Year End Resurfacing

It is a little hard to get back into blogging again after this month long lapse. This is probably my longest break this year.

Outside blogging, I wasn’t exactly enjoying myself this couple of months. I haven’t been doing anything that isn’t graded by the university. Not a single book, not a single article for my part time, not more than few (guilty) hours of games per month. Yet in all honesty, I felt that I have grown the most as a worker this few months (or this semester). It is just that the work life balance part didn’t go very well.

I remember a certain conversation involving someone asking if there is a word for enjoying in our (Chinese) culture. Honest, it felt awkwardly distant. 

So just some quick notes: the semester is over. I finished my terrible finals, one argumentative essay, three other critical, reflective, and analytical essays, a full lab report for a psychometric measurement, two presentations, and a business-ish proposal that involves a usability testing report. And a conference and some tutorial sessions on top of that.

Looking back, I was so sure that I won’t be able to make it through. But here I am now with most of the above going well and hopefully strong. Some of the more difficult decisions I made (in the sense that they made my university life more difficult, could have had easier time otherwise) was with regards to certain subjects. I realized I may have not needed to do Human Factors (aka Engineering Psychology) or Psychological Testing (Psychometrics) after few weeks into the class, but oh well. There are many instances where I had completely given up on giving anything close to my best to a couple of heavy assignments.

One of the reasons I kinda halted blogging here is because my Human Factors class required me to do graded blogs about design in everyday things, which was a little stressful because we are encouraged to cite references as justifications for our critique throughout the whole semester.  The same subject also required us to write a proposal for a design (based of a usability testing research conducted earlier) and pitch to a client, which was a great experience but was taking way too much time. Last but not least, it had a open book finals that hosted some of the toughest questions I have done. This is a strong reminder of how concepts in psychology can be difficult to apply to real life while being faithful to the theoretical frameworks. My initial reasons for taking the subject is that it is quite an unique field which involves two of my passions: technology and psychology,  and allows me to learn a variety of soft skills that may get me careers in new exciting industries. At the end of the day, I am just glad that I have ‘been there, done that’. It wasn’t something I was meant to get pretty grades with, and right now I think it eliminates one more grad school option that may have kept me undecided.

Psychological Testing started out bad, and I think it will be unfair for me to offer my own narrative without considering others’, but the combination of a less than desirable team chemistry (and my own oversights in leading) and a bad demotivating start (by a lecturer which I personally felt wasn’t competent at lecture delivery) made the class a little unfulfilling while being difficult. I would like to think the rate we completed the scale development report (the most difficult I have done) was world record worthy (24 hours). Finals was easy though. Overall, I took the class to learn skills in developing measurements for psychology, so it is one of those that I don’t need a good grade for (there is also a lengthy story with regards to it being a 2nd year subject), but I secretly hoped to create something publishable and useful for society, but too many cooks spoiled the broth: what’s left for me to take away was a hard lesson on team management. Well, at least I can describe how exploratory factor analysis works to impress people now. Despite my attempts to escape the reaches of statistics classes, I have been taking more of them then the average psychology student.

–prematurely ends ramblings about university–

But really what do I have beyond university? A couple of games, a whole long list of books to finish. Really university despite all its flaws is where a huge chunk of my life experiences are. Every time I try to think about escaping university life my hands are surprisingly empty. Even now aside from a couple of outings and games, along with a upcoming Korea vacation, I am already looking forward to the next semester: friends, classes, thesis and all. I will just end this writing in describing university as this sea where all life in me began, and once in a while like now, I get to surface and breath before diving harder and deeper.

A review on Pokemon Uranium will be ready soon, maybe with some commentary on the latest Dota 2 patch.

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