Monday, October 24, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

Hello again!

Things have been as busy as ever lately...especially being that I had family in town this weekend (which added to the stress I was already feeling). Fortunately, things went well with the visit and now it's back to reality..and by reality I mean school and all the work I neglected for 2 days straight.

Just for some updates, I still haven't gotten my grade back on my Networks midterm, so I'm still a litte nervous about that. I understand the material but when it comes to tests/projects I feel so clueless. We have a project we have to work on, and part of it is individual (mostly team work). I find myself staring at the assignment more than actually working on it. I don't know if I'm just not reading it right, but I'm having a hard time understanding exactly what I'm supposed to be doing and it's kind of irritating. I'm thinking I'll look through the message board and see if I can get some helpful hints as to what exactly is being asked. If not, office hour time! On top of this project, I also have an HCI project that I have to start soon (on top of the HWK assignments being given) and a paper I'm still working on in Software Engineering (along with the other assignments that are being given). What's most upsetting about this is that these are the times when I can't work on my research because "school comes first"...and I'm trying my hardest to keep school first, but all I want to do is work on my research. BUT, my time for that has not come yet..

Speaking of research, I'm pretty excited about the fact that in the next few weeks I will be in Mountain View, California (on the west coast for the first time! :D)! What for, you may ask?? My research partner and sponsor are going to the Google site out there to interview developers for our study. I'm getting so many new experiences in my first year and I feel so blessed!! I never thought I'd be getting to travel AND do what I love to do AND get paid for it...I hope this keeps up! The only thing that sucks is that I'm not getting to devote as much time as I'd like to preparing for the trip. But since it's a little further down the road than the deadlines I currently have, I'm hoping I'll be able to find the time before that week arrives (noone likes to cram!).

I'm really excited right now because tomorrow is the Jud Bowman Seminar " Overcoming the Challenges of Young Entrepreneurship: How to Start a Successful Company in Your 20s". For anyone who doesn't know, Jud Bowman is the founder and CEO of Appia, Inc. He started his first company at the age of 18 (which is pretty awesome!). I can't wait to learn some new stuff and maybe get the information I need to take some initiative myself. I'll let you guys know how it went in my next post. I should also add that I got to go to a "Case Study Research in Software Engineering" seminar which taught me a lot about conducting case study research in the field of software engineering (which is exactly what I'm doing right now). One thing I've noticed, there's a seminar for everyone here, which is pretty cool in my book.

Well, I got a good bit to do so it's probably best if I let this be enough...
Until next time... :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Hello again to those who read my blog (and wake up to those of you who don't!!).

Things have been kind of hectic lately...a lot of planning, a lot of homework, and project assignments have pretty much been described so we can start working on them. Am I excited? Not really. Will it get done? Of course! :)

Now, I'll give a sort of recap as to what I've been up to the past week. I've taken  all my midterms (all 2 of them!), so that's good news. Still waiting to get the final grade for my Networks midterm but I made a 92 of my software engineering midterm so that's pretty awesome :D. Besides midterms, I've also been busy getting started on semester projects for 2 of my classes and continuing the paper for my SE class. I got to a point last week where I really thought I was going to be spending my weekend working on my research...and then the assignments came. Fortunately, I got to get a good bit done for my research before my professors dished out all these assignments.

Speaking of research, things are still rolling with that as well. Yoonki just turned in our IRB application in order for us to get permission to conduct the study. Fingers crossed everything comes back ok! Also, Yoonki and I were able to conduct a couple more practice interviews this week. Unfortunately, one had to be cut fairly short but we still were able to obtain some valuable insights from both our interviewees. Now all I have to do is go back through the interviews, organize my analysis, and incorporate it into our paper (which is of course the 'fun' part!). If it wasn't for the fact that I am so stuck on what I want to do, I would not be getting my Ph.D. that's for sure--there's so much writing and for anyone who knows me, you know I am not the writing type. Papers and such are not (excuse me....were not) my thing..but being that I've chosen this path, I have to do what I have to do. Fortunately I have an awesome advisor who's been helping me along the way with everything. Things are moving smoothly, but I really can't wait for our first REAL interview.

On another bright note, Grace Hopper is right around the corner! :D I just downloaded the mobile app and also got my travel authorization for the interviews I'll be conducting at Google. I get to spend a week in Portland doing the things I know/love best; networking and research. I am super SUPER excited...also a bit nervous. Hopefully as the time to go draws nearer I'll have a chance to work on that part :).

Also, on a personal note, the state fair is here and my family is coming down this coming weekend to visit/attend the state fair. I am TOO excited about this. I am prepared my apartment (as well as my wallet) for the fair, food, fun and family. It's been a while since my family and I have gotten to do something together so this should be lots of fun. And I've never been to the NC State fair before so that makes it even more exciting! :D Hopefully I'll be able to get enough work done this week to be able to have some free time to chill with my family this weekend.

That's all I can think to report right now. I've been trying to get ahead all weekend so my brain is a little fried at the moment..if I forgot anything I'll just report it later.
Until next time... :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ew, midterms...'s that time of the year. Midterms. Although it's a little earlier than I'm used to, the feeling's all the same; stress, anxiety, procrastination...but being that my workload isn't had heavy as undergrad, the 'side effects' aren't quite as bad. Nonetheless, I would MUCH rather be doing research right now than studying for my Networks midterm.

Anywho, besides being swamped with things to do, things aren't going to bad. I'm doing well in my classes and I've managed to get every assignment I get finished more than a day before it's due! Now, this may sound like 'yeah, whatever' to anyone else, but coming from the queen of procrastination (and a pretty good queen at that) I'm doing good! I'm trying to work on my time management/organization skills -- it honestly seems like the only thing that's going to keep me from having a mental break down in the next 5 years. Especially since I KNOW things are going to get worse--much worse--before they get better. I'm ok with that though, especially after just watching Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. For anyone who hasn't seen it, please watch it. For anyone who doesn't know, Randy Pausch is the father of Alice, a storytelling game that teaches kids how to program. If anyone knows what working hard will get you, it seems he does. Nothing's given to you, so to expect you must give...if I expect to get my Ph.D., I must give it 110%...give 50%, get 50%. You don't realize that's how it works until either it happens or someone else says it. So I may have seen that lecture at the right time.

I got feedback from my advisor concerning my paper I wrote...and he seemed to like it! :) Obviously it wasn't perfect, but for my first research paper he liked it much more than I thought he would. Now, just gotta plan my next moves...

Until next time...