Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Current To-Do List

Well, I hope people got some use out of my first attempt at live-blogging.  The next attempt will be at the NEAS meeting in April (where the hell is "Woods Hole"?).  In the meantime, here are upcoming lab activities!

December:
  • Analyze algal fatty acids from the summer 2010 project.  
January:
  • Research on hold for comps :-(
February - April:
  • Start counting algae (I have 140 slides to count!) from the summer 2010 project
  • Start writing up other results from the summer 2010 project (gonna try to eek a publication out of this, at least a poster...)
  • Start writing up the MS for publication (again)
  • Begin planning for my multi-stream dissertation project!
    • Pick streams
    • Contact farmers
    • Proof sites
    • Gather materials
    • Cry over not receiving funding (j/k! I hope...)
How sad is it that I have the next 5 months of my life already planned out?  The only thing not nailed down at this point is what classes I'll teach next semester.  They usually don't tell us until the day before classes start anyway, but I could usually count on being assigned the non-majors.  But next semester, the one class I'll be taking starts at 5pm, and the lab of the class I usually teach ends at 5:30pm....I don't wanna get stuck with Bio 2!!!

It makes me nervous to have this much planned out.  I've got the giant fear of comps hanging over my head.  If I don't pass comps, I'm going to be very unmotivated to do much of anything.  It doesn't seem like it should be too hard, to get an 85% on an exam, but for some reason, this seems like an insurmountable task.  Comps at FU aren't done like comps at other universities.  In this dept, it's a comprehensive written exam.  There are 3 core classes you have to take, and then the professors from those classes write several cumulative questions from their course.  The dept secretary then randomly picks 4 from each class out of a hat, for a total of 12 questions.  You then answer 2 of the 4 for each class.  And from those 6 essays, you must score at least an 85% in order to remain in the program; no second chances!  This makes me nervous.  When an exam is weighted so heavily, I'll stress and study for a long time and then right before the exam, I'll get really frustrated and just say "fuck it", and then bomb.  It happened this semester, and I'm afraid it'll happen again.

Ugh, sorry, this turned into kvetching again...One of these days this will morph from a bitching blog to a research blog.  I'm working on it!

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