Friday, April 8, 2011

Mid-End Term

This past week or so has been spent studying and finalizing plans for Fall 2011 and Summer 2011 courses - I will be taking one or two courses at a university in Maine to rectify the credit I lost while ill. Clark also offers summer courses, but I already have plans to be back at my home (hopefully with a summer job!), otherwise I would consider utilizing the Clark COPACE summer program.

This past Wednesday I had two tests, and upon completion (and after diligently running around campus trying to determine where to turn in my summer course approval form) I celebrated by wandering around in the sunny weather with a friend. We ended up walking through Estabrook, where she stopped to play piano in one of the open practice rooms, and I took some pictures out the window. This is from the second floor of Estabrook; off to the right you can see just a bit of Wright Hall, one of the first-year dorms.

After some piano we wandered towards the Academic Commons in the Library, stopping to purchase something called Mocha Blasts (or explosions? or something else that sounds equally somewhat dramatic and destructive, yet delicious) from Jazzman's cafe. Finally, we ended our parade through campus at the Clark University Thrift Store where I purchased an old Spree Day t-shirt and an old evacuation plan map.

My friend Meghan is currently taking a photography course at Clark, so as we wandered a bit around Worcester Meghan took pictures, and I took pictures of Meghan taking pictures.

Because I've recently gone through "second mid-term" exams (or mid-end term, more appropriately named), I don't have too much to report from classes. Tonight I will be completing my third observation for Astronomy; they are broken up into two week periods so that the student has one week to watch the assigned film for that period, and the other week to do the actual observation outside. I watched the film last week, which was excellent, if only because it was narrated by Alec Baldwin. The assignment for this observation looks a bit daunting, but I am comforted knowing that I have a lab buddy and helpful TAs to utilize.

Plans are being made to conduct the qualitative psych. interview project soon - it has been somewhat difficult to coordinate an appropriate time for all group members, but it appears that they will be completed by next week. During the interview we will be broken up into pairs and one student will conduct the interview while the other sets up/tests the recording equipment, and then takes notes on everything; how it's going, what the participant is saying, what the interviewer is saying. Following this, a new participant will be brought in and the students' roles will switch.

I am feeling quite nervous about the interview, if only because I have no idea how compliant my participant will be and how I'll do with steering the conversation to an appropriate place (the purpose is to gather life stories, one of which will be focused on more in-depth later in the course). However, as the professor has said a few times in regards to the project: it's not about what you do right or wrong, it's about learning.


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