My advisor is editing the second third of my dissertation. He sends a series of emails, over the course of 15 minutes. First, Your writing style is good. Then, This figure detracts from the validity of your model. Then, I do not think you are done with your research. That last one, it made my stomach drop, like a particularly rickety old wooden roller coaster. See, back in July, we (he) decided my model was Good Enough – that adding more complexity to my mathematical model would be purely theoretical, that it wouldn’t be anchored to the experiments I performed. And now, in September, I must do just that – add more complex code, and write more complex paragraphs explaining it.
At least we kicked that unschedulable dbag off my committee. At least we bought me another three weeks to work on this. At least advisor is being reasonably helpful, and wants me to succeed. But I’d just like to be done with this.
My third to last frisbee tournament of the foreseeable future was last weekend. We headed up to Chattanooga to play in the annual spirit of the game tourney. Our biggest competition showed up late both days. The first day, it caused them to lose a game, which resulted in us playing them in the quarters instead of the semis (I’m sure that is confusing, I don’t speak bracket very well). Sunday, they showed up an hour late for the quarters game “because it was raining” (though every other team had managed to be there for two hours already), but because it was a spirit tournament, we weren’t allowed to assess points. We were all livid, that this team, who never respects their opponents enough to show up on time, should not be penalized for more of the same. It’s as if their M.O. is to get their opponents angry and riled up, and then – keep pressing buttons during the game. We lost, fairly narrowly, and I maintain it would have been a different game if we hadn’t been so pissed.
Later, when we tried to head home, my car key snapped in two. IN TWO. It was the cherry on top of a fantastic morning. Though, if I’m being honest, it could have been worse… it could still have been raining, and the tournament could have ended and we could have been alone. Instead, we got to sit around with our friends and watch the finals game while some gentle giant cut me a new key from the pieces in the back of his mobile locksmithery.
I obtained some pharmaceutical motivation, and had the most productive day in my memory. I got all of my model code working, surprising my advisor and myself. I edited the worst paper ever written by a native english speaker (not me!), and went to frisbee. I worked for 12 hours, and went to frisbee for 3. It was glorious. I was super happy all day too. I’m filing this experience under “when psychiatrists screw you by giving you an intelligence test instead of the ADD battery and then say you are too smart to have an attention disorder, and then you go around the system and it totally works,” or perhaps “self-fulfilling prophecies/the placebo effect.” Definitely one of those.