Sunday, October 03, 2010

Yesterday I learned an important lesson.

The day started bright and early with a trip to Penrith, where I was to present some of my research at a music symposium. Because the audience was full of musicologists rather than cognitive psychologists, I was to avoid using the terms “experiment”, “MANOVA” or “statistically significant”. I’d been given only a week to prepare the 20 minute presentation, so I was a bit nervous about it.

Ok. So I woke up at 4:30am with butterflies in my stomach and was shaking like a drug addict by the time it was my turn to speak. But it went fine, in the end. That wasn’t the important lesson.

After lunch, which was part of a free cheese and tomato sandwich that tasted like cucumber and I wouldn’t have eaten if I wasn’t ravenous, I had to trek it back to Bankstown to run a participant. The two-hour trip involves a shuttle, two trains and a bus, and for once, my carefully-timed schedule worked out perfectly. I even made the two-minute connection at Lidcombe onto the train that only comes twice an hour. The plan had been to get some reading done, but I accidentally fell asleep and only woke up when an exceptionally large and hairy man sat down on the seat next to me. But that wasn’t the important lesson either.

I got to my office with just enough time to set everything up. My participant arrived and did fine with all the experimental tasks. We had a nice chat afterwards and she promised to send some other musos my way. No real lessons there.

At the end of it all, I was too tired to start on any work before catching the 7pm bus, so I thought I’d do a bit of desk reorganisation while I was waiting. I picked up a stack of papers and a giant cockroach ran out from underneath.

Yesterday I learned an important lesson. Don’t ever clean your desk.

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