Saturday, May 17

The Attractive Qualities of the Scientific Method

Hey.  All.  I would make up a lame excuse for never writing, but I don't have one.  Because most of my excuses are legitimate.  When I was first seriously considering a career in Plant Pathology back in September, I had the opportunity to interview a woman who does plant pathology up at Utah State about what it was like.  She said it was messy and dirty, satisfying, and always a new adventure.  I have found (in my short experience) that these things are all 100% true.  She also told me that I would most likely work overtime every week.  I think I completely dismissed that, because in my mind, I would never take on more work than I could handle in a regular week.  :)

Little did I know how true science works.  And how every time you set out to do anything, it seems to take 4x the effort, time, and know-how you thought it would.  Haha!  For example,

Hmm.  This project sounds like it will take about 4 hours to set up.  I will set aside some time after class this Thursday.

Aw shoot.  I am not even a 1/4 done and I need to go home and eat!  

Ok, I'll just come in tomorrow morning at 5 and finish this up.

AUGH, my entire project flopped!  All 7 hours I put into it yesterday are wasted!  I have to start completely over!!  

I'll just come in after work today and stay until it's finished.

(12:00 AM) Almost done...

I didn't bring enough ________!  And now the building is locked... I guess I will have to finish tomorrow morning.  I need to come in at 6...

This is commonly how it goes.  There are so many unknowns and things that can go wrong!  In the last week alone, I set up a project twice (with ample help from my ever-suffering boyfriend and his little brother) because the first time it completely failed.  Total time put in this week just for set up?  Approximately 15 hours.

Everywhere I look in this department, I see similar things happening.  And everyone has the same long-suffering attitude and excitement for their work.  I even feel similarly!  No matter how badly things go, I am always back the next day excited to see the results.

I guess scientists ARE mad.  I kept telling Ian yesterday (as we set everything up for the 2nd time that week.  It was so difficult to tell him that all the work he'd put in had totally gone to waste) "I am so frustrated!  I don't think I want to do this for the rest of my life!"  He started giving me suggestions on related things I could do.  But nothing sounds good.  And now, everything finished, and sitting comfortably back at my apartment, I have NO desire to change!  Maybe I have found my place after all.

My current research (for the thesis).
Originally, we started with 320 of these suckers.
This is all that remains.  

In other news, Ian wants to do a study abroad next summer.  He suggested I could try to do one as well.

Anyone have any bright ideas of where I should go to study plant pathology?

Thursday, May 1

Hey All

Hey!  I am here, I promise!

Just don't feel like writing.

Rest assured, I am moved into a new apartment, I am doing research, and I am pretty happy with how things are going.  Due to a lack of... personal funding... I cannot take classes this summer... SO I am taking a much-needed break that I didn't realize I needed until it started.  So far so good.  I am reading the next book in the Stormlight Archive at long last.  :)  I am starting to work on my novel again (the one I wrote in high school?  Yeah.  Still going strong.)  I am going to recover my religious lifestyle and study some gospel.  I'm going to be a little bit more active.  (Not making any promises.)  I'm going to learn more on my Ukelele.  I am going to sleep past 6 pretty much every day.

No one can stop me.  0.o

Now some religious ranting.  Feel free to read?  Or just close this page now because you've probably heard all of this before.  Actually, I am sure you have.

Today I talked at length with a friend who is taking a break from the church because she has been treated improperly by members in authoritative positions.  It is always hard to know what to say to someone in that situation... you cannot invalidate what they have experienced.  You never know all sides of the story, but you do know that this woman (or man) has been hurt in a way they didn't deserve.  But you want to say something to help them keep their faith.  In the end, I just listened to her story and I think that is what she really needed.

Anyone have thoughts on this?    It seems more and more that members (especially in Utah) are becoming disillusioned in one way or another because of things that have been done and said to them.  It only takes one judgement call, one unkind response, or one dismissive reaction for someone to feel overwhelmed with negativity.

Solution?  Keep the commandments.  Interesting, isn't it?  Just love people.  Don't talk about them.  Don't try to "change" them.  Or control them.  Or make them feel like they are wrong and you are right.  You know how you change people?  You love them and support them.  You focus on those things that you are accountable for (namely, YOUR attitude, YOUR faith, YOUR desire, YOUR actions, YOUR sins) and build others up by praising them, loving them, being excited for them, and listening to them.  I had a conversation with a friend the other day.  He felt like all the attention he ever received was correction, whether from parents or church leaders.  Now, this may or may not be true, I dunno, I'm not going to say that his parents and leaders are awful uncaring people.  Because they aren't.  But obviously he needs to have someone real come into his life and recognize the good he is doing!  Do something to make others feel more confident in themselves.  If you do anything to drag people down or hurt them, you are just giving Satan another way to influence them.  True principle.  When do you feel the most distant from your Heavenly Father?

When you feel worthless.  Or dumb.  Or when you've made a mistake.

Face it, we are usually pretty dang good at pointing those things out to ourselves.  What is the impact when not only are WE beating ourselves up about it, but every well-intentioned individual we know is trying to show us what we need to change?

Take a moment to think about it.  Because it's pretty likely that right now there is someone in your life that needs to be built up.  And there is probably someone else that you are mildly irritated with or that you disapprove of.

Fix it.  Next time you want to criticize, try to remember that they have already received ample criticism that day, whether from themselves or from others.  But there's a good chance that they haven't been praised or complemented!  We've all been there.

I can already think of a person or two in each category.  I'm right there with ya'all, being judged, judging, having good intentions, saying stupid things.

We all just need to pay a little more attention to our intentions.

The end.  Now I am going to play my Uke.