Wednesday, April 20, 2016

We always expect the opposite of what we should, don't we?

If I could choose one picture to summarizes how writing this paper went, it would consist of entirely unrelated things being thrown at each other in the hopes of forming a cohesive structure with some semblance of logic. 

If this paper were a poncho and I were a man.

This all started innocently enough. I was googling “Men poncho” because a) I am a grandmother and enjoy spending my free time crocheting (I have yet to collect the necessary cat population though) and b) I fervently believe google does not recognize nor require the addition of possessives to search queries. Then I stumbled upon that gumball man that might be James Franco with a fuzzy on his head. Then I thought “wow that mess really makes me think of what a mess I’ve been lately.” As that thought flitted though my head, I realized with sudden doom that I had to complete the final piece of Mod 2 – this blog post.

And here we are.

So, here we go. 
Since "are" is past tense and it is past the time I should've done this. 

If I were a joke I'd be a dad joke

Anyway, here we go, to the last memory I have of the Mod 2 report. 

There was something strangely satisfying about closing all the tabs I had open, one by one, after I sent the email on Monday. All the articles I had used as references, the research I had done on our research, all the identical little green images that I couldn’t quite discern, each a different day’s lab protocol. Each tab I closed felt like a weight lifted.

Which one of you made this? 

I had felt intimidated by the report that kept getting described as a beast, something to tackle and battle, but in the end, it wasn’t the report that was the monster. We had everything we needed – the data, the resources, the help – the problem was really that we had too much. As I was writing the report, I was constantly struggling between “How do I fit all this in here??” and “I don’t see what else I could possibly say about this…” In the end, it was the sheer volume of data and resources that was overwhelming and monstrous.

The report itself was more or less like this kitten. Getting the data organized though? More like the hidden fleas in its fur carrying Bubonic plague. 

It’s always the little things that we overlook, isn’t it? Hands down, there was one part of the report that I had by far the easiest time with of any paper I have ever written: the citations. Thank. The. Lord. For. Zotero. Honestly, that thing is magic. It’s like someone took all the kindness in the world and put it into an app. Like someone tried to atone for every instance in which a door was held open for an ungrateful individual, every time a toe was stubbed, every puzzle piece accidentally lost. I always thought about how convenient it would be to have something like Zotero, and I still can’t get over how happy I am that 20.109 introduced me to it. It’s like Pinterest, but for things that aren’t food!

So in the end, although nothing really went as expected (not even going to mention the actual data we got...), things weren't all that bad. In fact, they were barely even somewhat bad. And, now that the fearful anticipation of a looming due date is over, I can fully feel the lack of anticipation for the end of the semester. Sure, there's stress around every corner, but the thought of no longer having 4 hour lab blocks set aside on my Tuesdays and Wednesdays leaves me strangely empty... 

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