Deep brain stimulation

It’s another week like that one in first semester – I have four assignments due within the space of nine days. The first was last week, on Wednesday afternoon. I gave a presentation on my thesis, which I have barely begun. The thesis preparation paper is worth twice as much as each of my other four papers, and this presentation was worth 20% of the paper. It was three minutes long, I had two slides, and I bloody* nailed it.

I am totally entering the three-minute-thesis competition next year. I’m really good at and enjoy public speaking. That makes me rare.

I managed to swot up all the last four drugs lectures yesterday for tomorrow’s test, including required readings, and I’ve watched the DVD that everyone else got to watch one evening but I couldn’t because I had the soccer practice drop-off to do so I borrowed it off the lecturer and watched it in the weekend.

That sentence needs rewriting.

Now I’m (well, not now, but most of this afternoon) working on my presentation for Wednesday, which is on deep brain stimulation for various conditions. Would you have electrodes planted in your brain to improve your memory? If it were guaranteed safe and painless? How about to cure depression? It’s a fascinating and slightly weird field. This is probably the first time I’ve found studying for this Nervous Systems Plasticity paper anything approaching enjoyable. Sad but true.

And then there’s the essay due on Friday. So I need to get the presentation out of the way today or tomorrow at the latest… The essay is on Internet support groups so it’s kind of fun but I have to be careful not to be too personal, as we have a different lecturer from the super-reflexive-qualitative G who taught us first semester. The new one is equally nice but much more ordinary-science-y. I like G. I’m an Arts student at heart… the MSc is just to look more impressive if I decide I do want to continue with neuropsych. I’m not 100% sure about that at the moment.

Although, being a kiwi, I must be 100% pure … something. Any ideas?

*Pardon my French.**

**Reply if you get the reference.


Twitter fail

So it turns out all four followers I thought I’d amassed were fake. I thought their names were too good to be true. Rena Niznik, Twyla McNickle… But unless all four people just happened to link to the exact same link after each posting two unconnected quotes from random possibly famous people, they were actually bots … aaand blocked.

Also, I’ve unfollowed Nathan Fillion. He’s cute, yes, but pretty snarky. But Jen Yates favourited one of my replies!

The more I write, the more I want to write…

… other stuff. Like, where you’re allowed to say “I”. Thank God I found a supervisor who does qualitative research. With reflexivity. That means you tell people why you’re doing this research and what biases you’re bringing to it. How cool is that?

Except that’s not what I’m working on right now. I’m writing for other papers, and although it’s going okay, it’s a bit like walking downtown in gumboots. Every step is slightly more effort than it needs to be, because you’re being a little over-protective… Can I back that statement up? Do I have a reference for that? Do I need a reference when I’m pretty sure it’s something I learned in class? Do I need a reference when it’s something I figured out by being the parent of a child being researched? Does my knowledge actually count? No, no it doesn’t. 

Gah. Hence why I’m here.

I’m liking being on Twitter but unless I get some followers I’m probably not going to stick with it all that long. It’s fun reading arguments between different Star Trek captains, and watching their home renovations, like I said yesterday, but it’s not exactly reinforcing. Now, if Seamus Dever ever replies to my comment, that’ll be another story…

Now I’m fretting about the tense of that last sentence. I should probably go back to my presentation for Wednesday week. Last night I added a picture of a mouse with a glowing electrode implanted into its skull. I think that particular class needs more pictures like that.

By the way, regarding animal research, I’m okay with it, as long as the animals are treated humanely, according to Ethics Committee guidelines. I eat meat too. Ya know? It’s what they were bred for, and they have a noble purpose in their life. More noble being a lab rat than being eaten.

I think I should put the computer down, go stretch etc. My brain is starting to go bubbly.

I’m actually writing


Well, typing. But you know what I mean.

I wrote a paragraph today that was so good I had to get up off my chair and go and get my husband to come and read it. Or maybe that was the sugar from the white chocolate magnum he’d just bought me.

Maybe it was the chocolate that helped me to write that one really good paragraph.

I hope not, because I don’t need to put on weight again. I don’t like it when my belly rolls get bigger than my boobs.

I have an assignment due in 6 days. Don’t worry, I’ve written more than one paragraph today. I’ve written quite a few. But only one was good enough to get me off my chair. I managed to take a gut feeling and work out why I was feeling it, and put it into nice, clear, concise, scientific words.

At least, I think I did. It may have been the sugar talking. Perhaps I’d better go and re-read.

In other news, I’ve joined Twitter again. If you look at who I follow you’ll know quite a lot about my entertainment preferences. There was a funny exchange between Captains Kirk and Picard over a hockey match… and Detective Ryan is doing up his garage door. I love it when we get to see that our icons are human.