28 Juni, 2006

just one more day

until the conference. I am both excited and nervous, but I think i have gotten to a point where I do think that my presentation is actually good. Now I just need to make sure no one asks me any scary or unanswerable questions, and I will be ok. Just in the office for a bit because I wanted to pick up a book about Gender and Marketing (since that is the title of the conference...) and then I need to head into town to get a few things, and then I have to go home and finish packing. Not much more really I already packed half the things I need and the other things just needed a bit more time to dry before being packed into the suitcase. That's about it for today...

Tomorrow morning we have to get up way too early, but at least we get almost the entire day in Edinburgh before the conference starts. I am hoping the weather will be nice...

25 Juni, 2006

people can be so annoying

Friday afternoon just about 3 minutes before I was going to leave I got an email from the programme director for whom I have been doing mentoring this year that I need to have a report ready for the teaching meeting Monday morning by 10 am. I should have just taken Neil's advice (Just ignore it and email Monday around 11 saying that you didn't see the email before then), but as I am I did send it yesterday afternoon.

Friday evening there was a party at Neil's house which was quite fun. Lots of people we didn't know, but from what Neil had said before I thought there weren't going to be that many people, so it was good that it was like that. But it did feel a bit claustrophobic at time, because the house is very narrow. Still a nice evening.

Saturday I went home after lunch time to get some work done (that annoying report), on my way into town I bumped into a friend and we had a quick coffee and chat at Starbucks. That was nice, but for some reason I had a really bad headache. then I went home and did a bit of work, basically just finished the report and emailed it off and then tried to get rid of the headache until it was time to head back to Neil's. We were going to watch "Memento", but again didn't get around to it and rather enjoyed the nice evening outside.

Today I felt really guilty that I hadn't done any work and I really needed to go through the presentation a few more times, so I went home after we had some food. Been working on figuring out how to analyse my data properly and also ran through my presentation a few more time. I can manage it in just over 15 minutes which is what it should be. Jonathan approved it, but also recommended more reading, and tomorrow I will see what Brian thinks.

After that I watched some DVD, uploaded some old pictures into my flickr.com account, made some food, avoided the football and now I am just about to get ready to go to bed.

Just three more days now until we head off to Edinburgh. I am both excited and scared. I hope the excitement will overpower the being afraid and I will enjoy this first conference experience. Should be good... after all I am a PhD student, they should encourage me and give me some good feedback so I can improve my work.

21 Juni, 2006

just a quick post

just about to dash off to see the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the uni for the end of the Golden Jubiliee celebrations, but wanted to post before I left. The last few days have been slightly stressful, but I think it is more that I am stressing myself out, rather than it being someone else's fault. I just need to somehow build my confidence, if I just knew a good way of doing that!!!

Yesterday I spent all day helping out with the open day at the uni. Talking to mostly parents but also a few students about why Exeter would be such a good choice. Some were very eager and wanted to know loads of things, and others you could clearly tell that they had no idea about what they wanted to do at uni, only that they wanted to go to uni. But it was fun anyway, and I am getting paid for it as well ;)

Also this upcoming conference is really starting to get to me, I am trying to tell myself that I shouldn't be nervous but it just isn't working. I am just not convinced enough about my research, and the more I read the more I start thinking that my topic is stupid and trivial. But Brian is being really good about it and keeps telling me that I will do fine and that I will have a good time.

a bit later...

the concert was great... very nice pieces they played and they were very good. Well this is according to my friend Andrea who knows much more about classical music than I do. But I did enjoy it, and decided that I need to have a lookout for these sort of things more. But now it is time for me to get to bed. Tomorrow is another day to get more work done on my presentation and to build up my confidence!

Happy Solstice by the way!

18 Juni, 2006

I had a great weekend with Neil.the weather was absolutely wonderful so Friday I went over in the evening and we sat outside until half past 10 enjoying the sunshine. Saturday we went to Topsham. It is a small village - as Neil called it - on the outskirts of Exeter. Very very nice place to be, and even though the weather was beautiful it wasn't busy at all. We walked around the place a bit, and then also along the Goat Walk. Don't as me why it is called the Goat Walk, but here is a picture of it...

Here you can see the actual Goat Walk. We walked all along it around the far corner and even further into some fields to a nature retreat. Sorry that there is a bit of glare from the sun, but I should give my mobile phone some credit, it did take some quite good pictures even though. After this we went to the Quay and had a few drinks before we got back on the bus to go home.

This is a nice view over the river/esturary (no idea if this is spelled correctly) bit of Topsham.

Neil took some pictures with his camera, they are a lot better, and you can find them on his blog

In the evening we were invited over for dinner by some friends, which was really nice. A semi German dinner cooked in a Römertopf. And I had real Spätzle for the first time!

Today was very lazy. We had planned to have breakfast at Goerges, but we didn't quite get up in time, so we went there for lunch. After that we had a quick stroll through town and then I went to meet a friend for coffee at Starbucks. She was as excited as I was when I told her that we now have a Wagamama Restaurant in Exeter as well now.

14 Juni, 2006

hab ich gestern was getan?

nicht wirklich! Na ja, ich glaub das Wetter war daran Schuld. Morgens war es schön kühl nach einer schwülen Nacht, und ich habe mich trotzdem sommermäßig angezogen. Und dann hat es natürlich als wir was zum essen holen wollten geregnet. Na ja was soll's... später ist dann aber doch noch die Sonne rausgekommen und es war wieder warm! Nach'm lunch haben wir uns dann einen Vortrag von einem Professor aus Texas angehört. Der war ganz interessant, aber nicht wirklich relevant für mein Projekt. Und irgendwie habe ich dann gar nichts geschafft, in der letzten halben Stunde bin ich dann in Hochform aufgelaufen und hab noch ein paar Artikel gefunden die ich gebrauchen könnte, aber das war auch schon alles. Heute Vormittag hab ich ein Meeting mit Brian und danach muss ich noch an meinem Vortrag für Edinburgh arbeiten, Jonathan hat mit so viele Vorschläge für Änderungen geschickt. Aber er weiss ja Bescheid, und er kommt auch, also wird er dann auch wissen ob ich die Änderungen vorgenommen hab.

Ok dann mach ich mich mal auf den Weg. Tee austrinken und dann ab zur Uni!

12 Juni, 2006

what was going on over the past few days

the weekend once again was lovely with the weather, and everything else as well. Friday I went over to Neil's after dinner and we enjoyed the nice weather and when it got to cold we watched an episode of Green Wing. It is so funny, the best way to describe it would be to say that it is a British version of Scrubs, but the humour is very different, very british I guess. But we were laughing so much... I also spent most of Saturday with Neil, with a short time at home in between to drop off my things, as we were going to meet with some friends at Georges in the evening before Neil was off to play poker with the Exeter Poker Club people. Yesterday I didn't do very much, went into town briefly in the morning to avoid the crowds and then mainly tried to stay cool for the rest of the afternoon.

Today we had the PG conference which was organised by two of the other PhD students in the department. As much as I hated the idea of being bullied into presenting my work, it was quite a good day. Mainly I liked hearing about other people's research interests and projects, because even though we are in the psychology department we don't really mix and mingle with people outside of our research groups. So I guess this was a success, and I got to practise my talk for Edinburgh (but Jonathan emailed me some suggestions for changes... so more work needs to be done). It was nice too, Brian came up to me during lunch and said that someone approached him and said that his PhD student (i.e. me!!!) did very well presenting. I really don't understand it, everyone said I seemed very relaxed and confident, but I felt the complete opposite. I was totally nervous, and had to remind myself to breathe properly all the way through... but I guess it is a good thing that I don't portray it outward. Hopefully that will also be true for the "real" conference in a couple of weeks...

It was a long day though of sitting and listening to talks, which is quite hard in the stuffy weather... so as a fun thing for the evening we went to the new WAGAMAMA restaurant in town. It is so nice to have one here now. The two things I had been missing from London were Starbucks and Wagamama, and now we have both of them here in Exeter as well. I really enjoy the the food there, they say it is a japanese noodle bar, but they serve rice dishes as well. I had something called Chicken Katsu Curry... VERY YUMMY!

07 Juni, 2006

another beautiful day

it is another really nice and wonderfully sunny day, and I am stuck in the office. Actually it isn't that horrible. Neil took the day off work and come by for lunch and we sat in the sun. Now I am back in the office... I need to get these things done for the PG conference Monday and I want to start and feel like I am prepared for the Edinburgh conference as well. When I saw Brian earlier today, he mentioned something about me seeming very confident in what I am doing and my work in general. It's really odd how I can portray that kind of feeling, and never actually feel really confident in what I do. I should start being more confident I guess, I mean I have made it this far... Hopefully the conference will give me an extra boost and I can get my act together properly after it and finish a paper for the Las Vegas Conference in Feburary. I don't get why the papers always have to be in so early, this one has to be submitted by August, so that's less than two months away, but I am still hoping I can do it. Maybe I should ask Jonathan what he thinks, and if he would go to that one.

ok better get back to my work now... I have to prepare a presentation for Monday and Brian wants to see it Friday, so I have a day and a half to get it all ready.

06 Juni, 2006

long day

gosh this turned out to be such a long day here in the office. It is after 5 already and I am just now getting ready to go home. Well, I did get quite a lot done and I think I am now all set to analyse my first set of data and then write this first study up. Over the next few months I will be writing my first PhD chapter and then hopefully I will be able to upgrade from MPhil status to PhD status. That should be quite exciting, and after getting my progress review back as being satisfactory I am starting to get more and more motivated. The conference is coming up in about 4 weeks; I am hoping that I will be prepared enough when I go so I don't have to faint over being scared about the questions I might get after the presentation. At least I get a practise run on Monday, even thought I didn't really want to participate in this postgraduate research day... but oh well, it is good practise and I guess I should take advantage of these opportunities since I do need to improve my publisc speaking skills.

ok it's time to sit out in the sun for a bit and then go home and have some dinner.

04 Juni, 2006

Exmouth Beach in the sunshine ( in black and white)

Because the weather was so great yesterday we decided to go to the beach somewhere. We met at Central Station and then took the first train that went somewhere with a beack, and in this case it was Exmouth. Neil used to live there so he tends to avoid it, but I really enjoyed it. It is quite small though, so I can see why it isn't so exciting, but it was still nice to go to the beach for a bit.

Here are a few pictures... unfortunately I had forgotten to set my camera back to colour mode, last time I had taken a few black and white pictures. Oh well they still turned out nice.

Here is one of the sea... it is so nice to see the sea!

Here is Neil in the contruction of a miniature Stonehenge...

and here it is completed. I think it looks quite good! I know in colour it would have been better... We also built a sandcastle and looked for thin rocks for skipping. I found a few nice shells and rocks that I will be taking home for my mom next time I go.

Once we left the beach we got some food (I had "the great British Take Away" - Fish and Chips) and then went back to Exeter on the train. Then we met a few friends at the Mill on the Exe as it was such a nice evening.

02 Juni, 2006

I just saw that I can post to my blog by using an email address. Let's see how this works. Although I shouldn't be so surprised, I can post from within flickr.com as well. Well I think I am pretty much at the end of my work week now. The weather outside is beautiful and I am still sitting in the office, I really should get outside and enjoy the sunshine. To all who are reading this have a wonderful weekend and I hope it is sunny where you are too!

Ah it only leaves it in the drafts folder so I still have to go in and publish the post. Oh well maybe there is something I am missing. I'll figure it out some other time.

Here are some pictures I took with my mobile earlier today... The phone takes quite good pictures!

There are no clouds at all to see in the first one, and the second one just has a few.

Sunshine and Bowling

Finally the sun has decided to come out again! It is so nice when it is warm out, the sky is looking blue and the sun is out. It's been nice yesterday as well, and I have been in the office working. Well trying to an anyway. It seems at the moment that my research is taking yet another turn, but so far it isn't anything that is too annoying or incomprehensible to me (well apart from this one paper I am trying to read through at the moment :P).

Last night I went Bowling with Neil and a few people from his work. Apparently they had planned this for quite some time and in the end only two other people from his work showed up. Oh well, it was still fun. I managed to raise my total score from 55 to 83 by the third game, but the other three were much better than me. I think my main problem is that the bowling balls are too heavy and I can't get a good grip on them... but then last time I went I only got about 30 points for a whole game, so this was much better.