We're a little crazy, about science!

The juggling act

The middle colorful plot, it’s called a spectrogram and if you notice the colorbar to the right has values ranging up to 25,000, that’s not right…

Blogging and coding and writing, oh my! There’s a lot to get done, seems like a running theme around here doesn’t it? If it were possible to clear some of it off my plate it wouldn’t be so bad, but the sad truth is deadlines seem to like to group together and there are quite a few coming up. Most of them are for my class so I can’t really miss those even if I wanted to. My research deadlines I can’t really miss either, not without some consequences anyway. So we’re back to juggling everything, but as we’ve seen in the past, I’m pretty good at this.

Have you ever gotten to the point in a book where you want to put it down, but you’re so tantalizingly close to the end and so invested into the story that you can’t bring yourself to do it? That’s sort of what doing your PhD is like. When you’re starting it’s wondrous and by the midway point you just want to get to the end if only so you know HOW it ends. I’m finishing this out of spite, but that’s how I get myself to finish just about everything these days. I’m turning into a grumpy old man and I’m not (that) old yet. I do feel like I’ve hit that point though, the hurry up and see how it ends point. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing since I still have a year or two before I finish, I guess we’ll have to see.

Until then we can talk about current events. Like my progress from yesterday and how when I finished I realized I was ignoring about 50 million other things that needed to get done. The short version goes something like this. I’ve got the code that I was editing yesterday to do what I want, discovered an error from the original code that resulted in an output about 1000x larger than it should be, but it turns out the difference isn’t linear so I’m still trying to find the formula to correct the problem (or rather the error in the current formula). The output is correct, there’s just something wrong with how the code is scaling that output that I’m not seeing. That’s the mystery of the day and hopefully I’ll solve it before tomorrow because I’ve spent far too much time on this project already. Once I decided to call it a night, I looked at my calendar and had the lovely realization that a lot of my class work was coming due soon. The second big project (worth 40% of my damn grade!) and the next homework set. Guess who hasn’t even looked at it yet? Yep, this guy.

Which means now not only am I worried about getting this stuff done for my main-PI, I’m also trying to get the other stuff done on top if it. My plan for dealing with all of this is surprisingly straightforward, this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had to juggle a bunch of projects all due around the same time. I’m planning on working a little bit on everything. I find that switching tasks once I’m feeling unproductive on the thing I’m working on gives me something new to do and keeps me productive. I can’t do that indefinitely unfortunately, but I can do it long enough to (ideally) finish the things at hand. So two major tasks, not too terrible, but then there’s the third major task.

My annual certification renewal stuff for the hospital is due by the end of the month! Every two years (wow, it’s already been two years!) I need to renew my certifications by completing all the quizzes and watching the training videos, etc that they have. It’s all online and it wouldn’t be so bad…. but there are about five modules and most of them are estimated to take ~8 hours. Yeah, you read that right, 8 hours each. At first I thought it was just a roundabout way of the hospital saying it would take a long time, certainly not 8 hours, but when I first went through them it took me roughly that long and I rushed through them so I couldn’t imagine how long it would take to do them if I hadn’t already known most of the stuff. I got the email reminder about it a few weeks ago and completely forgot about it until last night when I promptly added it to my calendar so I wouldn’t forget to do it.

The plan now is to get most of my certification done and fix the code today, luckily I have a good idea where to start on that last part. Then tomorrow I’ll finish, with any luck, the certification process. Okay more than likely I’ll finish it on Monday, but then I can start processing some of that data for my PI, which he wants for wednesday. After that, it’s all homework and classwork until the due date, which I’m hoping that’s enough time to get it done. The last project was no joke, I spent weeks doing it and even then it wasn’t perfect. I’m not a fan of the projects because they are more of a test of our abilities to use Rstudio and not a test of our understanding of statistics. I’ve mentioned this to the instructor since he asks for feedback, but I did it in an extremely polite way. I doubt it will change anything, but it couldn’t hurt.

Time to dive into some work, hopefully it won’t be as bad as I think it is (spoiler: it will be worse!).


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