End of semester madness!

What am I up to? I’m writing a “fake” research proposal for one of my classes on doing a genome wide association study and exome sequencing to search for genetic components of homosexuality. I say “fake” because it’s a project for a class, not something I’m actually submitting to the NIH or NSF. Well, I mean, I could theoretically submit it as a grant if it ends up being super awesome and a mind-blowing scientific idea, but at this rate I’m just trying to not embarrass myself when turning it in.

On top of that I’m attempting to finish my actual research from this quarter since our presentations are next week. I’m not nervous about the speaking part – heck, I do that for fun now – but talking about science is a bit harder than making jokes about atheism. So, yeah, again – aiming for not embarrassing myself. Frantically trying to learn R to make my graphics, since my professor nearly had an aneurysm when he saw I was using Excel to make my charts.

Aren’t the end of quarters great?!

I know a lot of you are also students – consider this an open thread to complain about all the work you have to do and to procrastinate doing it. Non-students welcome to whine too.


  1. Mike Gillis says

    When you said “fake research project,” I was afraid you were getting a job with the Discovery Institute or AiG.Good luck!

  2. says

    I have a proposal due Tuesday, a take-home exam due 12/14 and a real exam 12/15…all are driving me crazy.I hear you about the proposal, I’m doing a similar project. I think I might send my proposal eventually to NSF because it would break ground for political science, but I have a feeling someone beat me to it. On a side note, I’m putting together a blog post as a victory lap for turning in an exam!

  3. says

    I would be procrastinating all over this thread, if I hadn’t just submitted the thing I have been procrastinating all evening a grand total of ten minutes ago.Which means I’m off to the pub* ;)Good luck with your proposal and research, though!*It’s Friday evening here in Europe, you know.

  4. Georgia Sam says

    > Well, I mean, I could theoretically submit it as a grant if it ends up being super awesome and a mind-blowing scientific idea, but at this rate I’m just trying to not embarrass myself when turning it in.Ah, yes, fond memories of grad school. Good luck.

  5. hippiefemme says

    I’m writing a fake Pathfinder for my reference class (library science). I’m putting several weeks of work into this project, and no one will be able to use it. The teacher keeps encouraging us that we can use it as a hyperlink on our resumes when we apply for jobs, but this project isn’t even related to my intended field. I guess it’s like the two research papers I have to finish by the end of next week; it’s just something that has to be done as a learning tool so that the professors know we’re taking something away from the class.Wallow, wallow, wallow.

  6. bluehermitcrab says

    How I envy you! I’m frantically trying to learn R to make my graphics too, since I’m convinced its more powerfull than Excel (and I don’t like the Office software very much…) but my professor thinks I’m wasting my time and I should just use Excel! -_-U

  7. says

    I’m a humanities student (English wut wut) so “all” I have left to do is my three seminar papers. Granted, they’re each 15-20 pages with both primary and secondary research, but at least I can bundle up on the couch and write in my freezing little apartment! I also had a “fake” proposal due too, but I finished mine on Monday.What bothers me more than the papers are my jobs (yes, I ended up with 2 this semester as a complete [lucky] fluke). I’ll also be tutoring through Dec 15, and from about the 14th to the 17th I’ll be grading undergrad papers and exams. So I’m trying to finish my seminar papers early. :/

  8. Sal Bro says

    Arrrr! It’s worth the effort to learn to make graphs in R, but you can seriously spend hours upon hours making them (at first, at least). I did some bar and line graphs in R last year. I could send you text files of my code, if you want. It’s tidy but not annotated.

  9. katalina says

    I’m finishing my last required class for this master’s in taxation this semester, then I get to do full time internship starting in the spring. This last class is Partnership Taxation, which is the hardest one. We have a final exam (in class) that is only 3 questions, but will cover all the complexities of the entire class. I really like my professor’s teaching style, but we truly dislike each other on a personal level. I also work full time, so it’s been a tough couple of years. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! This master’s has been easier than my French master’s, by far.

  10. Joebiohorn says

    Don’t even know what “R” is; I retired, in part, to avoid having to convert all my lectures to Power Point. Students were increasingly unimpressed with overhead transparencies – no fancy transitions, building models piece by piece, etc., just boring old information.

  11. says

    Well, I’m on my second of two years of a part-time MA in Educational Research. It’s not my first time at Masters level, as I already did an MSc in Advanced Computer Science (no idea why they bothered putting the ‘advanced’ in the title, but hey).I have two main things on the go. I’ve decided what I’m doing for my second assignment for this term’s module (Contemporary Issues in Teaching and Assessment), a small-scale study of informal learning based on the uni Roleplaying society, interview-based, on how people learn to roleplay (in the gaming sense). I need to read some background in order to get clearance next term. I need to find the ethics form and complete it, as well…For the second thing, I have to do a Self-Directed Study, that I want to finish before starting my dissertation. I’m doing a discourse analysis and content analysis based comparison of the differences in language, and how they reflect on theoretical differences, between studies of educational use of wikis between the Computer-Assisted Learning and Networked Learning research communities. I’m a bit behind on that one, which will lead to a more hectic dissertation… I need to be way through it before I propose my diss, and next term I have two modules to do. I’d really rather not spend the whole time from Easter to September working frenetically on the dissertation. The only thing I know about the topic for that is that I want it to be on technology in Higher Education.That’s probably more detail than anyone wanted, as I feel the chances of other folks here being involved in EdRes is quite low… but I’d love to hear differently.

  12. says

    There are some GUIs to make some of the basic, repetetive R tasks (like graphing) easier… never used them, though, looked at R a little as a maths undergrad, but didn’t need any stats for compsci MSc, and we use SPSS in EdRes.

  13. lomifeh says

    I dabbled with R but since I had no need for it dropped it. If you are on a mac omnigraphsketcher is pretty neat.

  14. Stephanie Keating says

    I had to write a “fake proposal” for telescope allocation time in one of my M.Sc. courses in astrophysics. I’ve gotta say, it turned out to be one of the most useful projects I’ve ever done. Proposal writing is a huge part of academia – being able to write really awesome ones will help you out a fair bit, I think.Good luck!

  15. Annie says

    I just stepped into my time machine and went ahead several years. Jen, you were there reminiscing about the “lazy days of grad school” as you frantically tried to stuff you CV for tenure. The fun never ends! ;-)

  16. says

    R is powerful, but it has some weird quirks compared to other languages, so I still haven’t learned more than the basics.Better than Excel, though, indeed. Ew. :P

  17. Jenea says

    Sad to say that cramming for deadlines never goes away (well, I suppose it depends on your profession). I give a presentation most weeks. Prototype due by year’s end. Zoinks!

  18. Azkyroth says

    I have my second exam in a thermodynamics class with no finals-week “final” on Monday, assignments in three classes (materials, personal health and scientific computing) due tonight at midnight, sometime next week, and Wednesday, respectively (I missed the instructions for the health class project due to an unexpectedly extended phone argument with my ex-wife about why it is perfectly just and reasonable to remove me from her lease as a guarantor because 1) she makes enough to qualify for the apartment by herself (I’m mystified as to how they original calculated she didn’t), 2) she has a track record of impulsively squandering all of her own resources and leaving me on the hook for things she should be taking responsibility for, and 3) there are many, many lines of reasoning that render the notion I owe her anything at all at this point absolutely idiotic), and finals coming up in Scientific Computing (which I’m very nervous about because 1) this is the first time the course has been taught so they haven’t had a chance to calibrate assignment difficulty and the midterms have been nightmares and 2) the professor just DOES NOT UNDERSTAND that not everyone makes the same intuitive leaps involved in not only doing “stupid pet tricks with differential equations” but doing “stupid pet tricks with differential equations IN COMPUTER CODE” as rapidly as he does and time limits are very intimidating given this), Materials (which shouldn’t be too bad), the Health class (ditto), and Statics (which I’m hesitant to even mention because every time I do people who aren’t engineers assume I mean “statISTics” and start talking about their difficulties in those classes, which for reasons I don’t quite understand REALLY PISSES ME OFF).

  19. says

    Well, I have 4 experiments running simultaneously that will take up most of the day Sunday and several hours a day Monday–Thursday. Also next week, I have 3 meetings with potential rotation advisors for next quarter and my 3 hour final exam is on Thursday.Oh, and I have to be on a plane Friday morning to Travis for his birthday, so along with everything else I have to get packed and organized to spend 3 weeks away from my place.

  20. Christopher Petroni says

    Everybody seems to have their plates loaded right about now! And here I am thinking the first round of law school exams is rough.My section had our final exam for the law of Torts on Thursday (before law school, I though Torts were some kind of a cake.) Contracts and property coming up.

  21. Nichole says

    My life is weird, because I’m a music major focusing on jazz studies.In the next two weeks, I have: a jury (where I play piano in front of all the jazz faculty) next Friday, a take-home counterpoint final, a (in-class) music theory final… I also have two projects due soon: an arrangement I did for 3 horns & rhythm section plus a recording of said arrangement, and I have to finish mixing & mastering a song for my recording class.So yeah, I have a lot to do, but at least I don’t have to write any papers!!! (I love my major.)

  22. Kit says

    Law school. And 100% final exams. Which means 4/5 exams I write now are actually worthless, except they’re not, because they’re the only grades I’ll have when I apply for jobs. So really only 1 100% final exam but . . .Solution: I started drinking.

  23. Dae says

    QUALS IN JANUARY. *runs screaming*…and four three-hour finals over the course of two days, but that seems piddling by comparison.

  24. Guest says

    good luck, the end-of-semester rush always blows. but i’m sure you’ll get through it fine, that is, unless you freeze in your apartment… heated blanket??

  25. n0b0dy says

    What, you’re not going to give us a link to some website about R? Because you’ve piqued my curiosity and it’s hard to google.

  26. Cifre says

    “Regional Integration in Latin America and the European Model” – it’s the big 60 page final paper that i have to make in order to finish college. The idea’s fresh, but research material is oh so hard to come by. 10 pages down, 60 days to go.

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