[Tuesday, October 23] What a conference!

I have been the whole weekend to the best conference I have ever attended! Ok, I need to adjust a little bit what I said. First, it’s only the second conference I have actively attended, strictly speaking. Second, it began last Friday, and ended today with a surprise workshop.

Let’s first recap this week. It has been as crazy as the week before. In fact, I have the impression that I haven’t had any rest in weeks, especially recently. I’m making a lot of literature reviews, I am clearer about what I am doing for my dissertation, I kind of finished analyzing my last ERP experiment, and two pilot tests for the next one have been done. Let’s not have any secret, a third one is on-going as I am writing now!

Last week, I have been absorbed by this pilot test. It has been really hard to analyze, because it is a qualitative one, meaning that the analysis can’t be made automatically. I have been super efficient at recruiting participants, and they had to give information to me about 32 sentences. I had 77 participants… yeah, 2464 sentences to analyze in less than one week, I almost died! But I was so happy to have made it for the seminar last week, especially because this time, I didn’t only present preliminary results. It’s been a lot of going back to my original data to annotate it with other conditions. It was also kind of funny in some way, I was always searching new ways to make my data speak.

Let’s focus on this point. When I first saw my data, I wanted to throw away a big part. It was not highly relevant to my research question, and I didn’t know what to do with it. Yet, I finally decided to keep them, and let them speak. I didn’t think this would work, but it gave a great impression during my presentation. Seems like it was relevant to my research question!

The big big big challenge for this week has surely been another one: A conference held in Taipei, whose topic is highly related to my field.

It has been a lot of stress for me, intellectually and emotionally. I made a presentation before at another conference, on May, but I didn’t really like it actually. People knew each others, and didn’t seem to be kind to allow new people to the discussion. Even the keynotes were not friendly to new people, with professors that knew each other for years making private remarks on stage…

So I was expecting a lot for this new conference. Besides, I was presenting the results of my previous ERP experiment for the first time, to people outside of my university. But people have been very nice and kind. They were to here to criticize everyone’s work. On the contrary, they gave me positive feedbacks, as well as constructive and meaningful advices. It gave me much more confidence about the research I have been making until now, as if external people validated what I was doing! At the same time, they really inspired me, and I know what I need to do as follow-up experiments, and what I need to be careful about. It was such a positive experience! By the way, Phillip Colins was here at my presentation, asked me questions, and have been satisfied by my answers, and told me I made a good presentation… I am so happy about it!

Other presentations were very interesting, it was a really good weekend. I could also meet other people from my field, and I think we may meet each other in the future. I am physically tired after all these presentations, from 9am to 6pm, and I got a cold because of the A/C turned on everywhere (in fact, everybody got a cold!). But now, my mind is telling to make more fruitful research and experiment, so that I can go to another conference!

I know I should rest for some days, but I’m afraid to be too late on what I have to do. As you may imagine, the summary of Dowty is not finished… Ok, it’s my priority for these days. I want to finish for tomorrow. I made a lot these weeks for the experimental part of my dissertation, and that’s very good. But now I need to focus on the literature review more. So, not too many goals for this week, just easy ones for the experimental part, and ambitious ones for the theoretical part. If I can achieve these goals, I will be kind of relieved and less stressed!

Goals of the week

1. Finish the reading and the summary of Dowty (1979) More than urgent!
2. Finish the analysis of the new pilot test, and make the PPT important
3. Begin another lecture, to be on time on my schedule important


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