April 13, 2008

it's April already?

Wow, so I suppose it is April already! I can't believe it. This semester has gone by faster than I imagined or was prepared for. And, unfortunately, more than a whole month has past since I updated my blog with even a single new post! What am I to do? Of course I have the usual excuses . . . with work and travel, but I don't want to lie . . . facebook's scrabulous game has taken WAY too much of my time! It's addictive!

Well not much has happened in the past month, but I guess I can give you a recap of how my March went anyway. Let's see, I finished data collection for my thesis, which is nice. But since my study rests on behavioral interactions that were recorded with the use of a hidden camera, I won't be able to analyze any data until my tapes are all coded. This is very aggravating, considering that I am just itching to see my results. Not to worry, I finished training several students who are assisting me with this task. They are now in the process of coding the tapes for me as we speak (about 8 1/2 full 6 hour tapes). So the end is in sight, though I'm reluctant to admit it.

On another note of importance, I gave a talk at the College of William & Mary's 7th Annual Graduate Research Symposium. That was pretty good. It went well, although my talk was the first one in the morning. I wasn't too happy about that, haha, but oh well . . . what can one do? I basically talked about my thesis as a work in progress, since I had no data to present. But everyone seemed to "dig it" (that's scientific jargon for "liked it" ha), and I received really good questions and comments. By the by, for readers who don't already know, my project is concerned with how social exclusion affects future affiliative behaviors. If you're interested, you can read my abstract about it, as well as the abstracts of other projects in the symposium program.

Besides my own thesis research, I've recently started two new projects, which I might have already written about (I don't remember). One concerns work for Eastern Virginia Medical School
that I'm helping out on, and the other is a side project that I started with my friend and colleague, John Terrizzi, and William & Mary's very own evolutionary psychologist, Lee Kirkpatrick. The EVMS study is concerned with stopping college-aged students from driving while under the influence of alcohol, while the other study concerns disgust sensitivity and prejudicial attitudes. Both of the projects are going well, but we are still in the early stages of data collection. I hope to write more about these later! Though, for some reason I always feel reluctant to blog about my own research, haha. I need to get over that.

Lastly, I have some really good news to report. My wife and I have both been accepted into the University of Kentucky! We are very excited, because this school was the best fit for each of us, and we actually both got in together! Apparently we beat the odds, because everyone kept telling us how hard it was going to be to get into the same place. Of course, my advisor told me not to worry, until I had something to worry about (i.e. don't worry about getting into different places until you find out you got into different places). So I took his advice and didn't worry . . . well I didn't worry a lot I suppose. I guess the hard work is starting to pay off for us, haha. So, after defending our theses we'll be completing our masters programs here in Virginia and then move up to Lexington, Kentucky. There I'll continue my study of social exclusion in the lab of C. Nathan DeWall, while earning a Ph.D. in experimental psychology (concentrating in social). This is a great opportunity for me, because Nathan is an up-and-coming star social psychologist, and his research interests match mine perfectly. Plus I'll be one of his first Ph.D. students. And then there's my wife, who will be studying 19th & 20th century British literature, feminist literary criticism and women's studies, while earning her Ph.D. in English. I'm not sure who she plans to study with, although I know Ellen Rosenman fits her interests perfectly.

Well, that's pretty much how my March went. Now I'm waiting for classes to end, especially the two classes for which I TA. I'm also eager to finish all the projects that I'm working on and the defense of my thesis. It's going to be May before I know it!