Thursday, March 29, 2012

Paperwork: My greatest nemesis

Recently I've been looking into rentals for the summer and next year. It's been stressful. So stressful that I feel like it's already exam season or something...

I'm going to go all spazztastic now.

So two friends and I were planning on leasing a place for a year starting this summer. After many weeks of searching, we finally found a place. Then a whole bunch of paperwork flooded me and I feel like my intense "do things on time" nature kicked into place. Mostly it's the fact that I feel like this stuff is serious now; not just school stuff. It kind of hit me that this is what "adults" deal with.

Money, and paperwork and all sorts of fun. I feel like I might be taking this too seriously, but then I tend to do that for most things I feel are important. I should really take things more easily.

But at the same time I feel like my seriousness is the key to all the good things that have happened in my life.


Stress somewhat gone now. Now to de-stress and study

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Respect to the creator of beautiful things

I like pretty things.
It's always nice to be walking merrily along and suddenly be struck by inspiration. People are such wonderful creatures with brilliant thoughts and imaginations. We're awesome. 

I really like admiring other people's creations, especially when they make me feel. Sometimes I'm a bit disappointed that I can't exactly explain my feelings or even describe them adequately, mostly this happens when I'm talking to someone else. But most of the time I'm content to just let the emotions wash over me without the care to focus on them too much. 

I guess that's another reason I really respect artists, they can express themselves and be understood. Somehow they can turn the abstract idea that only they can see into something that can be shared. I respect that, a lot. 

It's only through understanding each other that we an get along in the end, and it's very hard to be understood when you can't explain yourself. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Scientific Article Reading (How I do)

I has found a summer lab position! *Cheer

As preparation, I've asked for a few readings as the topic is something new to me (as most things I've never done before are). I got 10 papers to read now.

How I read Scientific Articles

  1. Read it once through in order without doing much else
  2. Go back to the abstract to recap exactly what I just read
  3. Read the introduction because by this point I'm probably extremely confused
  4. Underline and define terms I'm unfamiliar with in the introduction
  5. Try to find the main questions being asked in the introduction--> highlight
  6. Go straight to results to see the answers to the questions- scribble down my own conclusions 
  7. Go back to introduction to see if what I thought makes somewhat sense with background theory
  8. Read the methods to try to get a better understanding of how the results came to be
  9. Be confused because the methods are probably beyond me... hell I'll need a whole other list to describe how I read the methods section
  10. Read results again; fix up some previous conclusions based on review of intro and maybe slight understandings of the methods
  11. Read conclusion to see if their conclusions match/contradict my own
  12. Read discussion to see how they reached their conclusions
  13. Eat chocolate
In all seriousness, usually when I get confused, I just go back to my introduction. So really the point where I define the terms in the introduction and analyze it deeply is a really important step for me. Usually I try to read several articles at once, after I annotate the introduction of one and get confused by results/methods, I'll move onto another. Since most of the articles are very related, it helps with my overall understanding of the topic. 

Reading the Methods
  1. Prepare self mentally and emotionally (as I most likely will feel like a failure)
  2. Read once through, mentally note things I understand/have seen before: highlight
  3. If highlight!=Null: Be proud I know some stuff; else: sink into deep depression
  4. Read through again and underline terms/techniques I have never heard of
  5. Cry because there are too many underlines
  6. Google all unknown terms/techniques: add findings to page
  7. Read again and try to actually understand what's going on
  8. Be confused
  9. Carry on with rest of reading the paper and hope that my subconscious can figure things out
Overall, I think it takes me quite a bit of time to read an article fully. Depending on how much I actually understand of it and how much I need to understand it, it takes between 30min to 5 days. 

Now I'm going to stop blogging and get back to reading these articles. 

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

I can't be the only one

Sometimes I don't sit down at an empty table because I'm sad I have no one to share it with.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Curriculum Vitae and LaTeX



Hello World!


Some time ago my Facebook feed was full of people going on about LaTeX. Specifically a nao and a michiichan. I jumped on the bandwagon. Currently in the middle of making the most beautiful CV I have ever laid my eyes on. "In the middle of" because I'm still trying to decide how I want to organize it.

Usually for resumes I have the following sections:
  1. Name/Contact Info
  2. Education
  3. Work Experience
  4. Extra Curriculars 
  5. Awards
  6. Hobbies
  7. References 
For my CV I feel like I need to change it up.

  1. Name/Contact Info
  2. Education
  3. Publications 
  4. Lab Experience
  5. Other Experiences
  6. Awards
Sadly I currently only have lab experience in one lab... Though I do have this summer's lab work figured out so soon that section can have two entries. Also currently trying to publish the results from last summer's work into this Undergrad Journal, not a real publication according to some, but I think it says something about me. 

I attended a workshop today on how to write a good resume. It seems lots of people have a "Skills" section after their education. Perhaps I should add that in too? But where...?

Organization is such a hassle, I struggled for at least an hour trying to decide how I wanted each entry to look. Settled on: 

\title{l} \location{r} \\
\employer{l} \dates{r} \\
\body \\

Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to make the title bolded whenever I call up this format. So each time I have to \bf my title... not the biggest deal but I can't help thinking that there should be an easier way. I also have to italic my employer each time... a bit of a hassle. Tips and advice my dears?