Thursday, August 11, 2005

Summer in Review

Back in May, I posted all of the things I was thinking about doing over the summer. Next week is the last week of summer break, so I thought I would review how it went. Here were my ideas:

1) Write a complete novel and start sending query letters to agents. The novel is essentially about a woman running an underground railroad in a sort of fantasy setting.
2) Form a band, including teaching myself to play bass, so that I can be the bottom anchor for said band. The band has serious Polynesian style rhythm underneath a type of power-pop guitar.
3) Write a web site called Tonal Research, which gathers information about various ways pitch is used by the brain - so this is linguistics, music cognition, auditory scene analysis, audiology, etc.
4) Learn the French language well enough to pass a test in October.
5) Work at least 30 hours helping to keep a roof over my family's head.
6) Write a publishable article on intonational groupings in English rhetoric.
7) Do the research to help design a music/lang experiment that I am assisting a couple profs on in the fall.
8) Breathe.

How or what did I do?

1) Novel. I actually made some good headway on this for about a month. I decided I was going to do an outline no matter what, and while I did not finish it, I made some nice headway. It got bogged down at one point, then got pushed aside. See below.

2) Form a band of power garage pop on top of Tahitian rhythm. OK, this got nowhere. The most that happened was I emailed with a guitarist, who liked the idea, but in the end I had to say I had no time.

3)Tonal Research web site. Yeah, no where on this either. The original idea was to create a community interested in my interests, but I have never figured out what to do. With the insane schedule I am contemplating for this fall, this is never gonna happen until next summer if then. It is unnecessary and was my attempt at networking.

4) Study for French. Did this some. Went through about half a French textbook and learned 2-300 words, but no where near enough. N's mom sent me a book specifically on reading French, though, so I am going to switch to that. I also decided to keep working on this slowly over the year, but not take classes. I keep saying I am interested in language acquisition, so I decided it was more important to take an actual language acquisition class this year. You have seen me prepping for it in the huge posts here. This also has to do with slowly getting ready for the comprehensive exams next year. I will likely not take the translation test in October, maybe in the Spring or next October. I think that will be fast enough. I only have to have it done before I take comps.

5) Working. This is what I did - the teaching thing. Basically I stopped working on the novel when I started working on making money.

6) Write an article on intonation. I did not do this. I did meet with my prof about it, and she made some suggestions about how to go forward. The first step is some literature review, which I will be doing in the next 2 weeks. I will be taking an Intonational Typology 750 seminar with her this fall, which is a research class. I hope that I will do this work for that class.

7) Research for music/lang thing. Made a start on this. Found some musical pieces which other psychologists have already verified for happy and sad emotions. We also wanted to do angry, but that has been harder to locate; however, one of the faculty on this sent an email thinking this may not be necessary. Tackling this will be a higher priority in the next few days.

8) Breathe. I am happy to report I successfully drew breath all summer long. Well intermittently. I mean I did not breathe in and out with no break for 3 months straight. Sometimes I would wait a few seconds between motions.

In other news, I made the shortlist for the editorial assistant position. I have an interview next Tuesday at 9:00. I don't know if I will get the job, but it is always nice to be on a short list, assuming the short list is not identical to the mile-long list. So this weekend's job is to actually learn what the APA format is, since I have to say on Tuesday that I can edit a journal into APA. I also have to figure out how to ask about a work schedule without sounding like I won't have time to do it and scaring them off. I will NOT accept the job unless I honestly think I have the time to do it right. At the same time, I need to know how long it will take, and when, in order to make that assessment. I also have to figure out how I would handle a half-time GA-ship and a quarter-time GA-ship teaching. Will they even allow 30 hours? Will they strip me of teaching and give it to someone else to distribute money around more? Will I have wasted tons of time prepping for teaching and bugging profs about it, only to resign and take a different job because it pays more? Not gonna worry about it until I get an offer. We are chewing through our savings so I hafta look at the position.


Killer Llama said...

Dear Paca -

It's hard to believe the summer is already over. Next month I will have been here for 6 months. It's amazing how fast this year has passed.

I think you did the right thing by working as a teacher; always good to take care of the family. The rest of it? Well, you are an academic, and sometimes a good idea takes a while to develop. And when you have 6 good ideas...

MBA Diva said...

Let's keep each other motivated as you learn French and I struggle with Spanish! :-)