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Everything’s coming up Laurie!

It’s Friday night.  I’m watching a cute foreign movie with Lewis.  I’m drinking champagne.  And I’m feeling like the luckiest kid in town!

It’s been such a fantastic day.  I had neuroimaging this morning, and it was really awkward – I was actually sort of nodding off during class.  This hasn’t happened to me since I was a freshman, I think, and I normally really enjoy this class.  I’m just getting tuckered out, I suppose.  Anyway, came home and took a nap, and refreshed myself very well for the rest of my day, and it’s a good thing I did!

The only other thing I needed to do today (having slept through the Quechua talk I could have been at)  was show up for this Language Group meeting at the Center for Mind and Brain.  I was just invited to attend by another psycho/neruolinguist in our department, and they were having a little reading group today.  I think normally they practice presentations in front of eachother and such.  Anyway, it was nice, informative and pleasant.

The important part of this all is that a professor I’ve been trying to get in contact with from my department (who has been not returning my emails) was also there, and had sent me word through a student who works in his lab (who I have Quechua with) that I should drop by some time and that he wasn’t meaning to ignore me.  Anyway, he told me to drop by his office after the talk, and we had the most amazing chat!  I told him all the things I’ve been getting into, and the classes I’m taking, and the ideas I’ve been having for a thesis, and he was right there with me on all counts.  He really likes what I want to do, and he’s sure that there’s ways to make it happen.  He has extra funding in his name for some MRI studies which we might be able to use as a pilot study for my thesis (and maybe also my second QP?).  Most of all, he seems to be really interested in letting me do the research I want to do, and providing me the support and guidance I need to do it.  This was the huge thing that was missing from my grad school experience so far, an actual advisor-type who can oversee me in a functional useful way with resources and an interest in my project!  I just about jumped out of my skin!

So I got a tour of his lab from my Quechua friend Michiq, and met the other folks who work with him.  He wants me to sign up for 2 units worth of research to get my feet wet and make sure we’re all on the same page or whatever.  I think I may be using some of these research units to read up on the literature in the field I’m trying to get in to, which he already seems to have a pretty good grasp of.  This was what I wanted to spend my summer doing anyway, so a little directed reading is even better.  It seems as though he’s also in contact with the as-yet-on-Sabbatical phonologist in the department, who is also interested in neuro work, so that looks to me like the beginning of a committee coming together, and the foundation for lots of good to come.  So…. I went to an informal reading group, and came out with a lab job for next quarter, and the beginning of what I hope is my advisor-student relation.  I never dreamed that would all go so smoothly!

After that I made Lewis take me out to my favorite Davis place (mmm, Greek pizza) and buy me a bottle of champagne.  Life is so good!  I hope I can keep my eye on getting through the end of this quarter before I spend all my time thinking about how sweet next quarter is going to be :)

Something about sports

I don’t really watch sports (exceptions made for the Olympics, which I absolutely adore!), but I’m always down for the big time-of-most-importance for any event.  So I did watch the game with Lewis’ parents, while simultaneously grading the rest of the homeworks for this week.  Good times.  Made lots of delicious cheese and bean dip and such, and snacked the night away.

As an added bonus, I also got a bunch of work done this morning.   It’s funny, the more of this neuroimaging stuff I do, the more I want to do.  I’m so jazzed!  On the other hand… Quechua is interesting, but I’m also looking forward to being done with it!  It’s a bit of an exercise in side stepping around ill-planned classroom exercises and doing homework I don’t really ever feel like I understood.  Oh well!

Nutation, n. (1a, obs.)

Deep breath, Laurie, deep breath.

It was a wonderful day.  I’ve been inordinately cheerful lately, a most unusual occurance in my normally staid life.   I liken it to the rush of endorphins you get when you spend the proper time eating well and exercising.  Instead of my body being filled with energy (though that too is true) it’s as though my mind is getting all the mental nutrient and exercise required and it’s just ready to go, all the time.  This is a good thing.  I just can’t help but feel really optimistic about my life and my studies.  That post this morning about job prospects was meant to be more tongue-in-cheek than it came off.  To be honest, I just can’t bring myself to care much about the job market.  I like what I do, I’m going to keep doing it, and I’ll work better under my own direction and with fewer outside pressures than I would work with an eye on the future.   Like I said, I think linguists just like to talk about how doomed we are!

It’s almost awkward to write about what a cheerful day I had when I find myself so exhausted at the end of the day.  Unlike the last few entries, tonight is one of those nights where the body is awake and the mind started dragging its feet and snipping tiredly hours ago.  This is entirely due to having slogged through a massive neuroscience paper I just finished reading.  My brain is now completely done.  I couldn’t do more work if I wanted.  I can barely speak English.

Other great things that happened today.  Had a fantastic semantics class.  I really, really enjoy computing truth conditions and mussing with the combinatoric denotations.  By gum, I’m even a little jazzed about this Boolean alegebra business.  It’s not often you hear the word “septuple” in a linguistics class, let alone get to talk about this much math.  I like math.  I think that’s the only academic thing I got done today, actually, besides this triumphant finishing of neuro paper.

It seems quite distant now, but I also took several long walks and got a lot of life-administrata done today.  Saw the doctor for a general check-up; all is well.  I’m feeling like I’ve just been tuned up, having been to the eye doctor last week, and the doctor doctor this week.  I’ve even got a dentist appointment next week!  I’ll be in ship shape.  Better than new.  Anyway, speaking of optometrist, I also picked out my new frames with help of Lewis today, and had a grand time at Dr. Guerreri’s office per usual.  It’s so handy to have family friends who are doctors and dentists.  And as a special treat, Lewis took me to get some delicious frozen yogurt after we made it through all our chores.  Lovely day to sit in central park and have a little chocolate-peanut butter frozen yogurt.  Mmm.

Ever since then I’ve been sitting here, in my desk chair, ticking things off my Tasque list.  And lo, that list is done.  It must be time to retire.