Friday, 30 March 2007

Icky Dissertation Project

Ok this is gonna be a post where I gripe about my horrible dissertation project. If I haven't previously mentioned it, my project this year looks at the effects of gender of vocalists of in-store music in women's fashion retail stores. Basically I need stores to participate by playing music I've selected over a period of 3 weeks and then look at sales figures and store traffic.

Sounds easy aye? Hah! Trying to get stores to participate is a real pain... Common issues are that they're not comfortable with revealing sales figures, even if we tell them to disguise it by multiplying/dividing by some unknown constant, and that they can't change the music.

After much effort, I managed to get 3 stores which matched my criteria (yes there's that too!)...and now 2 out of 3 have backed out!!! 8( Yes I'm one unhappy camper here, especially when I thought I'd get everything sussed before Easter. Now it's back to store hunting (and getting multiple rejections)...depressing...

Friday, 16 March 2007

Teaching Nightmare

It's been 2 weeks now since I began lab demonstrating. It's kinda scary and weird playing the teacher rather than the student in the lab. It's really not easy trying to lecture around 26 20-year-olds, many of whom are way bigger than me in size. Plus I've been so "fortunate" that the class I teach is full of noisy students. And it doesn't help that I look like a high-school kid either.

When I took the first class last week, one of the guys in the class kept laughing at me. He'd glance up at me talking, start laughing, glance down at his work and back up, start laughing again, glance down... Well you get the picture. It was a most disconcerting thing! Still, it wasn't as bad as this week's class, where 2 of the noisy ones (guys of course) were actually drinking beer throughout the lab! Ordinarily students do occasionally bring in cups of coffee or soft drink cans with them, so I didn't give much thought to them bringing in cans, assuming it was some soft drink. So I basically didn't realise that it was beer until as the guys were leaving, one of them said, "I suppose you would like us to take our beer cans with us." Like @#$%%^#$^@#?!!!

Anyway, so I mentioned it in the staff meeting today and apparently this is the first time they've come across students audacious enough to do something like that...and consumption of alcohol isn't allowed on campus premises. The head demonstrator suggested that I should swap labs for a week with one of the other bigger, scarier demonstrators like herself. The guys volunteered of them's the "clown" of the psyc department really and he wanted to swap so he could make them cry. lol Funny how guys come up with "solutions" to problems...'beat the other guy and make him cry' seems to be the first solution they think of. Even my flatmates, when I related the incident at tea last night, the guys went, "Ok we'll come with you to class next week and beat them up." I've swapped with the head demonstrator for next week though, so perhaps she can scare some good behaviour into them...or my class might decide I really suck...sigh

Marking assignments is another tough thing...and trying to decipher handwriting or what the students are trying to say. Then there's the issue of what grade you should assign them. I'm not looking forward to marking the major reports which don't have a "right answer"...marking is gonna be rather awful. Plus we have to calculate standard deviations for the class grades and make sure we distribute marks according to a normal distribution. Can't escape's everywhere!

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Online Dating

It's always really interesting to look at online dating. There are heaps of these sites on the, city-specific, global. Most of the sites as usual cater to people in the US,like

Quite a couple of dating sites do actually cost to join or those who pay have more features available to them. The main matchmaking site in NZ allows only the paid members to initiate contact. claims to be absolutely free. I'm quite suspect of claims of "free" coz there usually is a catch. I mean these sites have to cover their operational cost after all. Aside from Google ads, I haven't seen how generates income to cover its costs.

Reading the descriptions people put up of themselves has gotta be the most interesting part of pretty much any dating site. You have everything from the ordinary Joe to glamourous even a mother looking for a guy for their daughter as I saw on I wonder whether her daughter knows that her mum has posted an ad looking for a guy for her daughter... I reckon I'd be pretty unhappy if my mum went to an online dating site to find a guy. Parents and matchmaking....'nuff said 8S.

Friday, 2 March 2007

Week 1

We've now come to the end of the first week of semester. And it is not far as school is concerned. Mean lecturers have decided that at 4th year since you're pretty much a post-grad they should just jump right into things. Hence I've a 1500 word essay on some vague topic due next week and weekly quizzes (who even does pop quizzes anymore...esp at 4th year!!!) and heaps of reading to do. 8( Plus my dissertation is not going very well coz I've not quite been able to get stores to cooperate with me on my project.

On the other hand, school aside, things are going great. I've started skating again...which does require me waking up at 5.30 in the morning to get to the rink by 6am but it's exercise. Hip hop is going great too although grade 2 is much tougher (but more fun!). Tango classes are beginning next week and Garth has volunteered to go for classes with me as my partner 8). Finally I get to learn the tango...haven't had the chance before coz none of my guy friends would sign up with me! What's it about guys and dancing anyway?

Even more good news this week: We've got internet connection at the flat! Finally finally finally! 8) Now people can expect to see me online...well if I'm not busy doing other stuff that is. Like hanging with my flatmates, who are pretty cool...everyone is crazy and it's quite awesome lol. Plus this week 2 of Jorinde's friends have come to stay with us from the Netherlands so we've been having 9 people for dinner and dinners have been really fun (though not too fun if you're the cook!).