29 April, 2008

still battling with my motivation to come back to me, but so far not too much luck. At the moment I guess it is ok because I am data collecting so at least I am doing something. Data entry - very mundane but still is something I can do and then feel like I have accomplished something at the end of the day. I am very determined to get this paper I am currently writing done by the end of May. It really needs to go and be submitted to a journal and then the reviewers can deal with it. It was quite interesting, I went to a workshop for PhD students last week about writing and publishing work and the guy talked about reviewers of paper as co-authors. Not sure if I agree with that, but I can see his point. In some way these people are co-authors. They contribute to other people's work in the sense that they have a distanced view of the work and maybe can be more critical about it. Still I am not so sure if I can really take everything from the workshop on board very easily. He also said that you shouldn't take it personally when reviewers say you have to revise your paper... well in a sense it does seem like a slap in the face, as if they are saying: why did you even try to submit to this journal, we are way better than you are! Hmmm, maybe I am over analysing reviewers there, and I should really be careful about what I say, I have been reviewing papers for a journal as well. Oh yes that's something else I can add to my annual progress report... invited article reviews. Sounds quite good actually... ok well all this talking about work, maybe I should actually try and do something. Need to add the data I collected yesterday into the excel spread sheet and see how many people have now participated in my study. And I need to figure out a way to maybe make a digital version of the study so I can get more participants.

23 April, 2008

not much is happening at the moment. I've just finished a teaching session for pre-university students and I think they had no clue about what I was talking about, and there I was thinking that my research is not that complex. But I guess if you know nothing about what research really is then even the work I do is quite difficult to grasp. But still we had good fun talking about shopping and what they liked shopping for and what they thought men like shopping for. At least that part they understood...

A few days ago I watched "Failure to Launch". Good film with Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey. Very amusing film about a woman who gets hired by parents to get their 30+ year old sons to move out, and as these films go she falls for him and then there are all sorts of complications before the end. Enjoyed the funny moments and the sense of humour. Last night we watched "Elizabethtown", and it was very good. All I knew about the film beforehand was that it involved some sort of death, and a roadtrip. And that's what it pretty much was, but it was also so much more and it was still really good, apart from Orlando Bloom's inability to act... sorry but it had to be said. Kirsten Dunst was in it too, and she was much better, and the music was really good. Must get that soundtrack!

I've been getting ready to collect some more data, and now I need to find loads of people who can sort some cards into groups for me. I really hope this study will work and it will add to my work so far. I have been going through a low phase yet again, these really seem to come and go on an alomst regular basis now. I have days where I think I really want to just quit and get a job folding jeans in Gap, but at the same time I know that I don't really want to quit and that I want to finish this PhD, even if it is the end of me! Grrrr, stupid motivation, COME BACK!!!

Been fiddling with my camera a bit more, but still have no idea what the different manual modes do. I understand the basics, shutter speed is how long the lens stays open, aperture has to do with how wide the lens is open, but ISO still is a bit of a mystery. And friend told me something about depth of field which has something to do with how blurry the background of a photo is. And now I need to figure out how to use all these things in combination to take cool and arty photos... We'll see. Still it is nice to have the amount of pixels, it really does make a difference. so much more detail there in the pictures.

Guess since I am not really done anything productive here at the office any more, I could just as well go home... so that's what I'll do!

11 April, 2008

Back home

I had a great little holiday in Germany, as always. This time we've mostly seen family, but that was mostly the purpose for the trip was my cousin's confirmation, and as one of the god-mothers I had to be there. I arrived there in the evening on the 26th and then the next few days were quickly absorbed by family meetings and confirmation celebrations. It was just like usual family celebrations with loads of food and chatting. I really enjoy those times at home lately, not that I didn't enjoy them before. The rest of the time my mom and I spent mostly just visiting family members and going shopping and going out to eat. I think my mom really enjoys that as well, my dad is always away so he never really wants to go out to eat. We also went to the cinema and watched Keinohrhasen which was really good. I sometimes wish more German movies got exported over here, but usually it is only the critically acclaimed ones and the very very strange or ones about the war that get over here. Oh well, there is still time. And this way I always have a reason to go back.

The time at home really went by much too quickly, and on the 8th of April I was back in Exeter. Flight, bus and train journey were fine and I arrived almost on time at the Station in Exeter where Neil came and collected me.

The next day we went to Budleigh Salterton and Ladram Bay to enjoy some sunshine and over the next few days I tried to get back into working mode, which hasn't been very sucessful. I am still working on it now, but I am sure it is because students aren't back yet either so I am thinking why should I work if none of them are...

Monday I finally got to get my birthday present from my parents. A really really nice new camera. I am completely overwhelmed with it, but it takes really nice photos. It is a Nikon D60 SLR camera. I really have a lot to learn now. I have been buying slightly geeky camera magazines to learn more about how to use these cameras, but so far I am not so sure. Maybe I just have to experiment a bit...

Tuesday we went to see Shine a Light at the cinema which was really good, just not quite what we expected it to be. From the advertising I thought it was much more of a documentary than a concert film. But it was still really good.

Yesterday we went to Darts Farm to buy some nice food and to have fish and chips for lunch and then went for a walk in Topsham after that. It was fun, we went into this Bird Hide thing which was full of Bird Geeks as Neil called them to have a look at some birds, and then walked along the estuary back to the Quay and had a drink at the pub there. We took some photos along the way, but I'll have to add them later I am writing this from my office computer... I know still not back into work mode!

Tonight we are meeting some friends at Wagamama - there are 2 for 1 vouchers again. So that's something nice to look forward to!