daemonelix: (Default)
I FINALLY QUIT!!!!!! It was only a matter of actually informing my thesis advisor, but now at least I can't change my mind again! This is a serious problem, actually, because I have changed my major ... well, let's see: I've told people I was majoring in a wide variety of things ) ... something like that.

Right, back to more important things. What's most pathetic is that for most of these majors, I only took a class or two that could possibly count; yet, I still was convinced for even a short amount of time that I wanted to devote my life to it. Yes, that's correct: devote my life to it. I'm not really sure what I'm thinking most of the time, or why it ever seems rational.

I had something else that I wanted to say, but now I've forgotten.

**five minutes later**

Right! I really hate quitting, it makes me feel pathetic and like I'm fulfilling all sorts of stereotypes, but ... I'd rather actually like what I'm studying and be happy than fight the stereotypes on principle, just because. It would be nice to want to want (yes, you read that correctly) to 1) study natural science, 2) stick with anything for more than a few weeks, 3) pick a topic and dive in, but none of things really fit with my personality and my particular skill set. So. I am sick of trying—

Random tangent that's actually funny. )

—I am sick of trying to do things that CRUSH MY SOUL, like lab work, just because I wish I liked them. I suppose part of it is that for a while I figured I would get used to it, but ... unfortunately, listening to music while doing lab work doesn't reduce the boredom, watching movies while doing lab work doesn't reduce the boredom, planning fic doesn't reduce the boredom, daydreaming doesn't reduce the boredom ... I have now accepted that doing lab work is just SO FUCKING BORING that it would squash me like a little bug if I tried to do it for any length of time. (And last summer, it basically did squash me like a little bug, so I have actual evidence of this.)

When I spent hours and hours on Sunday night with my music and a transcript from the second Obama-McCain debate, recording all their pronouns without getting bored once, and without even getting distracted once (that I remember, anyway ... not that I trust my memory), I am willing to take that as a sign.

Also, "figured XXXXXXXX out" is NOT a grammatical sentence in my book. I can't say something like "I figured that Bertha would go to the grocery store to pick up food out". That just doesn't make any sense, and yet the article that I have to read for Language Processing insists that it is an example of a perceptually difficult but nonetheless grammatical sentence. :P

Edit:  I think maybe I only like noun phrases between "figure" and "out".  So, I don't really have a problem with "I figured her really long, difficult-to-pronounce, exotic, Tagalog name out," (in reference to another student in one of my classes), but I don't like as much, "I figured what her really long, difficult-to-pronounce, exotic, Tagalog name was out".  (By the way, Tagalog is officially one of the coolest languages I only know a tiny little bit about!  Infixational morphology!!!!!!!)
daemonelix: (Default)
Actually, it just ended. :(

Today, I officially handed my data over to my lab partner, so I AM NO LONGER DOING AN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE THESIS!!!!!!! To celebrate, I am going to play my 500th game of Dominion, drink my smoothie, eat my granola bars and chocolate chips, and work on Teddy. I got sidetracked for a few days working on a different project, but there's nothing like Harry Potter to celebrate a good day. I just wish I had a copy of the first book at school.

Although I don't want to sound all depressing or goal-oriented, I have a few ideas for a linguistics thesis, too, which I think bear an actual relationship to my particular strengths (which don't involve bees or doing anything so mind-numbingly boring as lab work). So! I might spend some time watching Obama and McCain duke it out, and listening to their use of (deictic) pronouns. YAY!!!!!!

I definitely prefer not taking as much hard/natural science. It's fun, I like learning about it, but ... linguistics is SO MUCH MORE ME!!!! You get to listen to people talk! o.O

daemonelix: (Default)
My erstwhile thesis advisor, Stephen, is a like a steamroller. He tends to talk right over you in meetings, such that it is extremely difficult to say no, because it is difficult to get a word in. If you're a piece of concrete (i.e., an ES/geo/bio student who wants to study biogeochemistry), Stephen is great: he will fit you into his lab, teach you what you need to know, and set you on the road (pun intended!)* to being a great biogeochemist. If you're a plant (i.e., me, though I don't mean any type of value judgment by calling ES students concrete and me a plant, I just couldn't think of a better metaphor), Stephen can be a little ... crushing.

In other words, during my meeting with Stephen today, I almost left without telling him that I no longer want to do a thesis in ES.

Luckily, though, I managed to slip in a bit of a "well, I'm a little sick of doing lab work, after spending ALL LAST SEMESTER DOING IT!" And a "well, I'm pretty sure that I don't want to spend my life doing the kind of lab work that I did all last semester, though it was a lot of fun and very interesting." And a "well, I am actually both an ES and a linguistics concentrator, and there are so many courses and topics that are interesting that it's very difficult to pick, so I don't think I have the time to take the ES thesis course."

I managed (or at least, I think I managed) to make it sound like his idea—this is an important thing when dealing with Stephen, because he likes good ideas to come from him. He also likes good ideas to come from his students, but this way, he doesn't think that I am quitting; he thinks he made a good suggestion, i.e., that I am maybe not quite as devoted as I need to be in order to finish a thesis, and that this is perfectly fine, given that I have lots of other interests, and that I should explore all the other opportunities my school has to offer, etc. etc. etc. At the very least, he doesn't think I'm crazy for not wanting to commit myself to a thesis in ES just yet, especially when I am sure I don't want to ultimately do that kind of science. He does respect the fact that I am torn between two completely and utterly different fields (Have you ever heard of environmental linguistics? I haven't, though I suppose linguistic geography might be the closest.), so he doesn't even seem to think it's a bad thing if I don't finish my ES thesis, which is good.

Oh well. I feel rather pathetic for quitting, but luckily I have several other opportunities, such as doing a linguistics thesis, which I think is infinitely better suited to my particular strengths. At the very least, I really like listening to people talk, whereas I only sort of like digging in the dirt, and I don't really like to measure ammonium. Unfortunately, though, although I do know someone that I would like to work with on a linguistics thesis, I am not positive that I will get to, so it might be difficult to make that work.

I really want to do a thesis. I like analyzing data, finding patterns, and trying to figure out whether a certain theory applies. And I am actually getting interested in language processing, particularly phonological processing; and doing a thesis in linguistic anthropology would basically be SO AWESOME that I wouldn't want to do anything else. (Watch me eat those words ... ^^) Sadly, however, no one here does either of those fields, though some people come close.

Well, at least I won't be crushed by the Great Ammonium Analyzer this semester.


daemonelix: (Default)

April 2011

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