Thursday, November 3, 2011

Productivity is overrated...

It has not been the most productive week of my life (other than knitting, which I learned this weekend). This week I had my first guest post of at Engineering Blogs, but mostly I've been waiting for code to run. I'm at one of those awkward points where until this batch of problems gets cleared up, there's not too much progress I can really make on my main project.  I'm supposed to be meeting with an undergrad who will help run some of the final simulations and analysis code I need to finish up the Project That Won't Die. Last week, I managed to drag some actual feedback about my paper from my PI, so I have suggestions on how to make the next manuscript reviews go more quickly, once I get the last of the data to redraft the manuscripts.

TAing is going fairly well, in spite of the best efforts of the equipment sprites. Voltage slowly drifting downward while trying to measure a ferroelectric hysteresis loop is troubling. The default tech support solution (unplug it and try again) worked, but still no clue what went wrong. Unfortunately, due to the way the lab is organized, the students are writing several large reports, when I think they would really benefit from writing more, shorter reports. They clearly are struggling with certain aspects of scientific communication, and need more feedback than the class is currently giving them. This is also the largest group they've ever had taking the class at once.

I have no impending deadlines (which is an odd sensation), but my baseline stress levels are still super high. It's as though I've forgotten how to work when not under extreme pressure. Maybe I just need more time to decompress...

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