Friday June 3, 2005

The Wrong Side of Dawn

The Wife just sent me email saying "Look familiar?" with a link to this comic strip.  All too familiar, in fact—at a guess, I've been seeing the wrong side of dawn five days out of seven for the last month.  I usually tend towards insomnia, and the sky has been getting light earlier and earlier as summer has approached.  The inevitable quartersend burst of activity hasn't helped any.

Recent fun:

  • Last week:  Get my independent study (a cross-linguistic computational implementation of coordination syntax and semantics) whipped into shape, give an hour-and-a-half lecture on coordination to a grammar engineering class, then shepherd them through that week's lab assignment: using my implementation to add support for coordination to the natural language grammars they're developing.
  • This week, Tuesday:  Prepare the handout for a talk on my OT seminar paper, then whip up some preliminary results for a statistical NLP project I'm working on ("Detecting phonesthemes in the English lexicon") for a talk.  Finish around 4AM, then be unable to fall asleep for a couple more hours.  See the sun come up.
  • Wednesday:  Give an hour-long version of the phonestheme talk to an audience of linguists.  Sit in on the final session of the grammar engineering class to see the students grammars put through their paces.  Meet with my OT professor to get feedback on my handout—verdict: significant changes to the analysis; use sympathy.  Skip fencing, go home to redo the analysis and the handout.  After that, edit down the hour-long phonestheme talk to ten minutes.  Watch the pale blue sky out the bedroom window before falling asleep.
  • Thursday:  Give a super-compressed ten-minute version of the phonestheme talk to an audience of skeptical-looking engineers (for a grade).  In the two hour break between classes, incorporate another wave of suggestions to my OT handout, then finally give that talk.

Whew!  Three quarter-project talks in two days is too much.  Fortunately, all I have to do now is: finish the OT paper by Monday; turn in a revised abstract on the coordination work for a conference by Sunday; finish the phonestheme project by Thursday; walk through graduation ceremonies next Saturday; entertain my parents, sister, brother-in-law, and elderly first-cousin-once-removed all weekend; write some MS Word macros I promised to a professor before the end of June; finish the coordination implementation and write the paper for the conference in August; and revise my thesis for journal submission this summer.  Somewhere in there is the end of the quarter and the beginning of summer vacation, but it's easy to miss it if you don't squint real hard.

Back to work.

[Now playing: "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles]

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D'oh! I hadn't realized until I sent that link what the date/title of that strip was--it was 9/11 (and someday can we talk about the lingusitic difference between calling it nine-eleven and nine-one-one, because, seriously...) Anyway, there *was* another strip along the lines of seeing dawn way too often. I'll try to find the link.

Posted by: The Wife at Jun 3, 2005 11:49:55 PM

I saw the headline and assumed you were commenting on a recent Language Log post, but now I see that was later.

Posted by: KCinDC at Jun 11, 2005 4:44:58 PM