Archive for February 5th, 2011

iSerious

February 5th, 2011

Senior year is not disappointing. It is also not easy. Independent Study is as real as it will ever be at the moment. I am working every day to ensure I will have 40 participants in my study. It turns out that working with human participants is not that easy. People have busy lives and people are forgetful. That means that people are reluctant to sign up for studies and even if they do it is no guarantee that they will show up. It is a frustrating process, but it is also the real deal. This is what research is like. I have talked to several professors about my struggles and they have all shared similar stories. One professor told a story about a colleague who had responded to her struggles by stating: “that is why I work with mice, I can keep them in cages.” Yes, sometimes I wish I could keep some of my fellow students in cages so that they would participate. Alright, if you are still reading this I’ll move on from sharing my frustrations. Every human being can only take so much reading about or listening to frustrations.

Suzanna van de Lagemaat, sister of Bastiaan van de Lagemaat (me), is on campus right now. She arrived last night and I picked her up at the airport after a long day of running my study (alright, I slipped in a little more venting of frustrations). Suzanna was exhausted but happy to land in snowy Ohio. When she came to campus, she went out to meet a few friends (she studied here last year as an exchange student), but she came back to my apartment within two hours, too tired to do anything other than falling asleep.

Wednesday, we had the first day of canceled classes of my 3.5-year college career. Tuesday night an ice storm escalated and turned the entire campus plus surroundings into an ice rink. People decided to put on skates to go for a ride on the tennis courts. All trees looked like they were ice sculptures. When I tried to clear ice off of my car, it looked like I was breaking the windows of the vehicle. But, of course, it was just the layer of ice that looked like cracking glass. It was the first snow (ice) day of my college career and of my life, but it was also the first ice storm that I experienced in my life. Although it was an intriguing meteorological event, any day would have been better for me. People were delighted to have a day off, but I had participants scheduled for my study. Most of them didn’t show up because they assumed closed college meant canceled study (a little more frustration here).

Earlier on Tuesday, before liquid ice started falling from the sky, I attended one of the Senior Etiquette Dinners. The seniors got together for a nice meal at The Wooster Inn to learn about proper table manners. Each table had up to three table hosts. The students were supposed to follow the behavior of the host while the host explained what is proper and what is not.

Today was a long Saturday. This morning I woke up at 8:00 a.m. for student staff selection for Residence Life. We have about 120 candidates that want to be part of next year’s ResLife team. In the morning, we had group interviews. The candidates in the activity that I was observing had to send out one representative who had to look at a drawing. Next, the other members of the group had to listen to their representative’s explanation in order to recreate the original drawing. My job was to observe the group process. In the afternoon, we had individual interviews. I interviewed 6 people, each for 45 minutes. You can probably imagine that it was a long day.

Bastiaan