Sunday, September 18, 2005

All Work and Some Play

Have been working insanely lately (as opposed to all those other activities I normally do insanely.) Two brand spankin' new classes = lots and lots of class prep. Also clinical work, of course. And have been doing lots of maneuvering to get instructors to recruit their students as participants for my prejudice study.

Last time I collected data, I had a hard time getting 5,6...maybe 10 or 15 people to one data session (i.e. sitting down to fill out a form at a pre-arranged time). I needed a total n of 100-something, and it took several months to get that. So imagine my shock when I was tallying up the sign-up sheets from this week and found that I have over 300 participants already, in clumps of 45 and 75! Furthermore, this only includes students from the Psychology Department--we've also solicited instructors from a couple other departments.

This means that the puny rooms I reserved for next week are going to be way too small. I had to run over to the library and reserve their goshdang auditorium. It wasn't even available at all the data collection times, which means my poor assistants may be administering the survey not only in a couple classrooms but also out in the hall. I have got to get them some help, too, as I will be off doing therapy at those times (Hence the need for assistants in the first place.)

In other news, last weekend TheLimey and I briefly stopped working at about 8pm on Saturday in order to attend Astronomy on the Beach, where we got to see the actual surface of the moon practically close enough to touch, and also several different views of the ring nebula. We even bought ice creams to eat in the dark (a rocket for TheLimey, and a Choco Taco for me). It's also possible that the binocular case we brought may have actually been a wine case with a nice red and some plastic glasses in it.

For me the astronomical high point came after overhearing a group of men discussing the potential visibility of the space station that evening. ("You ask them about it--you're a guy!" I whispered in a completely spurious argument that worked like a charm.) One of the men had a printout, on which he looked up the time--it was only minutes away--and location in the sky. So we all peered intently at the bottom of the big dipper, ("Where is it? Do you see it? It's supposed to be right under there...") Sure enough, a little moving star appeared there as I stared. "I see it!" I exclaimed in triumph, as, for no apparent reason, I was the first to detect it. I felt like I won some kind of astronomer contest.

The space station star disappeared halfway across the sky as it entered the shadow of the earth.

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