April 24th, 2011 | Comments Off on ONE MORE JUST ONE MORE

Just one more final to write. Stupid take-home final. This is really more of a final paper.

JUST ONE MORE, and a thesis defence (eventually) and I’LL BE DONE

Posted in quotidian
April 28th, 2009 | Comments Off on Open access for the win

I didn’t care about this before, but now that I’m on the cusp of leaving my undergraduate degree (last hurdle tomorrow) I realize just how AWESOME the open courseware that MIT offers is.

I can finally get a semi-proper foundation in linguistics! And … all that other stuff I always wanted to learn about. Cryptography. Economics. Anthropology. Maybe I’ll finally understand what political science is all about. Psychology. Cognitive sciences. Classical studies?!

Plus stuff that’s more relevant to my degree: Materials science. Chemical engineering.

This place is a goldmine.

Posted in snippet
April 16th, 2009 | Comments Off on BLAJLASJAKHLS

I hate writing my thesis because I HAVE NO CONCLUSIVE RESULTS and MY COMPLEXES HATE ME and REFUSE TO BE MADE. Then, when I do make them, THEY DON’T REACT THE WAY I WANT THEM TO.

This is science, I know. As I found on the French Wikipedia Chemistry Portal: Cherchez, et vous trouverez…. autre chose. (Look, and you will find… something else. –Jean Jacques)

On the other hand, seriously, I think I might have missed my calling, folks. I complained a lot about Rousseau (and a little less about Zola) but I honestly did really well on both of my French lit papers. I think I can pretty much just show up to the final, write my name, and pass the course. That’s good because I don’t really plan on studying for it that much.

(ON THE OTHER HAND: I think I might die from the stress sometime between now and the 29th. THAT WOULD NOT BE GOOD.)

Posted in quotidian
April 9th, 2009 | Comments Off on not even remotely clever

I expect you’re all tired of hearing this, but I’m not a great chemist. I think I’ve been researched-out, honestly. One can only take so many failed experiments before one’s morale drops to abysmal levels. I’m in that abyss, and I’ve been here for quite a while. I can’t actually remember the last time an experiment worked.

My thesis write-up so far is full of the phrase “mixture of products.” “Complex mixture.” I’m worried I haven’t done enough work for it, and so I don’t have very much to write about; what’s more, all the stuff I did try didn’t work. Do you have any idea how unsatisfying that is? “I tried” doesn’t really cut it for something like this; you need results.

A few weeks ago, I caught myself thinking: “Once I’m done this experiment I can go and do what I really like.” And then it hit me: chemistry has never really been “that thing I like.” My supervisor lives to work. I’d rather work to live. Don’t get me wrong; I like chemistry well enough, but I also want to be able to leave work at work and have a life outside of the lab. This is at the core of why I don’t want to go into academia. The pressure to publish and produce results is incredible (at least until you have tenure.)

People tell me that with my French, I can easily get a job in the federal government (let’s ignore for the moment that English is the lingua franca of the scientific world, and any scientific position I find will not require me to use French in Canada). I’ve worked for the government. Not a whole lot gets done. I’m not sure how happy I would be in a situation like that. I know one thing, though, that I haven’t been happy with my research for a long, long time. I think it’s time to move on.

I’m almost cracking now; thesis is due in a week and a half, and I have an exam next Tuesday. I’m not sure how I’m going to fit all of this in, and I’m driving myself mad.

Posted in ramblings
November 24th, 2008 | 1 Comment »

In this post, you’ll find:

  • Career ramblings
  • School musings
  • Music murmurings

(I needed to keep the parallelism!)
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in ramblings
October 1st, 2008 | Comments Off on Random musings on French

I can’t believe I missed the leaders’ debate in French tonight! To be rather honest, politics don’t interest me terribly much, but everything’s better with the addition of French. (De plus je me sens mieux après avoir entendu le français de M. Harper. Ouaiiis c’est injuste et mesquin et tout ça, mais on se moque de lui pour n’importe quoi d’autre.)

I also feel like I should write a letter of thanks to my first high school French language/English grammar teacher. Bien que je pense ne pas avoir beaucoup appris dans son cours de français, ce sont les leçons qu’elle nous a données en grammaire anglaise dont je me sers tout le temps. Comprendre ce que c’est un COD est beaucoup plus facile si on connait déjà “direct objects” en anglais.)

Something only a French prof could say:
“Do you take the bus? I take the bus. It’s lovely! From a linguistic point of view.”
Lui, c’est un homme un peu dingue (comme vous l’avez remarqué, sans doute).

Posted in quotidian
January 9th, 2008 | Comments Off on On credit

I just realized that I have completed 91 credits at school. I’m not exactly sure how that’s possible given that I’ve really only completed five academic semesters. It averages out to 18.2 credits a term, or ~6 courses (assuming one course = 3 credits.)

To all the Arts students out there: I’m clearly not kidding when I say I have a heavy courseload.

(Naturally, there is some explanation for this: many Chem courses are 4 credits, rather than 3, and I did take a couple of summer courses. If you take out the summer courses, it comes out to a much more reasonable 5.7 courses per term.)

What’s slightly more interesting is that I have 31 transfer credits from high school and certain summer programs, so technically I have 122 credits. If getting a degree were just about accumulating credits, I could have been out of here by now. Unfortunately I also have to fulfill something called “upper-level requirements.” Alas. That’s what happens when your transfer credits are good for nothing but elective space… and you elect to fill elective space with a French minor.

Posted in quotidian
January 7th, 2008 | Comments Off on Schhooooooool

I’m back at school now after a year-long hiatus in the working world.

I’d forgotten the things about school that I like (fun profs; learning things; seeing old friends) but there are also things that I don’t miss (midterms; buying books; bureaucracy; competition).

It’ll be an interesting term, to say the least :3

I miss my former co-workers.

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Posted in quotidian
November 9th, 2006 | 6 Comments »

Some of these are short-term, others… not so much.

1) Study for inorganic midterm.

2) Study for finals, especially organic.

3) Go drinking.
I think this one requires a bit of an explanation. Surprisingly, I managed to handle living in Quebec in university res while staying completely sober. Not only that, this was in a town where the supermarket downtown had 300 kinds of beer. And where beer was sold at $2 a pint (mercredi soir) at the bar 10 minutes away from uni.

Anyway, as Eric said once, if you’re going to get drunk for the first time, it should be among friends. Soo…..

I’m fairly certain I’m a pretty cheap drunk anyway, so 😀 I don’t expect this to be a very expensive venture.

This is one thing on my ‘to-do’ list before leaving for the big city small town. It’s kind of naive to think I won’t be invited to get drinks one day, eventually, by people I don’t know particularly well (er, well, actually I was invited today to grab at beer at noon–NOON!!!–so…) and I don’t think that would be a good time to make a fool of myself.

4) Go karaoke.
Maybe this could be combined with the drinking 😀

5) Go bubble tea.

6) Find my sanity.

7) Buy a laptop.
This is where I need from laptop-owning people. What features should I look for? What vendors should I avoid? Should I go for an ultra-portable?

8) Buy a music player.
I’m thinking about getting an iPod, but I wonder if a regular mp3 player will do just as well. I’m not fond of iTunes’ interface, but, eh…. Nanos are so CUTE!

9) Go Christmas shopping. For other people.

10) Make up a budget for all this drinking, singing, eating, and technology-buying.

Posted in quotidian
October 4th, 2006 | Comments Off on Build your own blog entry!

Don’t you love doing things yourself?

*insert emo-angsty-self-pitying blog entry here*

Actually, I suppose it’s more self-pity and less emo and angsty.

I’m so tired. It’s barely a month into school, and I’m already behind and feeling overwhelmed. Add the fact that I keep getting turned down for interviews, and you have a very unhappy Catherine. Plus, due to my insane schedule, I haven’t been able to keep up with my co-op commitments, and I’m really feeling the pressure right now.

I just want this to END.

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Posted in quotidian