Sunday, January 30, 2005


Today I was amazingly motivated to work on my thesis. I think it was because I knew I would have to be writing my results and other sections soon and I haven't finished my theory and lit review sections yet. I actually found a lot of good primary sources which has been the hardest thing for me this whole process. Anyways, just as I was about to go to bed I checked Piled Higher and Deeper which is one of my favorite online comics. I suggest you go read some of their comics if you are in graduate school and have never seen them. The most recent comic really struck a cord with me and made me laugh. So for any other graduate students out there struggling with research I'm going to quote Phd's latest comic.

One graduate student sitting at her computer says, "I hate research"
Her friend replies, "Yea, well life is tough and then you graduate. Get used to it."

LOL. There is an end in sight. Only three months and one week left. Technically I should have most of my thesis written by the end of feb so only one to one and a half hard core months left.

Beginnings and endings

This semester will have a lot of endings. This is my last semester of graduate school and boy am I ready to be done. Tomorrow are my last two days of data collection for my thesis! YEA!!!!! I have had enough of getting up at 7am. Of course the first day I don't have to do data collection I have a meeting, but at least its not as early as I would have been there.

Tomorrow I'm hoping is another beginning. On thursday I sent in my form to the Univ of Delaware Career Services. I'm not sure if other schools do it this way but if your alumni you can use their eRecruiting site for six months for $25. Yea it sucks that I have to pay, but in the long run I'm hoping it will be worth it. If your not familiar eRecruiting is a website where you post your resume and you can apply for jobs and potential employeers in the area can find you. I did sign up for the one down here, but its all jobs down here. An when I graduate I am not staying here, so that doesn't work. Anyways, I sent it in on thursday so I'm hoping they will have it bright an early Monday morning so they can set me up and I can access the site. My goal is to have a job or be close to having a job by the end of the semester. When I graduated from undergrad it took me six months before I was employed. I do not want to do that again. So in a way I'm a little bit nervous about what I'm going to find when I log into the site for the first time, but also excited. Who knows, some great company may want to pay me a good salary and I would be able to be local with Jeff. All great things that I will have in the future. The future is looking pretty good, getting engaged pretty soon, hopefully getting a kick ass job, being local with Jeff, being done with graduate school and having my masters. All good things. So lets hope the career services people are on the ball an get me hooked in tomorrow.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The nose knows

I haven't blogged in a while. Its probably because I have been getting up at 7am for the past week to collect data for my thesis and have been bombarded with other school work. It's finally starting to slow down and I can see the light, thank goodness. So I figured now was a good time to blog. Things have become less stressful with my thesis, but I'm now majorly behind on my assistantship. I guess Ill be getting caught up next month. My grant writing class is a pain in my butt. I don't know much about the process and all the correct jargon so this has been an experience for me. I think I'm finally getting it though which is good. Hope it stays that way.

On tuesday we had a program that I had been working on putting together for some time now. It was a program for undergrad's who are interested in going to grad school, but aren't sure how to begin the process. I worried about it enough over the whole process and I am really glad it's over now. It actually went pretty good. We had a lot of good information, lots of good professors from different areas, and even some good snacks. The only problem was that we barely had any undergrads. We had maybe five in the beginning, three or so in the middle and then I don't think any more came in after that. Most of the people that came were fellow grad students that I hadn't seen in months. I think grad students have a sixth sense or something. Whenever there is free food we know where to go. At our little program we had pretzles, oreo cookies, some other type of cookie, two types of cheese slices, grapes, and soda. When we left I got to take home a 2 liter bottle of diet coke. Score :)

So anyways, as I type this I'm sitting at my computer procrastinating once again. I have already been to campus and observed and created a spreadsheet in SPSS. So now I am home with little things to do like find articles for my advisor, yet I'm not. I feel like either taking a nap or playing my mmorpg. Gotta hold off for at least a bit longer. Maybe I'll try cleaning the apartment a bit. Whenever I get stressed or have little time I tend to throw things everywhere and my space tends to get pretty messy. I know what I'll be doing this weekend.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The snow dance

Last night I saw my first snow of the season. We got snow here over break, but I wasn't here so for me it doesn't count. We got a dusting on cars and grassy surfaces, but nothing really on the roads. Farther north though they got a lot of ice and lots of parents could not get their kids from school so many children spent the night at school. When I woke up there was a ticker on the tv with many schools closed, but when I looked out the window almost all the snow had melted. Guess its a big viewing range. As I went about my business today it actually felt warm for a change which I was happy about. Everything has melted. However, tonight we are under another winter weather advisory. Its supposed to start around 10pm-12am and we are supposed to get about 1-2 inches of snow. Not much of anything. However, I am in the south so its a bigger deal here. Then saturday night into sunday we are supposed to have another storm, but this storm is supposed to be heavier. I haven't heard any predictions yet though.

Anyways, I can't help but hope for a snow day. What would I do if I had one? Probably stay in my apartment where its nice an warm, do some homework, an play my mmorpg on the net. Nothing really that exciting. I guess its a mentality. Whenever you can get of doing work because of snow its always exciting. I just hope we don't get ice. I absolutely hate ice. So I may try wearing my pjs backwards tonight and hope for snow even though that will put me behind in my data collection. So we will see what happens.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Dr. Ruth and PBS

While getting stuff done around my apartment today I left the tv on PBS since I don't like to watch soap operas and I don't feel like watching the news. At this time of the day everything on PBS is kid's programming. I was watching Between the Lions and while passing by the tv I heard Dr. Ruth's name and the character's talking to her. I was like huh? Is that the same Dr. Ruth I have heard of that is a sex therapist or whatever she does? I quickly went to the screen and yup, it was her. She was part of the show talking to the lions. I wasn't watching that closely so I can't say for sure what they were doing, but I find that weird. Why is Dr. Ruth on a children's show?

Video-recording equipment = pain in my butt

This week has defintley been interesting. It was supposed to be my training week for my coders in my thesis. How many coders have I trained? Zip. Though I am meeting witih two today. Though, I'm not sure if I'm going to actually train them. Why?

At the beginning of my thesis I said I was going to use videorecording equipment to tape areas of a classroom. First problem was I couldn't see all of one area which means I will be missing data. Second, the tape I made had all audio on one area and all video on the other. Then while trying to tape again on a different day the monitor kept shutting off while I was taping. I don't know if that affected what I was taping or not, I didn't even bother to look. My advisor came up with the idea of getting a small camcorder and just taping the things I need myself in the classroom. That means standing there for an hour every day taping these areas. I'm not sure I want to do this. So basically I am very frustrated with my thesis. Partly because all the technology isn't working and partly because I feel like I made it suck because I didn't prepare enough.

So my idea has been to scrap all the technology and just go back to the basics. Pure observational research. The problem there is that I lose being able to record the duration. I also loose most of my coders, because it means they have to be there in the morning and they all have wacky schedules. Though two of them wouldn't have been able to do much anyways. I just wish I could sit down and do it all myself, but I know I can't because inter-rater reliability. I also have to nail down exactly how I am going to do do the observational research. I can tell my advisor is a bit leary about this. I'm not sure if she is just leary or kinda annoyed that I gave up in the middle of doing it this way. But at this point it would be easier for me. Yes, I lose the duration, yes its harder to find coders, but doing it this way means I can sit in the booth, code the data, and then have it. I won't have to sit through ten hours of videotape. I won't have to figure out when my coders schedules are and schedule coding meetings around them. I will be able to see all of one area that I couldn't before. I just want to do the dumb thesis. An because I am figuring these things out now, almost at the end of my training week and I don't have everything ironed out I'm getting a bit nervous. I want to just start the thesis on tuesday and get it done. Yet, if this keeps up I'm going to be behind schedule in data collection. I just need a good coder or two and to get approval from my advisor. I wish I could tell if she was just annoyed at the situation or what. I think she wanted me to stick with the video-taping thing, but Ive just had enough. *throws up hands in the air* So I guess we will see what happens.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Credits +1

Today was better than yesterday, but I'm still not sure how my thesis is going to work out next week. I got up around 9am after sleeping in which was wonderful. I did have another funky dream though. I finished the document I had been working on and read a few things for my online class. Then it was off to my play therapy class.

The class is pretty cool. The teacher seems really nice and so do the people in my class. Its weird not knowing anyone though when everyone else seems to know each other. Im sure that will change soon enough. One mega cool thing was that they are going to change the class from 2 credits to 3, which means I can drop the one credit independent study research course I had signed up for. Kick ass! I don't need any more classes, I'm very happy to be able to drop it. For an ice breaker we all got huge sheets of paper and then we had to pair up. One person would lie down on the paper while their partner would trace their outline. I'm sure you've done this before. Anyways, after that we got to color it in any way we wanted and then we had to create a time line of our life somewhere in it or on our outline. After that we taped them all around the room and we had to explain them to the class. So far the class sounds pretty cool. I like play therapy as a tool and how it works, but I don't think I would be able to do it for a living. Play therapy is all about getting to the emotions that people have trouble expressing. While that is good I like to work on more of the developmental side rather than the feelings side. Less pathology. Still a cool class though.

After class I worked on my online class more and met with my advisor to figure out how to fix my thesis. I need to find a way to make sure the cameras capture the whole area. I may use a tripod if I can get the department to let me use one. Or I may just say screw it all and find a way to do it with no videos and just do it all with observational research. I would love to do it that way. Doing it that way would mean I wouldn't have to deal with any coders and I wouldn't have to sit through ten hours of video tape. So I just have to figure out how in the heck to do that. I should really go to bed now since Im planning on getting up at 7am again tomorrow, but maybe Ill read a little more about observational research. Yea, I know big fun.

Monday, January 10, 2005

I don't like getting up early

I am really not a morning person. I prefer to sleep in. Yet today I made myself get up at 7am (yuck!) so that I would be ready and on campus by 8:30am. Today I decided to go to campus that early to practice using the cameras in the classroom and videotaping everything for my thesis data collection that starts next week. Boy am I glad I did that. Why? Because everything went wrong. I taped for an hour using two video cameras with two different vcrs. I got some great shots on the first camera. On the second one I realized it wouldn't go where I wanted too. So we will have to figure that out. Then later when I went to watch the tape I made this morning the great video I had wasn't there. The first vcr only recorded audio. Gah! Then the camera that barely showed the area I wanted recorded all video and no audio. I was not happy. At least I figured it out now and they can see if they can fix it by the time I really start next week. Hopefully it will be fixed by then. *fingers crossed*

I'm not going to try getting up early again till wednesday. Have to give them a chance to fix things. Plus I have to recover from getting up at 7am. By 2pm I was getting really tired. I know that many people get up every day at that time. However, I don't. Im a grad student and sleeping in is one of my favorite things :)

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Two movies

I try to go to Blockbuster during the weekends to get a good movie to watch and get away from school work for a while. Whenever I get into the semester though I tend to get swamped with work and tend to not get to go to Blockbuster as much as I'd like. So I decided to go to Blockbuster this weekend before all the work started coming in. I rented two movies: Anchorman and Napolion Dynamite. I was expecting great things from both of them. I had heard good things from people about them. However, I have to say I was disappointed by both of them. I don't know if I was just not in the right mood or not, but I found both of them dumb an a bit weird. Napolion Dynamite was weird and a bit sad. Though the end was a little sweet. I was ready for Anchorman to be over half way through it. I thought about shutting it off but I didn't. I stuck it through and eh. I can see why some people like it, but it wasn't my type of movie. Oh well. Hopefully Ill have next week to try again. I want to see Wimbleton and that movie where the two guys go to White Castle. Mmmm white castle.


Last night while flipping through the channels I found that nbc was reairing the first episode of the new show Medium. Being bored and since I caught it at the beginning I decided to watch it. I am really impresed with it. Maybe its because I like that type of show, but I thought it was really good. For anyone who doesn't know, the main story line is that its about this woman who was going to school to be a lawyer. However, she keeps having these dreams about dead people talking to her. She seems to know how crimes occured when everyone else can't figure it out with just scientific evidence. I am defintley going to try to catch the next episode. Monday nights on nbc at 10pm!

Play therapy materials

I downloaded the syllabus off the internet for my play therapy course on friday. While reading it I found a list of materials we are supposed to get together by the second week of class. Just reading it has gotten me really excited to start this class. What materials do I need to buy?

White paper, colored construction paper, blunt scissors, a box of crayons, markers, clear tape, and a clean new pair of white socks.

I can't wait. Also, according to the syllabus there are no exams! Kicky beans. Just a short paper thats just a critique of five articles and a presentation. I just hope that the class lives up to my expectations! I'll find out on Tuesday.

Goodbye Boomhower?

I came back to town over vacation thinking my area of the aparment complex seemed very empty. I figured it was just because I was back from vacation a little early and not everyone was back yet. Its a little bit fuller now with cars, but I have noticed one thing. I think Boomhower is gone. Who is Boomhower? Let me explain. I live on the top level of a two story apartment complex. There are four apartments on my level. There are two apartments at the far end and then there is my apartment and one directly next to my door. That is Boomhower's apartment. He always seemed nice enough. He wasn't always in his apartment, but when he was you could tell. When he was home he was loud. I think part of that is that my apartment walls are pretty thin. My next door neighbor can hear when my alarm goes off in the morning. But anyways, he was always playing music or something. He also always had people coming in and out of his place. People coming up the stairs and down the stairs, talking right infront of my apartment. He and his friends would also occasionally smoke infront of my apartment, which I really hated. All of these reasons combined are the reason why I have stopped opening my front windows.

Anyways, back to the present. Why do I think he's gone? Well I noticed his floor mat is gone. Also he had written on his door the initials of an emo band he is really into. That has been scrubbed off the door. So I don't know for sure, but I think he may be really gone. This thought makes me happy. I will have to talk to my other neighbor on the other side next time I see him. He seems to know all the gossip about everyone in our little part of the complex. Who knows, maybe someone cool will move in next door or even better maybe the apartment will stay vacant for the rest of the semester an Ill have some peace an quiet.

I heart Hardee's

Saturday nights are the night that I normally go out to eat or bring something in for dinner. I try to be good during the week eating wise so that Saturday night I can eat whatever I want for a whole meal. Even though I have eaten a lot over the holidays like everyone else I decided to go to my local Hardee's for dinner tonight. I got a cheese thickburger, curly fries, and a chocolate milkshake. What can I say? All very yummy. I have a Sonic, a Burger King, and a McDonalds all within two minutes of my apartment. Yet, I have not been to any of them in months. I only go to Hardee's. It's my favorite fast food place. No, I have never gotten there monster thickburger, just thinking about it makes me gain ten pounds. Though I would like to get it sometime with Jeff an split it just to see what the big fuss is about. Too bad Hardee's are really hard to find now days. I'm gonna have a major craving once I'm done with school and I move up north. Anyways, the moral of this entry is if you see a Hardee's go in and have a thickburger. You won't regret it.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

First long night

So I'm back at school. I think I mentioned that in my last post. If I didn't, I'm back at school, lol. The nights are usually the quietest. Last night wasn't too bad because I was tired from driving four and a half hours and staying up too late. But now that I'm some what rested, bored of playing my game, and knowing that Jeff won't be online to talk too till Sunday, I'm realizing I'm ready to graduate and move to Jeff.

Today was pretty productive actually. Im coming off of a really good vacation so I'm feeling like I can get things done. I hope that stays. I got up today, met with my advisor, made an important list for my thesis, made a huge amount of copies at Kinkos and then went home and sent out a massive amount of emails. Hopefully they will all work out. Tomorrow, I have to go in again, but this time it will be a little bit later in the day. Today was really quiet on campus and sort of nice. Tomorrow is the first day of classes so I'm sure it will be more crowded. However, most people don't schedule Friday classes so we will see. I basically just have to get some papers ready and make sure my list is ok. Then I can go home for the weekend. I should work on the first part of my thesis more but eh. I know the second part will be easier to write but the first part still needs to get done.

Have I mentioned that I can't wait till Janurary is over? Once this month is over I will have carried out my thesis plan and will just have to play with my numbers and report what I found. I can't wait. Though I do have to admit that I am looking forward to one of my classes. Its about Play Therapy in the eyes of social work. Sounds really cool so far. I have always wanted to take a course on Play Therapy. Who knows, maybe it will help me figure out what I want to do with myself when I graduate. Speaking of that, I need to fix my resume so I can send it out to get on eRecruiting again. My dream is that some great company will find me on eRecruiting, love me and my resume, and offer me tons of money so I can live very close to Jeff and not have to worry about a thing. Ah, dreams. Though it would be really nice not to have to worry about finding a job after I graduate.

Alright, back to the brain drain of my mmorpg. I started a new character for a new challenge. We will see how that turns out.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

To go or not to go

I like vacations and like anyone else I am not ready to go back. Classes start on friday, but I don't have anything until the next tuesday class wise. However, I do need to get back into town to get things ready for my thesis before the semester starts. So I have to go in earlier. I was thinking leaving today or tomorrow. All through our trip home (which we did not get in till around 9pmish, bleh) I was trying to decide if I was going to leave today or tomorrow. I emailed my advisor last night when I got in to see when she would be able to meet. She did email back quickly (thank goodness, I love people who email you back so quick) and said she couldn't meet till thursday at the earliest. Which means I can drive home tomorrow. Woot. I could techinically drive home today, but I just woke up and I don't have any of my winter stuff packed so that gives me some time to repack, go to the bank and do other things to get ready to go. The only crappy thing about leaving tomorrow is that its supposed to be raining as I leave. They said yesterday on the weather that it was supposed to rain today not tomorrow. I checked the weather back at school and its not supposed to rain so hopefully it will only rain for a small amount of time as I leave my home town. I love the weather back home too, 70s an high 60s! Yea for the south! Ok, so I guess I should get off the net now an be productive. Maybe Ill even have some time to do some thesis work that I of course did not do over vacation. Heh, knowing me probably not ;)

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Going back to reality

Tonight is the last night we have here in sunny florida. I am not ready to go back into reality when I have to worry about deadlines and such. January will be a busy month for me with collecting and coding all of my data for my thesis, but as everything, it will get done.

I had a really good visit here. I love the warm weather and hate the cold. I got a new pair of flip flops to replace the ones that I broke this past fall too. I got to show Jeff all of the fun things to do in florida such as the boat ride to look at aligators, the special needs birds, and my favorite restaurant here. It was also nice to be able to spend that much time with him in one visit.

One of the more exciting things happened tonight actually. We went to see National Treasure in the afternoon, which Jeff will post that he didn't think was too bad. Hah, told you so :) After that we went to a restaurant for dinner which was pretty yummy. Around dessert time the topic turned to future plans and such and Jeff mentioned that his parents said I could live with them if I needed somewhere to stay before I had housing. Then my mother started asking questions about if we were official or not. *side note* Jeff had bought me a really pretty cubic zerconia (sp?) ring that looks like a real engagement ring that I have been wearing on my left hand. If anyone back at school asks me about it I will tell them that its the ring before the real one. I think that also prompted my mother. She wanted to know if we were offical. I said not really yet cause he hadn't asked for real an he hadn't asked my dad yet so right there in the middle of the restaurant Jeff told me to go get some food an then asked my dad. My mother and I of course got all emotional an such in the middle of the restaurant. I'm sure people thought we were nuts. Thats ok though. My grandma was caught mid mouthful an was totally shocked. She was like "I had no idea that was coming then and I was in the middle of eating ice cream!" So we are that much closer to becoming really official. Good job jeffy.

So off to the cold we go tomorrow. We will be dropping Jeff off at the closer airport tomorrow around noon an then I fly out around dinner time. I hope this new year is a great one. Its turning out to be so far.