Dr. Calhoun is spending his Christmas doing field work in a Central American country. He leaves early next week. At first he told me that I could email my data (he wants to include it in a grant renewal he's writing) to him while he's there, after Gustavo and I run the statistics next week. Then, yesterday, he sent me an email saying he wanted to look at it Sunday. Which is tomorrow. I still have about 4 days worth of work to do before this is ready, which had me right on schedule until he switched the dates on me. So. Guess who is spending her snowday Saturday in the office? *raises hand*
Also, last night I had a nightmare that Dr. Calhoun told me I worked too slowly ('depressingly slowly' was the exact phrase) and that I would never make a good graduate student. And I've had a twitch in my right eyelid for three days now. I want to scream. I wish someone was here so I could bitch about it.
While I'm griping about pointless shit, I would like to add that the bathroom on my floor is so cold that I was afraid I would get frostbite if I dropped my pants. I went to the one on the floor above me, and guess what? It was wonderfully warm and toasty. What GIVES?
I've been in Rural Hometown all weekend visiting family, and man, do I feel guilty about being away from work for so long. If this is what every holiday is like, I am not anticipating grad school very much right now. I could barely enjoy it! The whole time I was being followed around by this raincloud that kept making me think of how much work I could be getting done. I wanted to be finished with all the data processing by tomorrow, but I barely even started. This is going to be a rough week.
While I was there, I got one of my graduation presents a little early. My grandparents got me a HUGE diploma frame. I don't pick up my B.S. for a few weeks, so I hope they didn't jinx me by giving it to me early.
Anyway, I'm home now, and Maternal Grandma has loaded me up with leftovers. I've got ham, turkey, ham salad, apples, and a few pieces of cake. There was also some fried chicken but the boyfriend snatched it all up as soon as I got home, and now it is gone. Grandma knows how to treat a grandkid. Smother them with food! That's her motto. I took a nap as soon as I got home, but now I'm awake and ready to work all through the night to make it look like I haven't been completely neglectful of my data over the weekend.
I never got any work done over the weekend, and when I woke up it was a rainy and cold disgusting kind of morning. I started out annoyed and listless, but the day got better. Work was very low-key today. I got some stuff done with respect to grad school applications. The lab meeting was oddly jovial. Sure, I didn't get home until after 7pm, but I had a delicious dinner, and I took two showers today. If it wasn't for how exhausted I've felt lately, I'd probably consider this a really nice day.
Dr. Calhoun and I spent a while talking about my grad school plans. I formally asked him for a letter of recommendation today, even though we'd talked about it before. He said he'd be delighted to write me a letter and to have me as a grad student if I make it past admissions. He showered the praise pretty heavily, actually. I'm not sure what that was all about, but he keeps telling me what a hard worker I am. Dr. Roundface agreed to write me a letter, and Dr. Calhoun thinks I should have Gustavo write my third. I asked him if it would make a difference that Gustavo isn't a professor, but he said that since we've worked so closely, it shouldn't matter. He said that everyone in the department respects Gustavo, and he is a Dr. now, officially, even if he isn't a professor. So, that makes things quite a bit easier on me, assuming Gustavo agrees to write for me. In fact, if he does, my first application will be officially done! I finished my statement of purpose and polished up my resume, since Dr. Roundface requested a copy of it. All that's left to do is submit the application online (we have to include the names and addresses of our recommenders, or else I would have done it already), pay the fee, and then get my transcripts and GRE scores mailed. Dr. Calhoun suggested that I also apply to a few other schools as a precaution, which makes me feel better because I was planning to do that anyway. I would have felt awkward asking him to send letters to more schools when we've talked so much about me staying in his lab.
I got the chance to chat with the girls in my office for a while today as well, and Katie pointed something out that I didn't know. Apparently most of the other labs in our department are relatively small, the average being about 3 members. In our lab there's myself (the undergrad), Katie and Trina (first year grads), Ben and Rhoda (second year grads), Beth (ABD), and Gustavo (basically finished). Apparently seven people is quite a few around here. Gustavo and I are leaving soon, but I'm coming back in the fall and there's another girl who might be joining. She came to the lab meeting today to give us a presentation on her undergrad thesis in progress. She was nice, but she had a very wispy kind of voice. Katie thinks she isn't assertive enough to thrive in our group, mostly because Katie thinks Dr. Calhoun is more authoritarian than I believe he actually is. I think she got off to a rocky start with him, but I like her (and she's chatty) so hopefully she'll choose to stay.
I found out today that my favorite band from two years ago is playing a club show here in Big City next week. This band sells out arena tours, but the venue they're playing has a maximum capacity of like 300. The catch is that tickets are only available the day of the show, and you have to buy them in person at the box office at noon. I'm pretty sure kids from all over the state will be trying to get in, and they'll start lining up at some crazy hour like 6am. I just don't have the dedication necessary to get tickets, but this is also something of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Me from two years ago would slap myself in the face for not trying, but I've let my fannishness slip since getting involved in all this work and research in the last year. The boyfriend offered to wait in line FOR me as long as I don't try to make him go to the actual show with me (he has a strong dislike for this band), but I don't want to make him do that. I don't know. We'll see.
Despite my exhaustion, I've been having this weird insomnia lately. No matter how tired I am, I can't seem to get into bed and make myself sleep. I'm not even doing anything productive, just reading blogs. I suppose I should try to force myself, but after I post this I'll probably wind up drinking tea and watching Whose Line Is It Anyway? for another hour.
Today was the first real snow! Not much of it stuck, but there was a lot of it coming down when I was walking across campus to get a late lunch today. Drinking coffee is so much more satisfying when you're outside and it is snowing.
I rarely go into the lab on Saturdays. I did last week and I wanted to do it tomorrow as well, but I forgot that there's a major football game this weekend. Parking on campus will be nearly impossible, and all the buses will probably be packed as well. Sigh. I was really hoping to get one more day of work in so I could finish the -ography and start fresh with the -ometry preparations on Monday. It's starting to look like that won't happen. I'll call the campus parking authority tomorrow to see if there are any parking lots reserved for campus business, but chances are slim.
It's a good thing I brought plenty of other work home with me to do instead. I also need to re-read all of my notes from Dr. Roundface's class. I emailed him today about a letter of recommendation, and I want to brush up in case he wants to chat about the paper I wrote in his class or something. I've also been meaning to go back over my notes from organic chemistry back in sophomore year. I don't remember much of it, and I have a feeling that a refresher will help me when it comes time to write up my research. I already re-read my biochemistry notes, because I loaned them to another girl in our lab. I was surprised at how much I remembered, and I'm hoping the same will happen with o-chem.
Oh, and. I finally wrote my statement of purpose. I'm on my second draft, and I had my grandpa sent it to a couple of his professor friends. They made some minor grammatical changes, but they all seemed to think that it was pretty well put-together. What I really want is for someone to completely rip it apart. I never feel like I've decently revised something unless the first draft is dripping in red ink. I suppose I could ask Gustavo? I trust his judgement, since he's done a very good job at critiquing my writing before, but he has a lot on his plate right now and I don't want to put him out. Hm. Any takers?
On a more personal note, I'm basically finished with my Christmas shopping already. It isn't even Thanksgiving! I am never this on-the-ball. I still might buy something for my elementary school-aged cousins, and I still have another present to buy for the boyfriend, but I already have everything bought for the rest of my family. Hint: I really, really enjoy buying people sweaters.