Looking Forward to Year Two

How has it been over a month since I got back from Guatemala? How is this possible? School is starting back at the end of this month, and I’m a little intimidated and a lot excited. The lack of structure this summer has been refreshing, but it’s also a little bit too… unstructured! I miss having classes and other people around in the lab. But Year Two is starting so soon! It’s year two out of five(ish?) and it’s going to be a big one. There’s a lot of research responsibilities this year- I’m proposing my second year project on Sep 8, and then I’ve got to collect at least 75 participants of data and analyze all of it and make it make some kind of sense before next September. Of course, I did scale down my project from almost 300 participants in 5 groups so it wouldn’t actually be physically impossible to complete in a year. It’s going be made pretty complicated by the fact that I’m conducting this research with second graders and can’t collect data while they’re in class, but the class that I’ll be TAing (Psychology Statistics) meets 4 days a week right after the elementary schools let out. Hopefully I can use my new powers as Lab Manager to delegate some of this data collection to some of my undergraduate minions. Because I have minions now. I’m also ostensibly in charge of the two fresh graduate students, which is somewhat intimidating. I don’t think that I know enough about what I’m doing to be in charge of anyone else also doing it. There’s also the research that I’m helping a professor with (as a paid Graduate Research Assistant!); it’s related to mine and uses several of the same measures. With luck there will be a few publications in there. Then there’s coursework- I’ve got three classes on the docket: Educational Neuroscience, Math Curriculum Research and Development, and Cognitive Behavior Seminar. I dropped a class to get down to 7 credit hours- there’s too much else going on to be able to keep sane while also overloading on credits! I’ve also signed up for a not-for-credit ePrime course so I’ll know what I’m doing when I set up psychological experiments with the software I just spent a load of grant money on. I’m also doing some web site development for the Safe Passage project, and leading the Neurodiversity Group every other week.

I’m just hoping I’ll actually have free time to go hiking and snowboarding this semester on top of all of these school responsibilities and being a good mom. Good thing Catie is already signed up for snowboarding lessons so she can come with me to the slopes this winter!

It’s gonna be a good year. Very busy, but good too.