Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How do you feel about peer reviews? What have your experiences with them been like?

Peer reviews.  I think this is a good thing, but it is difficult to submit your "baby" paper for others to scrutinize and comment on.  This time, however, I am not worried about what others say about my paper because I know it has problems and I already plan on basically rewriting the whole thing.  If I felt really pleased with my first draft, I would probably be a little more reluctant to hear what others have to say about it.  I know that it is constructive criticism, but I have a history of issues with criticism of any kind because I'm kind of sensitive.  I think this is because I grew up with a hyper-critical mother, but that's a topic for amateur psychology hour or something, not this blog.

It may sound silly, but I think the biggest hinderance in my writing process so far has been not having a printer to print out my research articles and organize them.  I've been saving some info to a jump drive and sending it with my husband to work so he can print stuff out for me, and this is already helping to keep me more organized.

So that's about all I have to say for now.  I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

I went back to pot.

I don't even know why.  It is just easier.  I found some better research stuff to use, but I still need to find more.  First draft is finished, but it stinks and I know it.  Luckily, I think I can see the flaws and I know what I need to do to make it better.  I have this one paragraph about this study that was done where marijuana was used to shrink lung tumors in rats.  Really interesting stuff, but there are a few problems.  First, I cannot find the actual study to cite.  I can find references to the study, but I am not certain how to cite those properly.  Secondly, a lot of this referenced information is really complex and looks like some kind of advanced chemistry jargon to me.  I don't want to put a bunch of stuff like that in my paper because I don't want to seem pretentious or something.  If I don't even understand what I'm talking about, how can I expect my readers to get it?

Any way, I am glad I have the skeletal "first draft" done.  That means we're so much closer to being done.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Topic Change?

I know this week we're supposed to write in response to another blog, but I feel I have bigger things I need to write about this week.  After being completely frustrated with the lack of credible information about medical marijuana, I have 95% decided that I will abandon that topic in favor of another that I have access to much more information on.  My new topic will be heartworm disease.  Yes, heartworm disease usually affects dogs, but did you know that you can get it too?  Shocking!  But, since people are not the preferred host for the parasite, it manifests in other ways that maybe aren't as dangerous but can still cause problems.  In my paper, I intend to discuss these problems and their treatments, as well as discuss how preventing the disease in dogs is the best way to prevent it in people.  I'm not certain this is exactly what I'm supposed to do or if this topic is acceptable, but I've already got an outline going and have paragraphs floating about in my head, so I think I'm going to go with it no matter what.  Unless my professor tells me "if you write about this, you will get a zero."  That would probably change my mind.  Just a few days ago in seminar, the instructor mentioned some students change their topic two or three times and I thought "that's nuts!"  Now here I am, being nuts.  Sheesh.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Today is International "Get Irritated" Day!

I am celebrating by being unable to take my AP II prequiz, being unable to reach my advisor with an important question, and having some random number call me every hour and try to fax my cell phone.  Also, it is very windy outside and I REALLY DON'T LIKE WIND!  I know it is necessary and has many important functions, but it messes up my hair and makes it ten times colder than it really is, so wind needs to literally "get out of my face."

Moving on...

I did some hardcore writing yesterday.  The assignment for my anatomy class was to take a "fantastic voyage" up the femoral vein, into the lungs, battle bacteria there, then scoot out through the nose.  I have a long history of turning in papers that are not quite what was asked for, but still cover the basics and are just so darn entertaining that they get A's anyway.  This particular paper features three characters, a fair amount of dialogue, and a summer blockbuster-style action sequence involving a rogue macrophage.  I'm quite proud of it, though I don't think I will receive full credit because my relevant content isn't all it could be, especially towards the end.  I am certain, however, that it is at least a passing grade paper, and after the week I've had, I'm fully prepared to roll with that.

I really want to thank everyone for your comments on and about my blog.  It reminds me so much of experiences I had with writing in elementary school.  For major holidays, teachers would hand out sheets with drawings of something like Santa with a large bag, and the bag would have lines in it for you to write on.  The students were supposed to write a story about Christmas, or Easter, or get the idea.  Well, I would write stories with multiple pages and the teacher would be so entertained by them that she would read my stories to the rest of the class.  No one else's stories were read aloud, only mine.  I was painfully shy, so I would excuse myself to the restroom while my story was read, and I could always hear the entire class laughing down the hall.  When I came back, they would clap for me and the teacher usually had tears in her eyes from laughing so hard.  I cannot remember what I wrote about, but I remember how good it felt to know that I had entertained others with my work.  It wasn't until later in life that I learned just how hard it would be to make writing a career.  It is something I still think about and wish that I could do, but it wasn't in the cards for me.

In closing, today I am going to attempt to embed a video to my blog post. This is a hyperlink, which means that if you click it, it will take you to my theory. Check. It. Out!
Oh, it isn't "my" video.  I didn't make it.  Actually, one guy made the original, then some other guys auto-tuned the audio and put it on youtube, and I got it from there.  So as you see, I have nothing to do with the video other than sharing it with you!