greg (grysar) wrote,
greg
grysar

Week 4 Quarter 2 update

It's been quite a busy few weeks. This quarter I have only two end papers, one of which is only a partial version of a paper to be completed in the middle of next quarter. In general, a lot more of the work this quarter has been in these early and upcoming middle weeks rather than towards the end. I do view this on the whole as a good thing, particularly as I'm about halfway through the front loaded stuff. I've been running slightly behind on readings, but not to the point that it's hurting me. Still, I am considering trying some sort of speed reading course, but that's probably just talk. For the moment, I'm largely concentrating on improving my work habits and cutting down on distraction. So no music or hanging out on #besm for most of the day as that seemed to cut into my productivity. Similarly I finally finished reading the backlog of Gene Weingarten chats, which were quite enjoyable but a definate distraction.

I'll be home on the weekend of February 12th, but pretty much unavailable (aside from maybe a lunch on Friday. We'll see). Quite looking forward to that and have tickets bought and all. Also will be going to Acen in Chicago weekend of May 14th, but I can't order my tickets until I know my schedule.

Current non-school focuses: Getting Fall quarter in DC arranged for; finishing polish on my resume/cover letter and figuring out what the hell kind of job I want; sending out internship applications; and at some point investigation into doing the summer quarter in Romania. I also need to make up an academic plan, but that can wait til late February.

Class Summary:

International Law: Pretty fascinating. I've long been interested in this stuff, but hadn't actually taken the time to systematically study it. The difference is huge. Currently ahead on the readings because we missed one week of class due to MLK day and the class is behind the syllabus.

Intervention: Good debate class. I'm not sure about some of the arguments the teacher makes, but the books are good and discussions are quite nice. Although I'm probably dominating a bit too much, eh, what I do, particularly when nobody else raises their hands. I find out tonight how the first of three mini papers gets graded; annoyingly I'll get that grade only after turning in the second of the three papers. Currently a bit behind on Rwanda research, but should be able to catch up that front some this weekend.

Chinese Politics and Political Development: I love this class, the professor has good systematic arguments and actually can get the stuff to stick in my head. I hope he's offering something next quarter. Only problem is that I'm a bit behind on the readings, and the book we're currently focusing on is a bit dense. Nicely already got a graded assignment done when I did my presentation on the readings in the first week.

Panel Data Independent Study: I haven't been getting enough done in this yet. But I think that's about to change. I'm buying Stata, which is a statistics program that can analyze panal data (panal data samples the same subjects repeatedly, e.g. multiple countries acrossed multiple years). It'll take a bit of learning, but apparently the online documentation is good and I'll finally have the capability to run the analyses I need to. This being the case I can finally start to pound out some actual results and begin cutting back on the excessively copious amounts of data I'm dealing with.

On the whole, I just need to spend more time on these things and sleep less. Oh well, such is life. No progress whatsoever on getting my webcam setup working, but Skype and wireless access as a whole have been working pretty well this quarter. Which is good, given the amount of time I like to spend on the phone for some reason. ^_~

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