Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Summer in the city

Oh man, summer on the East Coast kills me. I've had two miserable summers in Guelph, so this time I wangled an escape by staying in New Haven. But nope, it's just as gross weather-wise... although I'm definitely still much happier than I was in Guelph :)

I took a six-week sublet of a tiny little studio that is very close to work (and the gym), and MAN what a great idea. Not having the psychological barrier of having to wait for the shuttle or walk for 40 min makes it so easy to pop into work (or the gym) anytime I think of it. I'm getting a lot more done suddenly.

It also doesn't hurt in terms of productivity that both Helena and Rebecca are away visiting family. I have to say that it is very, very boring around here without them - but it is definitely an incentive to spend weekends in the lab. Not only is it air-conditioned, but what else am I going to be doing all by myself?!

The downside is getting enough sleep. It is SUPER hot and humid here (week-long 35C+ heat waves with 80-90% humidity) and my body just can't take it. My place does have a window A/C unit, but I am paying for my own electricity (and cheap, so don't want to run it much) and also too much A/C tends to make my throat hurt. In lieu of A/C at night, I keep the windows open (I have a corner unit, so it's a pretty good cross-draft) but that means the blinds are open over the windows so it's also really light in here. So, I've been waking up very early in the morning as soon as the sun is up.

Overall, though, the upsides of the move outweigh the downsides (I would have been dying in the heat on Nash St as well, and no A/C there!) If I was living in New Haven long term, Howe Street might be the place to be. True, it borders on the dodgy side of town (so far walking home have seen one car accident, one cyclist get hit by a car and two arrests) but the police are very active in patrolling this area and the headquarters of Yale security are here. And yeah, a lot more gymming and working are being done.

Anyway, two more weeks before I head out. I've finally finished data collection (!!!) - it took months longer than I had hoped, but that's research for you. The results are looking interesting. We should definitely be able to get a paper out of this one. There's a slight possibility we could even get two. I've started a new project with Helena too, to do with attentional bias to infant faces in parents. We've got it off the ground, and she will do the data collection while I will do the analysis from wherever I happen to be. It's been an interesting and fairly productive year, and to be honest it's also been a complete holiday. Being away from Guelph = no sitting through a million talks about rats (I've been to an equivalent number of talks, but on much more interesting topics), no students constantly wanting something, and no time being taken up by annoying departmental things. I just do my work quietly and then go home. This must be what having a sabbatical is like! Love it.

I had sort of planned to do some travel around the US with my last few weeks, but that was before Rebecca had to go home because of her mom's illness. I still could go by myself, of course, but summer is always tight money-wise, so am thinking maybe it's best just to sit tight unless something interesting comes up, and save my money for the UK trip in two weeks.

1 comment:

baker-kitty said...

You grad student - yay I get to spend all my free time in the lab! *shakes head* You have definitely found the right career path. :)

Can you talk more about the attentional bias to infant faces in parents research? What exactly does that mean?

(also, blog more often! *g*)