Monthly Archives: March 2014

Progress report

Just for me. Seriously, none of you should be reading this. This is me using my blog as a personal journal. Go watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead, then come talk to me about it later. It will be more fun!

But if you must continue reading this post, then I will tell you the topic of my thesis, as it stands. It’s not the topic started out with¬† —¬† at all — and that is unfortunate; I am mostly viewing this whole exercise as an education in what not to do. But anyway, my topic now is basically this: we spend lots of money restoring and creating wetlands and then we suck at seeing how well they are doing. There is no great spike in money for site monitoring forthcoming anytime soon, so I’m looking for ways to better use the dataset that current and past monitoring protocols have generated (and are generating now). Wouldn’t it also be nice if the folks who are doing this monitoring would share their data with the rest of the world? Wetland Festivus for the rest of us? Stupid government agencies sitting on their data and never publishing a shred of anything. I’m not saying that last part. But I’m thinking it**.

Yesterday: No hours spent writing, but that’s okay because Brad took the kids to a birthday party today and so I had a guaranteed big window of time to work on it. I didn’t go to bed until after midnight, though. That was an accident due to, well, not looking at my watch.

Today: 2.5 hours spent writing, for reals. I have new citations and paragraphs and everything now to prove it! However, I think I may have made my entire introduction obsolete and will have to re-write it. Sigh.

I have met my obligations today. I am now free to weave, bake cookies, clean the bathroom, and play with my kids when they get home from the birthday party. And order the rest of my seeds. And make a calendar for planting seeds and transplanting starts. Yay! Perhaps I should consider measuring the pasture today so I can start developing an estimate for how much it will cost to fence in my hypothetical flock of sheep.
I can do all these things guilt-free today! Time management is so awesome!

 

**I’ve thought that often. When I worked on the GSL, we had a pile of data — a big pile — with nary a publication of any of it. There was all sorts of concern about giving away the locations of our super secret sampling sites. I get needing to keep those under wraps, but then why not just do that, eh? And still let someone publish something. Or make a presentation of it to someone. Something, please! The whole pile of data just sits. I made a map with some of it and sent it to a professor as a project (there was much, much angst and worrying about that from the bosses). My map, sadly, did not reveal anything super cool about the deep brine layer like I totally hoped it would (also: it did not reveal the locations of our sampling sites), so I’m still left with just the knowledge that the deep brine layer smells very, very bad and not much else. But there’s data about it, oh yes there is, and there’s more to explore but no limnologist will ever get their hands on it because no limnologist works on that crew (including me I’m not a limnologist I just think limnology is cool) and errrrrrr. I’m getting het up.

Howdy from the slog.

So, hi. Haven’t dropped in for a while. That’s because I’ve denying myself all things (except the ongoing textile projects, which cannot be denied but can have their time limited) in an effort to find the self-discipline to write my damn thesis.

I have become disturbingly lacking in the ability to focus, so this denial plan has totally failed. It turns out I would actually rather stare at a wall. And I would just do that sort of all night, feeling like I shouldn’t go to bed because I hadn’t gotten enough done and, well. I’ve stayed up late a lot and spun my wheels a lot too.

So. New plan. It’s not so revolutionary. Instead of vague self-denial that just makes me unhappy and doesn’t get me anywhere better, I’m going with time management!

One hour of writing per day.

Ye gods, this is slow going, but I put in one hour yesterday and one hour today and I have updated graphs, an updated table, two new references, some corrected in-text references, corrected formatting, and two or three new paragraphs! Pararaphs, y’all, and some are in my Discussion section. One of them even has an assertion, sort of. A weak-kneed, jello-like assertion, but I just have to write this stupid thing and get it off my back.

In the interest of time-management, I’m not planning a return to regular blog posting anytime soon, but it seemed okay to do this picture-less post after having put in my requisite hour tonight. And now I will maybe weave for a few minutes or hang out with Brad.

Other aspects of my new time-management plan: go to bed by 11:30 every night. After two weeks of this, re-evaluate and see if I think I should join the YMCA. Working out takes time, but I well know from experience that done in moderation it increases my energy for everything else, so it will probably help. We’ll see after two weeks of normal sleep scheduling.

Um, Holden turned 10. That is a big deal and we had a big party, but it must wait a while.