Monday, August 23, 2010

Foxes, Hedgehogs, Squirrels, and A Carnival

1. Creatures.

Back at the beginning of August (holy crap, it's almost over already...) I posted about being mostly foxy with shades of hedgehog, and admitted in public to being a splitter, not a lumper. JaneB posted a comment that I find very interesting: in her field (which is, I believe, quite unrelated to mine, only a close enough relative that she was able to instruct me on the correct way to eat dirt, for which I continue to be grateful) foxes tend to be lumpers, not splitters.

I suppose that makes a certain amount of sense... when foxing from subject to subject, how CAN you be a splitter? How can you spend enough time with a subject to split it all out, rather than going "big picture" and looking at general trends? This caused me to rethink my self-imposed pigeon holes (oh! another critter...). I still say foxy with hedgehog tendencies AND still a splitter. But my splitting is at the dirt and artifacts (data) level, not at the subject-matter level.

The caretaker over at Notes From The Field ponders whether she is Fox or Hedgehog, and concludes that she is a Squirrel: "...What has become most clear to me as I look through my research notes, and find myself using things I wrote down years ago - not because they were pertinent to the project at the time, but because somehow they seemed relevant and worth keeping - is that I am neither a hedgehog or a fox. I am a squirrel. I seem to have a habit of finding useful sources and connected ideas, and putting them somewhere safe for me to go back to in the winter." I like it.

2. Carnival
Samia, over at 49 Percent, has posted the zomg grad school!!!1 carnival. It is chock full of posts about choosing and surviving grad schools. Including a guide to free food sources. I'm applying for PhD programs for Fall '11, so this came totally at a perfect time. I'm so ready to do PhD, that even lessons on how to line your pockets with ziplock bags when fresh veggie platters are on offer has not put me off.

I will post more grad school application stuff. This will likely become A Theme. Look! I gave it a tag :D

3. (Bonus) Grad School Application progress:
- tentative campus visits awaiting final scheduling. One meeting with prospective supervisor scheduled for upcoming conference.
- transcript requests completed, and wrangling of transcript request payment systems begun ("Yes, I know I need to pay online. No, the system won't work for me. Yes, my student ID number has 9 digits instead of 7. Yes, I've been out of school that long. Yes, I'll hold...)
- GRE Round 1 complete; Round 2 scheduled
- Funds secured to pay for this application process (thank you, Giant Online Auction Service)

To Do:
- Everything else.

4. (Added bonus whine and tentative victory dance):
Why chapters are HARD. But I think I have mine pegged.


JaneB said...

Glad the dirt-eating is of use!

Squirrel is definitely a good addition to the taxonomy - I tend to think of myself as a magpie, picking up as many glittery bits that catch my eye as I can, and making them all into a huge messy nest. Unfortunately that analogy is bit too close to reality at the moment, as I try to pack up in order to move offices after nearly 13 years nest-building in one (small) room. But it makes more sense to have another mammal... so, yeah, I'm now a squirrel-fox!

Ink said...

I look forward to your thoughts about the application process and, indeed, doctoral work itself.

Digger said...

JaneB: At least squirrels squirrel their things away, unlike chipmunks who shove it all in their face and run around with their cheeks all puffed out. Right. That makes total sense!

Ink: I'm really looking forward to it! Got my crackers 'n everything.