Transitions, data, and writing, too: A rhyming guide to my year in review
By Jacqueline M. Kory Westlund
2018: A year defined by a PhD,
A study, analyses, and a writing spree.
A kid who’s growing; a family, moving.
Always learning, ever improving.
In January, I was glued to a laptop,
Programming robots and testing nonstop.
I recorded dialogue; recruited schools;
Prepped assessments; built software tools.
February is a wild, snowy blur
Of consent forms, paperwork, and red and blue fur.
Kids signed up!
The robot was ready!
All this made me happy, since progress was steady.
As March snow melted, the study began!
I drove to schools and followed my plan.
Eight sessions each, plus pre and post;
The robot was keeping the kids engrossed.
In April, one kid, who wasn’t too shy,
Told me he was “actually part robot, so I can fly!”
(Tega, our robot, it’s worth pointing out,
Just talks, and sits, and looks about.)
By May, I was glad if the robots didn’t break,
But why oh why did I choose this headache?
Long-term studies will be my demise
Why oh why do I do this, you guys?
Oh wait, it’s June, long-term studies are the best!
Look, I have data, totally worth being stressed!
Learning with robots over time — this is nice!
Awesome research, look: data! Worth the price.
In July, let’s mix it up and buy a home,
Way out west where there’s space to roam,
More lakes, more space, and bonus, it’s cheap!
Less traffic, more mountains; more yard upkeep.
In a haze of boxes and packing tape,
The month of August and ggplot graphs take shape.
Let’s leave the humidity and Boston’s heat:
Analyze data; start writing; retreat.
September is data, papers, and writing.
And writing, revising, and then some rewriting.
I find getting three great professors to be
In the same place at the same time isn’t all that easy.
I like watching the colored October leaves from my chair.
They dance and they spin, red and yellow in the air.
Oh wait, I’m still writing. I need a new graph…
Add to this chapter; fix that paragraph….
My baby is two! He’s as tall as a table!
He’s finally stopped trying to eat all our cables!
I’m still writing. Time to start my talk prep.
Defense Day is looming on the doorstep.
Now here’s a day that I’ll remember!
Dissertation defense on the 12th of December.
Crazy year it’s been, that and then some…
But hey: Dr. Jackie, here I come!
Originally published at www.media.mit.edu.
Read more year’s-end reflections from members of the Media Lab community.
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