May 26, 2011

Coding marathon

So after I got Windows up and running on my MacBook, I stayed up until nearly 4 a.m. fucking with my model. I found the solution to my problem at 3:45 in the morning. Finally recognizing that it was time to stop, I saved the information and went to bed.

I get so obsessive about my quantitative data. I can spend 15 hours messing with code, looking at the numbers 20 different ways, running diagnostics, comparing results, staying up way too late. The next morning, I sit down at the computer, all groggy and in my pajamas, and start trying something else.

If I were able to work like this on the rest of my project, my dissertation would be done by now. When it comes to the reading and writing parts of research, I have to set goals and force myself to do it, and I take way too many internet breaks. But with my data, I have to force myself to take self-care breaks for things like eating, bathing, and sleeping.

I think it's because working with quantitative data feels like problem solving. I need to figure out how to get my code to run correctly, how to specify the model, how to present the results. It's a challenge, a puzzle that drives me crazy, and I don't want to stop until I figure it out.

Tonight, though, I have other plans. I am going to show up at an event and try to get an important person to talk to me for my research. It's far away and late at night, and will most likely involve me sitting and waiting for a couple of hours. I would so much rather stay here in my pajamas and work with my data while I watch my cat show. It's cold, and I have painful cramps, and I don't even know if this is going to work. But it's time to start trying these tactics because e-mails haven't worked, and I'm running out of time.

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