Friday, May 20, 2005

Working through a dense fog...

Yesterday, a dense fog descended on my brain and my throat ached unbelievably. Today, the brain fog remains but the throat ache has been replaced with a head full of snot. And here I am at my desk.

Next week is the big conference in New Orleans, and my first talk at a national professional meeting in ... ever? (That seems hard to believe given how long I've been giving science fair talks, but it does explain some of my nerves).

I'm presenting a whole bunch of new data that forms the nucleus for my first paper (I need three for my PhD). I am hoping that I get some good comments from the audience that will be helpful as I start to write up this research. So far I've gotten really good comments from S, my advisor, and two other grad students. S's comments were useful in a direct "rearrange these two slides" sort of manner, while my advisor's comments were wonderfully deep, but hard to figure how to implement. He's amazing at big picture stuff, but it's still really difficult for me to understand how to "talk to" the big picture when my data is just a little piece of the puzzle. Going through my talk for him was the first time he'd seen a lot of my results, and I think he's pretty excited about it. Now, I've just got to finish the last of the analyses and start writing...but I already know what my advisor will say to the first draft of my paper..."So what? How does this speak to the broader problem?" I've always thought of myself as a big picture kind of girl, but lately I find myself fascinated by the details....losing the forest for the trees. Maybe that's because I finally feel more competent to handle the details than the big picture...a reversal of my long-term predicament of being able to make sweeping statements without being to explain why.

On the personal front, I am having huge "babylust" issues again, coupled with angst at my inability to do anything about them. I haven't met the latest new arrival yet (don't want to give a newborn this cold), but she looks awfully cute from pictures. And her second blanket is just about done.

Anyways, sorry for the rambling post, just blame the fog. May not post again until late next week.

1 comment:

Writer Chica said...

good luck and have fun at your conference! :) Hope you aren't too stressed out.