Tuesday, February 16, 2010

RBOC (my first ever!)

  • Just when I thought that I had finished a draft to my own satisfaction, more or less, and could simply wait for my profs to weigh in, I started relaxing after a little writing by fiddling with the format of my bibliography for DOU format requirements.  (Don't you relax this way after banging out a page or two?)  Lo and behold, once I started close editing of the bibliography, I started finding/reminding myself of sources I'd read that I'd never cited, and that it would be useful and smart-looking to cite.  ('Cause I r smrt like that.)  I can't pretend that my system for this is very practical; mostly, it involved importing my Zotero citations to a Word document because I either knew for certain that I had already cited something, or expected to do so very soon.  You can just guess how well that latter part worked out.  Anyway, the process has led to the realization that I just can't remember all the shit that I know, even when I think that Zotero's tagging system will do that for me.  I've already found ways to incorporate a few very pertinent things that I'd be embarrassed to leave out in the defense draft, and I suspect I will find some more before it's over.  (...When will it be over?)
  • I noticed lately that I increasingly prefer to write and edit to classical music, which has not always been my preference.  This new taste is especially useful for editing, when I'm trying to hear the flow of the words I have written, rather than psych myself up for creating new ones.  Opera works okay, but the words and the excitement of the dramatic passages seem to suit creation better than editing; wordless music seems to do me better for editing.  Since my diss work is now more a matter of editing than writing, I decided to splurge on something useful, and downloaded this Jenő Jandó album of Beethoven piano sonatas.  It came to my attention this evening that, when I tell my iTunes to arrange my classical music by album, it puts the second movement of the first sonata at the end.  There's no damn reason for this that I can see: the composer, the CD info, and all of that is precisely the same throughout the album, so iTunes shouldn't be able to pull any of that fiddly, fussy nonsense.  (How could any part of the 8th sonata possibly follow the 23rd?  It's track 2, for heaven's sake!)  In many ways, iTunes is awesomely powerful, but I wish it wouldn't do things that plainly violate mathematical logic, to say nothing of human intuitiveness.
  • I caught up with some friends of mine from grad school over the weekend.  They're a married couple, one of whom dropped out of my program, the other of whom is laboring to finish up hir degree in another department this May, as I am.  The grad student was clearly the less enthusiastic about hanging out on a Saturday night, since zi probably wanted to wake up early and do...whatever it is those science-y people do on a Sunday morning.  But all three of us ended up having fun, chewing over the miseries and difficulties of grad school, the job market, etc.  One of the biggest laughs for me came right at the end of the evening, as the other grad student and I hugged goodbye.  In the very same breath, with no prompting or planning, we each said to the other, "Stay strong!"

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