TAing, I think, cause I only have one section and it’s right before Thanksgiving (ie, no one will come if we even hold it at all) and then we only have one week left — so it must be review for the final!  Phew.

I can’t believe we’re winding down our first quarter… it’s so exciting to be working on my final projects already, and also incredible to think that at some point in the nearish future, I’ll be done with them.  I’ve been coding like mad lately, and reading such interesting theory… it doesn’t feel finite.  But I sure am looking forward to that three-week break!  I don’t even know what I’m going to do with myself.   Oh, school… you fickle mistress.


Coding makes me stoooopid.   Blargoihasdja;sd.a

Graduate Student: 0

Hi blog.

I’m sorry I’m busy.

The quarter only has three weeks left in it, and I guess that means that the race has only just begun.  Thank goodness I only have two huge papers to write.  I have no idea what I’m going to do with more classes than that next quarter… but maybe I’ll be better at this stuff by then.

I just mapped out the next week of my life, which I should have done a few days earlier, but I didn’t really get much of a chance this weekend.  It was nice to see my parents, but I definitely dropped the ball on a few things I should have been working on, even though we stayed home all weekend instead of playing in the Bay Area with them on Sunday. I guess that’s life.  I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving, and anticipating getting a whoooole lot of work done on that fantastic four day weekend.  Even if a good day or two gets taken up by needing to eat and cook.  Surely I can do that and study simultaneously!  That’s really the weekend I should start writing one or both of my essays, for sure.  Thankfully neither is due until finals week, so that also gives me a sort of empty (of classes, anyway) week to hammer out some good whatnot.  Or panicked whatnot, by that point.

But anyway.  Life is feeling good, and calm, for all that the work storm is just working itself into a fury.  There’s lots of sleep, and love, and good food, and friends in my life, and that’s all I really need to keep a steady hand on the wheel.  For some reason I can’t get myself too worked up about these papers yet.  Maybe because I feel like I have a handle on the material for both (though is that really true?) or maybe because the looming sceptre of graduate school has passed.  There’s something really relaxing about having attained my highest goal – the admission to the program.  I wonder what having the actual certificate will feel like after all this.  …anyway, it seems like all I can do is try my best at these papers, and that’s all they can expect of me, and through that formula somehow we’ll make decent papers that will be interesting to research and a character-building experience to write.

Boy, I’m tired.  I stayed up too late last night coding.  And I need to put a little more time in tonight.  As I mentioned, I waited too long to check my to-do list this week, and lo, I’m supposed to have read a paper for tomorrow.  I flipped it open tonight and to my dismay, it’s 68 pages long.  Those are short book pages, admittedly, but still that’s rather more than I anticipated.  So maybe I can put a few behind me tonight before I doze off.  I shouldn’t have had all that warm cocoa though, for it’s made me rather sleepy!   I guess we’ll see who wins.

Hon[k] Shoe

It’s 1 am, and I’m coding data.  And feeling so alive.

Foolish Me.


Things go wrong so rarely on my computer, and I have it set up in so many ways to anticipate my thoughts, that when stuff screws up I’m really taken aback.

I’ve been working on a spreadsheet for the last few hours, coding data for my project.  Some odd combination of keys caused me to switch my color scheme from black-on-white to inverse white-on-black.  I poked around in a few places to try and fix it, but was feeling too in-the-zone to bother long.  But the next thing I did caused a new window to spawn.  I thought that was odd and stuff in the original window was going weird again, so I clicked “save”, closed the other window, and the whole thing crashed and went into document recovery automatically.  Except it didn’t recover anything… and I somehow managed to save nothing.  I guess saving while it’s in the middle of borking isn’t effective.

So here I sit, a night of work partially wasted, wondering how I could be so lame as to not have saved anything.  I think it’s because I’ve been using this desktop wiki that automatically saves every minute, and this blog automatically saves every minute… most of my programs, at least the ones that come to mind at the moment, autosave.  Oh Calc, what happened!

It is, at any rate, a great excuse to go to bed.  Sigh.  I’ve got a whole day of this head of me tomorrow.