Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sitcoms Taught Me This Would Be Different

Hi, honey, I'm home.

Quiet, I'm on the phone!

Oh, okay. Everything okay?

I think my water broke.

Really? Ummm... shouldn't we be running to the hospital or something?

No... just got off the phone with my doctor. He said we might want to go to the hospital in a bit.

In a bit? Uh, okay then... what do we do now?

I'm hungry.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Seriously, I Begged

About six weeks ago, I received my syllabuses... syllabus's... syllabi?... for my doctoral courses. I noticed that my first two major exams were spaced within four days of each other, in a short stretch from Thursday, September 30, to Monday, October 4. Seeing this, and knowing that our babies were due around the same time, I got down on my knees and begged Debby to hold out... after all, there are 365 days in the year (366 on a leap year!), and surely she could give birth on some other day. Then, remaining on my knees, I made the same entreaty very loudly to her belly.

And now... now... the damn kids haven't even been born yet and already they're defying me.

Pictures coming soon.

(obligatory Kenny Chesney reference here)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I Forgot What I Was Blogging About

So let me tell you about Dr. Roberts. He is the professor of my quantitative statistics class at Georgia Tech (translated, that breaks down to 'really hard math stuff'), and he is one heck of a pleasure to learn from. He shares with me both his first name (James) and an unfortunate habit of digression at the slightest provocation... conversational-shiny-object syndrome, as it were. In a lecture about, say, multinomials and they hypergeometric distribution (which he specifically said to mention to our friends and family, because "it'll make you sound really smart"), it's not uncommon for Dr. Roberts to branch off into stories about deer hunting, drunken job interviews, Agent Scully, and his grandmother. Odder yet, in the end, he always seems able to tie it all back into whatever statistics we were discussing. He even taught us a dance that illustrates the concept of the sampling distribution (and which, coincidentally, is very fun to do to the tune of the Beach Boys. Not so much fun with Kenny Chesney).

However, the mere fact that he's personally a fun character doesn't make the subject matter all that much easier (which can be intimidating, given this is just the first statistics class of about four to eleven total). On Thursday, during the fifth week of my doctoral education, I finally had my first lecture that I didn't understand at all. He stood there and talked, and it was undoubtedly brilliant stuff, and it definitely went in my ears because I did hear him... but then it all just slipped right back out again, so that the floor was piled high with brilliant concepts that had leaked out of my poor empty head. I think I almost slipped on a few on my way out the door. I suppose intelligent concepts are slick, kind of like oil.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Blogs I'll Never Write

  • I will probably never blog about Chick-Fil-A again. Honestly, you only got half of the story about Chick-Fil-A a few months back. There's more to the story... a lot more... both in terms of fascinating culture and trade secrets that they were remarkably free with. But due to corporate professionalism and friendly confidentiality, the rest of the story must sadly remain a secret.
  • I will never finish that personal entry I started a few weeks ago. I have part of a blog written about some odd changes in my personality that have taken place over the last year or so... confusing changes wherein I no longer see the glass as half-full or half-empty, but instead I wonder what the glass is made of, or what exactly the liquid is, or I just get distracted and wander off to watch the people go by. I find I have absolutely no expectation, for good or ill, regarding major events in my future. I had no idea if my move to Atlanta would be good or bad, and I didn't wonder about it at all. Same for grad school. I don't even have strong expectations of any kind regarding my impending fatherhood. The future is just... open. I've never been like this. Isn't that curious?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Twelve Proven Things About Psychology I Didn't Know

  • The more extraverted you are, the longer a life you will have.
  • The less you get bothered by things, the higher self-esteem you will have.
  • The more agreeable you are and the more open you are to new ideas, the healthier you will be.
  • The more neurotic you are, the more problems you'll have with social status... if you're a guy. If you're a girl, it really doesn't matter.
  • Being happy motivates people who don't really care that much to do more for you. Being angry motivates people who care a lot to do more for you.
  • The more neurotic you are, and the more complicated and difficult your job is (like a doctor or a lawyer), the better you'll do.
  • The more extraverted you are, the happier you will be.
  • The more you focus on doing the right and good thing by others, the longer you will live.
  • The more you look on the bright side of things, the less money matters to you.
  • If you have a really bad mood, you will miss a lot of work. If you have a really good mood... you will miss a lot of work.
  • Extraverted geeks and nerds are the happiest, healthiest people alive.
  • If you choose to listen to Kenny Chesney, you will later resent wasting your time when you could have been listening to the Fratellis.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Life Is Good

  • Sandy Springs (where I live) and Atlanta (where I work) are beautiful in the month of September. Every day is a good 10 degrees cooler than it is back in Louisiana, and clouds are a rarity rather than an omnipresent expectation. For the first month and a half here, at least, it seems like a beautiful place to live.
  • The Saints defeated the Vikings in regulation, owning 3 quarters of play and limiting Brett Favre to mediocre statistics. And then the Colts lost....
  • At last, my Pandora station is customized sufficiently so that it no longer plays Nickelback.
  • I have finally found the opportunity to award my first nickname to a deserving party at Georgia Tech. There is a young lady in one of my classes who, although I've never met in person, is undoubtedly deserving of her new nickname. This is because she has demonstrated in class a remarkable capacity for asking questions related to a complete and utter misinterpretation of simple concepts. For instance, after a teacher says, "Two plus two equals four," she might be expected to reply, "Why do you say that two plus two equals fish?" Thus, her nickname is Fish. I'd be more patient with Fish, I promise, if she wasn't always ignoring the professor and talking to one of her friends.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Saints vs. Vikings preview:

Courtesy of the Onion, let's take a break from deep doctoral thoughts and explorations of organizational psychology... and look at the true matchups heading into Thursday's NFL kickoff game between the Saints and the Vikings:

Also, I'm thinking of ending the Kenny Chesney references.  Too many country music fans are linking here, apparently... and a couple of them are complaining. What do you think?

More soon.  I'm working on a post sharing some amazing information about psychology....