Thursday, August 19, 2010

Finding motivation in observing science

I didn't present at the workshop in Knoxville. I wish I had something from my PhD work to present because I was a minority in focusing on the physical and dynamical aspects of climate science rather than the chemical and biological. I think I would have added breadth to the two days of talks.

Since a lot of them focused on chemistry and my last chemistry class was introductory chemistry for science majors six years ago, I did not understand many details of the studies. Nonetheless, I found the workshop valuable beyond the basic conclusions I gleaned from each talk. Hearing about other's work inspired me to return to my own research. Perhaps Musings of a Life-Long Scholar hit on a good motivational tip: read 1000 words of scientific literature at the start of each work day. I might remember more of the literature that way, too.

Ironically, it is difficult to work while at a workshop. I attended talks all day and networked/socialized in the evenings. It was a perfect time to run programs that require hours of computer time and little babysitting. Running those programs gets me much closer to finishing the figures I need for the MS paper. I hope to have a full draft by Labor Day weekend, if not earlier.

I realize I've set goals like this before and missed them. Too often. I need to meet one of them to restore confidence in myself as a self-driven student. I used to know that without question. I'm not always sure anymore. I keep telling myself that I need time to adjust to the personal upheavals of the past year. At what point do reasons become excuses?

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