Today, I…

  • Woke at 9, had a shower, got dressed
  • Put on a load of washing
  • Had breakfast
  • Answered my work emails, wrote some university emails
  • Went to the market for fresh fruit and veg
  • Cleared the table, cleaned the table, swept the floor, cleared the desk, cleaned the desk
  • Stacked the dishwasher and got it running
  • Wrote up some lecture notes
  • Hung out the washing, put another load on
  • Cooked lunch
  • Wrote up some more lecture notes and did all the research for a History of Maths assignment
  • Hung out the second load of washing, emptied the dishwasher
  • Wrote up more lecture notes
  • Stopped for toast at 6.

Still stubbornly attempting to get a first in your degree, even though you know you have to get an average grade of 90% in all of the modules you’re currently taking: it turns out this is not good for free time.

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Group Projects: Not Always Fun

This year, I’m taking one year-long module called Practical and Applied Statistics. It’s pretty much what it says on the tin – the aim is to turn the students into people who can actually write a report, rather than just being able to crunch the numbers. One of the projects is a group project. There’s five people per group, all randomly assigned (as far as I know, anyway). Together we have to design an (extremely simple) experiment, write a protocol, conduct the experiment and write up a report. It’s frustrating, because the experiment is so simple – we’re growing plants – but it’s a good experience.

But we don’t know each other well, my group. Sometimes that’s good – it means there’s no friendships to be ruined! – and sometimes… it’s not so good. I made it clear that I’m not straight last Tuesday, in an episode that involved one of the guys in the group grumbling about having to grow plants, and then talking about how none of us were “lesbian tree-huggers”. I’m not explaining it very well, but it didn’t seem to be intended maliciously, just thoughtlessly, so I cheerfully came out and left it at that. Sometimes, a little embarressment is all that clueless guys need to stop them saying inappropriate things. Sometimes.

Tomorrow was the deadline for the protocol, and we pretty much did all the work for it over the last three days. So, by today, tempers were fraying somewhat. Which is probably why he repeatedly called the computer “gay”. And it’s entirely why I, after the third or fourth time, turned round and snapped, “you need to stop that. Just stop.” He looked a little scared, it stopped the conversation momentarily, and we carried on, minus the “gay” slurs.

The good news is that, after we’d finished the work and submitted it electronically, he asked to speak to me privately, and apologised for not thinking that I might not like him saying those things.

The sad thing is, I don’t think he realises that he ought to modify his language no matter who he’s talking to.