August 19, 2009

The End of Summer

Wow, the summer is practically OVER!! School starts next week! Oh noes!

Ah well, I hope that everyone out there reading this has had an enjoyable summer.

I know, I know . . . I haven't posted much over the past couple months (I skipped the whole month of July even!). Well, I've either been too busy to think about my blog, or I've been out of town and rarely around a reliable internet connection.

Probably the coolest, or at least most interesting, thing that I've done this summer was participate in the 4th annual Summer Institute in Social Psychology (SISP) hosted by Northwestern University and sponsored by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the National Science Foundation. SISP is a selective program of intensive courses and workshops geared towards students who are early in their graduate careers in personality and social psychology. The courses that I participated in were the Biological Basis of Social Behavior and Personality course and the Meta-Analysis course. Needless to say, the experience was great! I really learned a lot, and the summer institute has helped me generate and/or solidify numerous ideas that I can now incorporate into my own research (though two weeks is not enough time to really become an expert with these methods, so I will definitely need more experience if I wish to pursue them further). It's even got me started thinking about possible post-docs that I may want to pursue in the future (but that's still a long ways away, haha).

But anyways, I've met a lot of new friends and possible collaborators, many interested in the same questions that I myself am interested in. The program even included a trip to downtown Chicago! (a city to which I have never been!) It was great! For any social/personality grad students out there reading this, I really do recommend participating in one of these SISP programs. You'll gain knowledge of some of the most up-to-date theory and methods in the field and you'll get to know a lot of new people, do networking, and form collaborations (many of these people will be future superstars in the field!).

Other than SISP, I've taught a summer lab on social psychology research methods, worked on my research, watched A LOT of movies, made a couple trips back "home" to Virginia and to North and South Carolina, and participated in a book club that my grad student buddies and I recently begun. The book club is going well, and I think that it's really a good idea. It's really hard to read stuff for "fun" when you are in graduate school, and this type of club kind of forces you to do it (otherwise discussion will not go well). So far we've read Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science and Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture which were both pretty good. Naked Economics was really my first reading on economics and I thought that it was generally a good read as an introduction for the layperson. (Please see Medicine for Melancholy for a more detailed review, if interested.) Female Chauvinist Pigs was a more alarming book about the social problem of "raunch culture." Books I'm reading now include: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life and Bozo Sapiens: Why to Err is Human. Perhaps I will eventually write up a review of one or two of these books . . . we'll see.

One last note. My wife recently started a blog called, Deconstructing the Flower, which focuses on modern feminist issues, and it might be of interest to some of you. I'm also linking it on my sidebar, under "Friends." So if feminism and/or women's issues is a concern or interest of yours, please visit her blog and enjoy!


Chris said...

Oh, look at me. I'm SO special...I've been to Chicago.

And I'm SUCH a nice guy for plugging my wife's blog.

haha. I kid, I kid.

So long summer. Hello, responsibility.

pr1ttyricky said...

Boo, responsibility!