Thursday Thoughts 15.0

Whew! It’s been a busy week over here at Ex Libris. Here is what’s on my mind today…

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[1]

It’s fellowship renewal season!!!! The due date for my fellowship renewal package is March 12, but I found out yesterday through a chance conversation with one of my lab mates (who has the same fellowship as me) that my advisor wants the student input portion by Friday. That’s tomorrow. Yikes. I should be able to get it done by then, but it really derailed my plans for the rest of this week.

[2]

Last week I got pulled into a new project. This one was sold to me by my advisor as a “two-week diversion.” Basically, we are trying to gather a lot of data and write a paper fast so that we don’t get scooped (i.e. we don’t want someone else to publish before us). We started out with a simple (and I thought reasonable) plan, but the plan quickly grew more complicated and convoluted. First, I unexpectedly had to make a batch of new samples (which takes the better part of a week). Then, a series of longer and more complicated experiments, which would have extended the project and likely resulted in us getting scooped, were proposed by a group member. We met with our advisor earlier in the week, and I think we are finally back to the simple (and reasonable) plan. So far, it looks like my new samples are working and that we are getting good data. Keep your fingers crossed that nothing catastrophic happens in the next week or so.

[3]

Today is the last day of February, and thus it’s time for a training update!

February results

If you recall from my last training update, my goal is to complete about 85 miles of cardio each month, which should total up to about 1000 miles at the end of the year. It was definitely more difficult to get the miles in this month. For starters, the weather was really uncooperative which made doing anything outside nearly impossible. Also, February is a short month so it is just harder to get them all in anyway (or at least that is what I’m telling myself). As you can see, I’m about 8 miles short of my goal this month. Luckily I did 9 extra miles in January, so technically I’m still ahead 1 mile for the year.

I’m really starting to notice improvements in my physical fitness this month. There were weeks where I couldn’t make it to the gym as much, but my mileage didn’t lack because I’m running and biking farther in the same amount of time. That was a really nice realization to have in the middle of the month. I’ve always been on the leaner side, but I’ve never been particularly “fit.” I’m starting to see muscle definition in places I’ve never had it before, and that is great motivation to keep going! So far, I’m liking that my goal is focused on total miles and not things like number of days worked out, calories burned, etc. The focus is on being active, and it really seems to be working for me!

[4]

Have you ever found that a bad experience reading one book and can kind of turn you off from the whole genre for awhile? Recently, I read (listened to) Robert Goolrick’s Heading Out to Wonderful and I really didn’t like it. I’ll try to post a review soon (soon = sometime this year), but this one really just did not resonate with me. It was well written but it was slowwwww and led to an anticlimatic (and frankly reprehensible) conclusion. Honestly, I only stayed with it on the hope that it would be worth it in the end. It wasn’t. Anyway, a few days ago I was ready to start a new audiobook. I have quite a few in my queue right now so I randomly selected a book which happened to fall under the same genre as Heading Out to Wonderful, aka southern historical fiction, and I didn’t make it past 10 minutes. Logically, I know in my head that this is a different book, but the memory of Heading Out to Wonderful was so strong that I just had no desire to listen after those 10 minutes. I’m keeping this new (southern historical fiction) book in my queue, but I’ve moved onto a different audiobook for now.

[5]

Tuesday’s With Morrie, my trivia team, has competed the last few weeks and fallen just short of the victory every time. We are nearly always in first or second place before the final question of the round, and then we blow it or don’t bet enough points at the end. Oh well. We are having a good time with it anyway! In fact, we are registering our team in the local trivia league, which requires us to make a group poster and write a short blurb. We’ve been sending around draft versions this week, so maybe I’ll have a completed poster to show y’all next week.

[6]

Guess what I’m doing this weekend? LASER TAG!!!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly. Our graduate student association has arranged this outing for us and I’m very excited for it. I haven’t played laser tag since late elementary school or early junior high.

***

Well that’s it for now. Have a great weekend everyone!

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