Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A few random thoughts...

  • I handed in my preliminary acceptance of my thesis forms from my committee today. My date is now set in stone. Eeek.

  • I talked to my supervisor today about what I need to know for my defense. This turned in to question period in which I told him that this is just a "what do I need to know" conversation not a twenty questions conversation. That one will come in a few weeks.

  • My supervisor told me I tend to be defensive when answering questions and that's not a good thing at a thesis defense. Unfortunately, I don't even realize I do it. However, this is coming from the guy who thought I hated him because I apparently glared at him throughout an undergrad course he taught. I told him that was my "trying not to fall asleep" face. My solution to the defensiveness is to answer all questions with a smile like they do on Miss America. Oh and to start each question with, "My research goal is to promote world peace". Seriously though, I'll have to work on the defensiveness.

  • I accepted the invitation to review that manuscript. I figured why not. I think it will be interesting (I don't call myself Science Geek for no reason). I got an auto-reply email from the editor saying he is out of the office until Monday. I was pleased about that because by then I should have my thesis printed and out to my examining committee.

  • I really need to get more sleep. I've been like a zombie lately. So much to do, so little time.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Bad timing

I got an email the other day inviting me to review an article for one of the journals in my field. I was quite surprised. I figured that maybe my supervisor recommended me thinking I don't have enough to do with my defense being in a month. I sent him an email asking if he recommended me and he said he didn't. That was even more shocking. So someone has been keeping their eye on me or something to know my area of expertise and request that I review their paper. The other odd thing is that the conclusions they make in their paper are very similar to one of the unpublished chapters in my thesis, yet on a different gene. It's a bit eerie that they would request me as a reviewer on a topic so close to a chapter in my thesis when the only person who had read my thesis at that point was my supervisor. I also think it's odd that I would be requested as a reviewer since I'm still a grad student, abeit almost a PhD. I would really like to review the paper because I've never been requested to review a paper but I'm just worried I don't have the time. How long does it take to review a paper anyways? The email says they need the completed review back in two weeks so it wouldn't take longer than two weeks but how much time of those two weeks would it take?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Boy have I been busy

Things are really moving along now. I initially picked a snail for the countdown thing because it felt like finishing my PhD was taking forever but now that snail is really making his way to the end of the pencil in a hurry.

I've been meaning to update my blog more often but just haven't had the time. The formatting of my thesis took way longer than I expected. I managed to make friends with Microsoft Word though so it would do my table of contents and my lists of figure legends and tables for me. Every so often it likes to try to anger me though but for the most part we get along. I've figured out it's quirks. I still don't like when Word tries to read your mind though and format things how it thinks you want it. It's a freaking software program not a psychic!

I sent my thesis to my committee today for the preliminary read before it goes to the external. That was exciting but I'm still worried there may be some glaring errors in it like where I typed some comment saying [change this, it makes no sense]. Oh well, things can still be changed before the final defense version goes to everyone.

Now that the thesis is done (for the most part) I figured I'd do some thesis stats...
  • Number of pages in whole thesis: 232
  • Number of pages in the body of the thesis (not the table of contents, etc.): 214 - I figured that was important to point out because as my friend pointed out to me that the total of the digits adds up to lucky number 7!
  • Most references in one chapter: 115 (in the intro). I joked with my supervisor that I wanted to break 100 in the intro not thinking that it would actually happen
  • Number of figures in thesis: 48
  • Number of tables: just 1
  • Most figures in one chapter: 14 (in chapter 5)
  • Number of times I used words that annoy my supervisor (hee, hee):
    • As such: 16
    • Being that: 7
    • Therefore: 21
    • However: 29
In one of my chapter edits my supervisor wrote in all capital letters highlighted yellow "I really hate when you use the words "as such" and "being that". I did remove a number of those words but a few won't hurt. He has also told me before that I use "therefore" and "however" way too many times. Honestly I thought the numbers of annoying words would be higher.

So now what is left to do before the defense:
  • make my oral presentation
  • read over the thesis a few more times to make sure there are no glaring errors
  • brush up on some things I should know for my defense
  • print out versions of my thesis for my committee members
  • have a margarita to celebrate my thesis going out for preliminary review
Hmm... what else?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Well paint me green and call me a frog!

I have a defense date!!! Holy crap! I never thought this day would come. Ok, I knew it would but it always seemed like it was so far off. Now I gotta get me a fancy ticker for my blog to count down the days and to also give me a bit of an anxiety attack everytime I come to my blog to procrastinate. First though I need to finish the last few revisions and send my whole thesis off to my supervisor for final approval before giving it to my committee. Eeek. I feel the stress already. I've been kinda lacks for the last while since my supervisor seemed to be taking forever to set everything up so I figured why bust my butt to get everything done when he isn't. Now, however, I need to get my butt back in gear.