Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Not a tame man-hating lesbian.

It's true.  I'm not.  The only reason it seems that way is because I am still considering a career in science.

Some background: I broke something at work.  No no no no no please let it not be my fault (it's totally my fault).  People are trying to be judicious and kind and are generally succeeding only at making me incredibly angry.  Hey, I'm super fun!  And did I mention how much I hate the patriarchy?

Three weeks out, my blinding rage is now muting into something more like severely-impaired peripheral-vision rage.  This week, the positives:

1. No swearing at work!  This evening I almost had a pang of regret for hating all the men so very, very much.  They might be, like, people.  People I shouldn't swear at.

2. I found the mistake in my calculation and now everything's (reasonably close to) good.  I'd tell you what the mistake was, but it's embarrassing.

3. The many ideas surrounding Project: Get Work Done have, generally, suffered in the super-sadness of the Broke a Thing aftermath.  However, I had gotten started on one of the projects prior to The Horror, The Horror, and it's been going well.

This particular project is intended to help increase my job-related reading (research papers and textbooks).  Generally, I get sucked into the lab during the day.  This is a combination of inclination and project priorities.  I don't really need to be told twice to spend time wrenching in a building that smells of vacuum pump oil.  And I like to be in the lab along with the rest of my team.  The downside is that reading papers becomes an evening/weekend endeavor.  In sum, I've been attempting to do my literature reviews when my meds have well and truly worn off, and this has been wildly unsuccessful.  And I hate this, because I suspect many papers have something interesting to say.

So.  My college microphone, a new digital recorder, and I have teamed up for out-loud readings of my highest-priority texts.  The plan is to form papers into TAL-style audio pieces.  Obviously, with music.  Because how awesome would that be?

This is a complex plan, the kind I'd normally consider trouble.  But the first step offers a nice, low barrier: read the paper out loud.  Brain involvement can be minimal and I get a jolt of narcissistic joy when listening to my digitized voice.  Crucially, the explicitly iterative plan for the paper lulls me into actually really truly believing I can puzzle through content as little or as lots as I wants while reading.  For me, every sentence in a paper can hold a universe of perplexity.  An option to shift the sorting-out to post-production is ... helpful.

I'm cautiously optimistic about this plan and eager to see where it'll go.  The reading has so far been fun.  I have yet to do any editing, but my hope is that I'll find its barrier to be reasonably low.  And if not, hey, I've at least read some words.

Though, lest you think that I am a steadfastly practical beast, holy wow do I have a vision.  The latest in cosmological constraints on the standard model, with the occasional fade into a discussion with my stellar-modeler bro, woven throughout with music that gives me some space to melt into ideas?  Is it just me, or does science go all sparkles, sometimes?  Welcome to my mind, people.  I hope I can manage at least a first-order approximation.

Anyways, it's undeniably a slow way to get through papers.  But it has so far been a way to actually make headway.  In the future I might try to find less time-intensive ways to get through literature.  For now, this plan has been enjoyable and has increased my work-related reading from zero to not-zero.  Ahhh.

Also, I hate the patriarchy.  I really, really, really hate the patriarchy.

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