April 22, 2007

Bulk view

What an intense week!

Thesis: A usability pilot session left me frustrated with my project
and insecure about its significance. While stepping through the tasks,
I realized that the existing tools didn’t suck so bad, and that my
prototype wsan’t that much of an improvement. After the pilot, I
headed straight for Stephen Perelgut’s cubicle and whined about my lack of an interesting project. He told me that I wasn’t the first student to do that, although usually they wait until after they collect data. After getting that out of my system, though, I realized that it can’t be all that bad. After all, IBM wouldn’t fund it if they thought it was hopeless, and people in the blogosphere like the ideas I’ve written about. I spent the next day reading papers and trying to remember the reasons why my research is cool, and I think I’ve found my purpose again.

I caught up with a *lot* of reading, too. Three books, lots of
papers… I’m getting ready for my writing phase. My schedule is
slipping because of the usability tests, which may push my schedule
back another month. I am going to be *so* dead when it comes to
writing. If you don’t hear from me, you know why. I’ve been trying to do a little life writing here and there, the occasional blog post to keep in touch, but…. aaaaaagghhhh! My thesis looms on the horizon.

Frustration, check. Fear, check. Determination, check! I figure, life
wouldn’t give me this unless it thought I could handle it. I’m
curious! I want to see how life sorts this out. As long as I do my best at each step… We’ll see how this unfolds.

I also felt terribly homesick today, thinking about my family and how
much they miss me. I find it really, really hard to keep close
personal ties over the Internet. Even my real-life friends are feeling
a little neglected right now. I felt so sad that I couldn’t even type.
But W and J took over and cheered me up, so now I’m ready to work as
hard as I can.

Next week: Fix the usability issues identified by Diego. Do an interview about social computing. Do an interest interview with the team I most want to join. Get my usability study off the ground (finally!). Find more useful books – Encyclopedia Brown, Choose Your Own Adventure? Write a letter. Post at least one picture.

I can do this.

Random Emacs symbol: gnus-article-strip-all-blank-lines – Command: Strip all blank lines.