Defending your thesis... to study? or not to study?

So, I'm t-6 days to D-day (yes, it took them 3 months to get me a defence date... no, I do not want to talk about it yet.. there is a big post on the mess of all that brewing), and the question I keep getting is "what are you doing to prepare for your defence?". My answer so far has been mostly "Um, I have some slides?" with a subtext in my head of "I wrote the damn thesis, I think I know what's in there". But it's started to freak me out. I guess I'll re-read a little about a few peripheral topics, but beyond that and checking my talk for timing, I don't think I'm going to do anything besides set an alarm to make sure I get up. I hate studying (reading & learning things, that's different), it makes me nervous, and nervous is the last thing I want to be.

So here's my question to you internet scientists out there:

What (did you/will you/think you will/see others) do to prepare?


Some really high productivity procrastination...

So, I should be working on a paper, but I'm having trouble decyphering "good data" (ie. that was acquired under the intended conditions) from "bad data" (ie. that may not have been acquired under the intended conditions and is therefore really freakin' wonky). I'll leave the debate about distinguishing "good data" from "bad data" and the validity of so doing for another time... maybe this paper isn't going anywhere...

Anyhow, in my preoccupied state (come on Canadian dollar... go up... go UUUUP!!!) I decided to look at Science Careers to see if I could find hubby a job (totally related to the whole dollar issue... more on that and my many bureaucratic frustrations another time...) and got side tracked looking at some of the career articles. In particular, Maximizing Productivity and Recognition, Part 3: Developing a Research Plan, which is actually something I've been thinking about since I wrote my applications for postdoctoral scholarships. The article is well-written and well-structured, so I won't repeat it here. Go check it out. I'm going to read the other two later. We can all use a publication productivity boost, and well, I've tried collaborations a few times and have certainly learned a few things about what can go awry... but I think I could use the help in making a successful link.

  1. Maximizing Productivity and Recognition, Part 1: Publication, Citation, and Impact
  2. Maximizing Productivity and Recognition, Part 2: Collaboration and Networking
  3. Maximizing Productivity and Recognition, Part 3: Developing a Research Plan


Meme-time: 6 random things about me

Tagged a while back by the lovely but disgruntled Julie...

The rules:

At long last and in no particular order:

  1. I am deathly afraid of anything that stings. Bees, wasps, hornets, jellyfish (which are gross anyway), and probably scorpions though I've never met one. This deep seated phobia most likely results from the fact that I have never been stung combined with all those awful reports about killer bees and too many bee segments on sesame street when I was but a wee lass. Now, at the ripe old age of 28, I leap up and run away, usually flailing and screaming like an imbecile at the sight of such a creature. It is incredibly embarrassing. ... and now I have shared it with the entire internet...
  2. A list within a list: 6 places I love and would run off to in a heart-beat, again in no particular order because that would require too much thought and not be very random. Halifax, Chamonix-Mont Blanc, Bermuda, Paris, San Gimignano, San Sebastian. I would like to see: Rome, Kyoto, all of New Zealand, Hawaii, New York (no! never been!), Crete.
  3. I very seriously considered doing a degree in Music. I started playing violin when I was 8 years old "because my friends were doing it" and played seriously all through school and undergrad. I still play occasionally, though not enough to keep my skills up. I told myself that I could always pick it up again later, but that I wasn't likely to go back to physics if I stopped.
  4. I very seriously considered not doing a PhD. In fact I moved all my stuff across the country... and then moved it back when I changed my mind. I hated grad school. Then I realized that was normal, and actually I did like research (just not grad school).
  5. I learned to knit when I was about 9. I wanted to learn when I saw my grandmother knitting in her chair once when we were visiting when I was very small. I have a vague fuzzy memory of sitting on the floor looking up at what she was doing while watching her soaps and realizing she was making something real out of yarn, and as with everything at that age, well, I wanted to do it too. She said I was too young but promised to teach me when I was older. Unfortunately she didn't get the chance as she passed away not too long after, but my mother kept the bargain a few years later and I knit a scarf for my Dad for Christmas as my first real project. I was pretty proud of myself (for making it and managing to keep it a surprise!), and pretty sure my Nanny would approve. :) I didn't keep up knitting then, but the skills returned quickly when I picked up again a few years ago to pass the sometimes long waiting times in the lab.*
  6. I cannot eat tomatoes. I'm not allergic, but I have such a strong dislike that I cannot swallow them. This causes problems as most people, like my husband who went ahead and cooked a whole lasagne for me without asking first, assume that everyone likes tomatoes. I once even had a tomato nightmare: I dreamed that I was eating raw potatoes out of a sack (don't ask where that came from... no I don't eat raw potatoes either), and then I pulled out a tomato and *shudder* took a giant chomp out of it! blaegh.

And now to pass it on:

  1. Styleygeek@Fumbling towards geekdom
  2. Connie@physicsknits
  3. Dr. Brazen Hussy@What the hell is wrong with you? (best blog title ever)
  4. Dr. Isis@On becoming a domestic and laboratory goddess
  5. Twigs@Gathering Twigs
  6. you!!!

*ah, yes, this is how a lot of my knitting projects get completed, sitting in front of the computer as data is being acquired. it is a great way to pass time when you need to do something requiring little to no thought every 8 min. *knit, knit, knit, click, click, save, click knit, knit...* this is an excellent strategy for passing the time and getting knitting done, even if it is somewhat awkward when your supervisor walks in with an important visitor and starts to ask if you are making a whole sweater. sadly, since writing, my knitting productivity has drastically decreased.


what we do every night pinky... try to take over the world!

Pinky and The Brain

more lol celebs!

Who'd a thunk it, right?

BTW, I used to love Pinky and the Brain