Sunday, December 12, 2010

The final (exam) stretch

I'm taking a bit of a break from studying and writing my paper to update. I've been spending this rainy Sunday touching up my Experimental Methods in Psychology final paper, and once I'm written my cover letter I will move onto preparation for my Agency & Action (Holocaust) final. The professor was wonderfully kind and had one of the TA's email all of the students a list of essay questions that will be on the final exam this Wednesday. We are allowed to bring in one sheet of paper (with notes written on the front & back) which we will be able to use to help guide our essays. I am grateful for this help, seeing as I have two additional finals on Thursday. My Adolescent Development final exam starts at eight in the morning! That is ridiculously early, I feel, don't they know that we're overworked college kids? Bah. At least I will get it over with and then have until 4pm to study for my final (hah) final in Experimental Methods.

Tonight is the last meeting of the Film Society (CUFS) in which we will say our goodbyes to those going abroad next semester and conduct elections for e-board positions. I am in the running for co-president along with my fellow CUFS member/buddy Mike, and I am hopeful that I will be able to take-over next semester (train with the current presidents) and spend my final year at Clark (next year) leading the club.

To finish up this entry I will mention a somewhat related story that occurred last Thursday during my final class period in Adolescent Development. The professor had mentioned in advance that he had a special surprise for our last class, but no one knew just how freakin' awesome it would be.

On that Thursday, the classroom filled up as usual. I sat in the back and watched people trickle in with their sweaters and scarves and wintery things. Finally the professor walked in (he always had an uncanny ability to walk in just as class was supposed to start) carrying a guitar! And of course I giggled a bit, as did other people. He didn't mention it, just leaned it up against the wall and began class.

In probably the last five minutes, he picked up the guitar and gave us quite a long introduction for the song he was about to perform. He prefaced it by saying that even if we remembered little from Clark, the next three minutes would probably be on the list of most-memorable.

I don't remember many of the words from the song because I was too busy feeling giggly and not being able to make eye-contact with him while he sang. But it was about growing up and finding yourself and wondering how things will turn for the future. It was not painful to listen to, and it was an awfully sweet and silly gesture.

Alright, I'm leaving now to continue studying and things! Goodbye for now, and best wishes to everyone on this very rainy day.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Graaaaaiiiiiiiiiinssssss! (Because I'm a vegetarian zombie)

CUFS (Clark U. Film Society) has been a positive part of my Clark life not only because I love to watch movies, but also because it has connected me with students who are Screen Studies majors. I spent a bit of the weekend and a good chunk of my Tuesday evening filming two separate movies with friends. It's been a bit stressful trying to get it done around the end of classes/finals time, but I imagine it's even worse for them; I'm very pleased that I have nothing to do with the (tiring and monotonous?) editing process. 
Because my friend is incredibly talented with zombie makeup, I am including a picture of her zombifying me and another of the final product (for one of the films, though it would be great to just be a zombie without reason).

I feel somewhat alarmed that the semester is almost over! It's gone by so quickly. I'm fairly certain that my time at Clark overall has been simultaneously the most pleasant topped with a feeling of expeditiousness time-wise. I'm not sure why, but college has seemed to go by quicker than any other period in my life thus far. 

For my Holocaust: Agency & Action course we've recently been reading a few first-hand accounts. I found myself particularly drawn to Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz. He was arrested in 1943 and loaded onto freight trains with 650 others for a four-day journey to Auschwitz. Of those initial 650, only 135 were admitted. 
His entire book lends itself to the concept of a lack of humanity. I felt somewhat disturbed by his unemotional and scientific (yet strangely poetic) language, though in retrospect, it helped to indicate just how dehumanizing this entire experience was. 

I will spend a bit of today putting together my final paper for Experimental Methods; it's due on Monday but the TA sent around an email saying we would be working on it in discussion later. I will also hopefully get started on my fourth and final article analysis on youth in Tanzania for Adolescent Development

Best wishes to everyone for a pleasant hump day and rest of the week!

Monday, December 6, 2010

I'll experimental your methods

It's the last week of classes! So far work has been manageable; I've been writing (in parts) the paper describing my questionnaire study for Experimental Methods in Psychology. Since I'm done officially collecting data, I feel that it's okay now to give a brief summary of our hypotheses.

A quick summary of the experiment: it was a 2x2 between-subjects experimental design in which our independent variables were college prestige and ethnicity. We had four (fake) resumes that we handed out to participants. One resume contained a Hispanic-American applicant who attended a four-year college, another was a Hispanic-American applicant who attended a two-year college, the third was an Asian-American applicant who attended a four-year college, and the fourth was an Asian-American applicant who attended a two-year college. My group hypothesized that because race has such a deep root within society, that race would have more of an effect on applicants’ perceived competency than education would, thus: Asian-Americans who attended a two-year college will be more likely to be evaluated highly than Hispanic-Americans who attended a four-year college.

We did find significant main effects for applicants' ethnicity and college prestige when testing for the dependent variables of applicants' perceived competency and perceived success. However, contrary to our hypothesis, the highest perceived job competence and success were both in the condition where the applicant was a Hispanic-American who attended a four-year college. The lowest competence/succes for the job was perceived in the condition where an Asian-American had attended a two-year college. In general, Hispanic-American applicants were perceived as more competent and as more successful than Asian-Americans. It was very interesting. I'm going to write the "discussion" section of my paper this evening, and I'm not quite sure yet how I'll suggest explanations for the results.

More updates later! I hope everyone had a pleasant Monday (,Monday so good to meee).