One Truth For All
I've been singleminded lately, and it's all about the laboratories and research and the nature of creative discovery. I've either been reading, or searching for things to read, or sitting around wondering what keywords would help me find more reading. One thing is really nice, and that is the computerized databases of all this stuff that make finding things and then requesting copies so much easier. It means that instead of having ten books on my desk at this point, I have closer to fifty. Of course, it also means I have to read those fifty, take notes on them, make bibliographies, and give them back in a much more compressed timeline.
Here's what I look at when I look up from my pile of books. Spooky, isn't it?
All in all, it is going well. I'm starting to see some things more clearly, to think about how to make space that doesn't just support laboratories and work rooms, but supports interaction in all sizes of groups, and then some solitary thinking time. I've now looked at floor plans for almost every major research center in the country, and several abroad, and you would be shocked how many places don't give researchers private office space.
This weekend I took some time off reading to get some sleep and buy a bookcase so I can use my desk again. For whatever reason, buying a cheap knockdown bookcase in San Luis Obispo seems to be impossible. I could spend a lot of money on an ornate piece of furniture, or I could get a cheap set of shelves definitely not designed for books. I opted for the latter, so we'll see how that turns out. They only have to last another two months, while I finish writing what we call The Book. (Our thesis has three stages: The Book -- a written document about the theoretical underpinnings of our work, detailed design of the actual building, and presentation.)
Apart from that, I'm doing absolutely nothing. I'm taking a couple other classes, but the workloads there are really low. In my statistics class we spent a whole hour learning how to make a Venn diagram, so you can tell that class is not really stretching my abilities. This leaves me more time to read. And to stagger back and forth between the library and my studio at all hours of the night. At a store the other day, I saw some rolling carts with boxes built onto them and was momentarily excited about getting a little cart to help with my book hauling, but they could only hold 70lbs and heaven knows books weigh more than that. The carts that can handle more cost a bit much for only ten weeks of use.
So that's what I've been up to, for everybody who wonders what the heck happened and why I'm not answering e-mail or the phone. It's not that i don't love you, it's just that I can't stop thinking about laboratories, and last week when I was reading about neutral transplants you really didn't want to talk to me anyway.
So the new quarter has started, and now I am in what is called my fifth year and is essentially an intensive thesis studio over three quarters. For the last week I've been prowling the library, digging books out and reading an amazing number of things. Suddenly my normal habit of spending free time reading random books from the stacks comes in handy.
Here's where I'm going to spend the next eight months:
That pile of books on the desk will get a lot larger (actually, it already has; I went to the library again after taking this photo) and then will slowly go back to the library. I think that, like my classmates, I'll be bringing my entire computer setup into the studio. I could use my scanner there, definitely, and the second monitor would come in handy. And after all, I'm going to be essentially living in the studio until I'm done.
As soon as I have some coherence, I'll write more about my research. But suffice it to say that I've been reading a lot about neurological implantation experimentation.