The Laursonian Institute

The Laursonian Institute

An exercise in thoroughness

The Laursonian Institute RSS Feed

Posts tagged essays


Another day wasted on an early morning migraine – 7:45 am this time. So on the plus side, I didn’t have to bike to school in the heat. Though I did miss my students turning in their essays, which is a shame since I kinda like to keep an eye on how things are going there. Lewis managed to pick them up for me later, and so at least I’m not behind on my grading. I got sadly little work done today, though I did read a paper and write the first section of my neuroscience essay. Mostly I just wasted my day, waiting for my head and eyes to feel like they were done being pressurized. 10 day to go or so, eh? Maybe that’s what’s stressing me out.  But for the record can I just slip this in: Three migraines in four weeks?  What the fuck?


Good day, after a bit of a rough start.  Boring section this morning because we had so much material to get through.   Then I found out I had lost a paper draft I should have read a week ago, and didn’t believe that the student had ever turned it in.  Found it, and speed-graded it, thankfully.  My worst problem student came in when I only had 10 minutes left of my office hours, complaining that he had no idea what a research paper was supposed to be.  And not in a feeling-unsure sort of way as if he would write a decent paper and he’s just worried.  More like the very concept of a research paper was foreign to him, and it was a travesty that we would request such a hurculean feat as a four page research paper.  Meh.

So that was the rough start.  After I shooed him out of my office, a bunch of the ling grads took me out for a burger and a beer as a pre-birthday shindig.  I really love these guys, and it was neat to have a little thing with them.  Had our Friday night class after that, then I’ve just been hanging out at home and enjoying this Giants-Mariners game.  Randy Johnson was pitching, and I saw Griffey bat!  Good times… he almost got a grand slam at the bottom of the ninth, but it was just a little short.  It’s been 1-1 since the 6th inning and they’re in the 12th already. I’m not sure I’m going to make it through the end of the game… but it’s been a very nice way to spend the night.  Gotta get on a train in the morning to meander down to Berkeley and have a nice birthday afternoon out with some of the Ask folks and Armand.  Should be good times.  I’m looking forward to it!

Applied me-matics

Excellently productive day?  I think so!  Though I didn’t do any reading, and a day without reading is never a great idea.  What I did get done was some prep for section, and the approval of a prompt for both my neuroscience class, and my typology class.  In fact, my typology professor had some really good ideas about what direction to take my paper, and thus I’ve even sort of gotten an outline put together for that one!  I’m hoping sections go well tomorrow.  I have to hand back the midterms, and my Wednedsay section did particularly poorly.  We’re also moving into real “discussion” territory, and these guys also aren’t too participatory when I’d like them to be.  So we’ll see how well I can manage to swing chattiness.    I’ve also been scheduled for my fMRI safety training tomorrow, so I can officially operate the magnet!

In non-school triumphs, yesterday we did our tri-weekly co-op trip, so there is actually food in the house today.   I had a smoothie and toast this morning, which is hands down my favorite (regular) breakfast.  I also made it to the gym, which is good since I skipped yoga in favor of food shopping yesterday.  I really need to get to yoga on Thursday, I miss it.  I was pretty stressed out pre-gym, and I’m happy to say that working out calmed me down.  Also, I came home and cleaned our room (which was a complete disaster) so I’m feeling pretty accomplished!  Here’s to hoping I can keep up this level of optimism for the rest of the week.


I’d be more tempted to blog I i hadn’t been sitting in the same chair working on the same essay for the last 13 hours.  My back is killing me.  My brain is numb.  And my fingers are getting clumsy.

And, I have finished the first draft of the first essay I’ve written in three and a half years.  When I put it that way, my day sounds almost triumphant!  Even if I didn’t manage to get a Christmas tree like I was hoping.

Also in the triumph news today, we put an application in for a dog from a rescue society!  I don’t know if said dog is still available, but it sounds like the perfect pet for our house.. medium sized, house broken, good with cats, easy to care for, mild tempered, friendly, and cute!  Hopefully they will contact us tomorrow to tell us what’s up.  Right after we put the application in they took several dogs off the website and listed them as adopted, so I’m not clear if that means our application put that dog in pseudo-adoptive status, or if someone else for-really adopted that dog earlier in the day and they just hadn’t updated yet.  It’s surprisingly hard to adopt a dog these days.  Just like everything like this on the internet – dogs, jobs, apartments, free stuff… anything with an “act now!” clause attached has already been acted upon and the transaction has been completed before your browser is even done loading.  Trolling the pound used to be the only way to go, and these days.. it’s still probably the most successful.

Wishing my tomorrow-self good luck with el perro, I’d better go get some sleep.  You never know how early these dog people might call!

I’ve done it!

Last day of classes!

I don’t have too much to say about it, actually, other than both Friday sections went really much better than I was anticipating.  The reviews went over well, and hopefully they know what to study up on and will do well on the final.  I had one group tell me that they learned more from section than from lecture, so that made me feel really nice.  My section section was more full than usual, and I got a couple good nods of confidence there too.  One girl brought me fudge and cookies she had made, and another student emailed me after class to thank me for being their TA.  It’s a lot more than I had even hoped the kids would say, so I’m really curious how the reviews are going to come back.  I do hope they have suggestions for stuff I could do better, since I don’t feel like I really nailed this TA thing right off the bat, but I do at least feel like they’re not going to be awful marks.

Watched “The Meaning of Life” this evening and had tasty soup I had put in the slow cooker and chilled out.  I was pretty pooped by the time I got home, and really needed the cathartic not-doing-anything evening I took.  It’s been great knowing there’s nothing more pressing this weekend than my own work, and even more so that the *only* work I have to do this weekend is to write one of my essays.  It’s crazy that a 15 page essay seems like a break, but given that I’ve been working all quarter getting the research done for it, preparing presentations on it, and doing background research for it… it’s really just like frosting a cake at this point.  I know what to say, and how to structure it, and I just need to make it sound nice.  Phew!  Not that it’s not going to be a fair amount of work.. but it’s so nice to be doing all this work for myself, for my own benefit.

And with that in mind, it’s time to go to bed before it gets too late.  I want to get up and get crackin’ tomorrow, so I can start putting away this stuff and moving ever closer towards doneness!   And a real, work-free vacation!!

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.