Headlines for Thursday:


Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
AX@0900-1100 Study for MIE1407F from 2005.09.15 (mie1407f)
AX@1100-1200 Attend lecture in MP134 from 2005.09.15 (mie1407f)
BX@1820-1855 Exercise: Basic step drop-in class at Field House from 2005.09.15
AXAsk for a formal statement of withdrawal from previous program : E-Mail from Brenda Fung (2005.09.15 grad waiting)
AXBuy drying rack from Walmart
BXCall 416-978-7970 to arrange a pregroup interview for the graduate student therapy group : E-Mail from Cezary Niewiadomski (grad)
BXAdd options to remember-mode-hook : E-Mail from Jesse Alama (planner)
CXCheck out diyplanner.com health post (diyplanner)


1. Discovering my inner nerd

Categories: grad#6 -- Permalink
People who've known me since childhood know that I've never been an academic geek. Who, me? Grades didn't really matter. In fact, one of my teachers once tsktsked and said he'd never seen such an underachiever in his life. (Ds. In English. Sheesh. My department chair scolded me about that.)

All of the exciting stuff in my life was extracurricular. Programming competitions didn't require straight As. Open source advocacy didn't require cum laudes. As long as I didn't get kicked out of school, I was fine.

I don't know when I started to take school more seriously, but one day I must've decided to see if I could do it. Just for kicks. And I did. I decided to enjoy my Philosophy course, and that was just wonderful. People were copying my philosophy notes. That was probably because I was typing near-transcripts of his stuff in realtime, although in retrospect, none of that turned out to be useful for anything other than recognizing his classic rants. People weren't just downloading my notes, though. They came up to me before class and asked me to explain passages. That was fun. =)

Hmm. Explaining stuff. That could be another factor, too. I moved into the dorm halfway through college. Being around other people taking the same course certainly made a difference. I loved joining group study sessions because I could test my knowledge and help people learn something new. Yeah, that was a key thing. Group study. I should write about that for the On Campus magazine; that's another key thing I want to tell students about.

I'd like to find out if I've got an inner nerd. Might not be a good idea to do that because I might end up kicking myself over the stuff I missed before! <grin> But what's done is done, and I haven't done too badly either. Graduate school's a second chance to see if I've actually got it in me to slog through textbooks and keep everything organized. Now that I've got a personal opinion of myself to live up to (and scholarships I'd like to apply for or retain!), having fun studying certainly makes more sense.

I was really worried about statistics. See, the last time I did an ANOVA test was in high school, and I wasn't really paying attention then. I'd never used Minitab (or even other statistical packages), but after experimenting, Googling, and asking classmates for help, I figured out how to import data and produce a couple of graphs. I explored the features of the software and found a couple of useful functions. I also asked my lab partner and the teaching assistant to teach me how to interpret two-way ANOVA results. Crash course in statistics! =) I feel confident about that part now. Next: learn about human factors and read some of the suggested references so that I can use their insights in the report.

You know, this studying thing can be kinda fun... =)

2. Discovering exercise

Categories: None -- Permalink
Today I not only discovered my inner nerd, but I also started down the long and slippery path of cultivating my inner jock. ;)

Well, no, not really. But I _did_ step inside the athletic center just across the street. After all, my funding's already paying for it. Might as well use it at least _once_ in the semester, right?

After wandering through twisty little passages (all alike), I eventually found a drop-in class that promised a good workout. The Steps workout is an aerobic thing that uses, well, a step in front of you. I floundered like the uncoordinated geek that I am, but I managed to enjoy myself. Forty minutes of workout flew by really quickly!

So that was fun. Stretching was fun, too, but I still have a terrible time doing crunches. I had to stop several times just to catch my breath and untangle my not-quite-there-yet abs.

Good workout. I think I'll go again next week.

I tried the exercise bikes, too. There were really cool ones that measure your heart rate and adjust the resistance automatically. I didn't have the time or energy to stick it out through the whole 30-minute thing, though, so that's something I'm going to try again next week. =) Something to look forward to!

No 30-day pledges, no promises to stick to a thrice-weekly schedule. I'm just going to see if I can make it back next week.