I submitted my thesis today

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ACCO-Press bound thesis

ACCO-Press bound thesis

When I woke up this morning, I was three steps away from submitting my thesis:

  1. Get French translation of my abstract
  2. Print thesis
  3. Get my supervisor’s signature

Well, it turns out my translator’s computer crashed, and so I didn’t get the French version of my abstract until exactly 12h today.

I printed my thesis—all 87 pages—bound it in ACCO-press binders, applied the necessary stickers, packed everything up and then wondered why I hadn’t heard back from my supervisor. He’s generally very fast at responding to emails, and last night he offered by email to sign my thesis submission form this afternoon, so it was surprising that he hadn’t got back to me.

I called his office. I called his home. I sent another email. I decided to do a stakeout at the Biomedical Ethics Unit and see if I run into him. When I was putting on my shoes, I considered for a moment whether I should put on my running shoes or my regular shoes. I had this nagging feeling like somehow I would end up sprinting to the James Administration Building at the last second, and that I would be happy to be wearing running shoes. Then I dismissed that thought. All I had to do, after all, is get my supervisor’s signature and then walk across the street and submit it. Putting running shoes on would be silly.

I put my regular shoes on and went to the Bioethics Unit to look for my supervisor. I ran into the administrative assistant who informed me that he was having a terrible day. A few seconds later I got a phone call from him.

Apparently my supervisor had a minor car accident and spent the morning in the emergency room. He invited me to his house to have the forms signed. This would not normally have been a problem, but Villa-Maria station (where he lives) is closed until September 6, and so I went to Vendôme station and hired a cab to get me to his place.

I saw the back of his car when I arrived. There were indentations that I’m sure were never intended by the manufacturer to be there. My supervisor and his family are all right, I think, but understandably this has been a bad day for them.

The forms all signed, I sprinted to the nearest Bixi station and decided that it would be fastest to just ride the Bixi all the way to campus. This may or may not have been the case, but I made it back to campus in 25 minutes, which is probably better than what it would have taken to get to a métro, wait, transfer at Lionel-Groulx and then walk from station McGill to the James Administration Building.

On arrival, I was hot, sweaty and breathing heavily, but I still had the presence of mind to turn on the Voice Memo app on my phone, so that I could secretly record it when the person in the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office said, “Yes, everything appears to be in order.” (Thank goodness for iPhone headphones that have a built-in mic for clandestine voice recording.)

I guess I’m paranoid because I’ve recently had two separate experiences where I handed in everything on a document checklist only to receive a mystifying message later on, indicating that I failed to submit all the required documents. I don’t plan to use this recording for anything but soothing my own nerves, for the record. It just feels good to hear someone say that I submitted everything.

So after all that, I have now made initial submission of my thesis. Hooray!

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1898,
    title = {I submitted my thesis today},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-06-10,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/06/10/i-submitted-my-thesis-today/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "I submitted my thesis today" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 10 Jun 2011. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/06/10/i-submitted-my-thesis-today/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Jun 10). I submitted my thesis today [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/06/10/i-submitted-my-thesis-today/


So, how did the MCAT go?

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It’s been such a build-up, I can hardly believe it’s over, and I’m sure that you want to hear all about it. Well, to quote the AAMC, “I agree that I will not discuss or disclose MCAT exam content orally, in writing on the Internet or through any other medium.”

:P

To be honest, I’m not sure how I did. I don’t think I did as well on the Physical Sciences section as I did on the practice exams, but then, I did really well on those.

I felt like I did a solid job on the Verbal Reasoning and Biological Sciences though. The writing sample was a walk in the park, despite the fact that I had to type it all in QWERTY. Hooray for being a philosophy major!

I’m hoping that something statistically unlikely happens, and all my guesses are correct. A 45T would be an acceptable mark, I think. :) I’m not getting my hopes up. If I did well, then I will apply this year. If I didn’t then I’ll write the exam again and apply next year.

You’d think that I’d be able to relax now that the Big Day is over, but actually, I’ve got about a million things that I need to do, that I’ve been putting off because I had to prioritise studying. I’ve got to read a few chapters of Aristotle by tomorrow for the class I’m TA-ing, I’ve got some work that a client of mine has asked me to do on his site, I’ve got to do some reading/thinking/writing so that I have a good start on an outline of my thesis. There are errands that need to be run soon (laundry, groceries) and about 8 emails sitting in my inbox that need to be answered sometime.

On the upside, I don’t have any coursework!

Next step in my attempt to get into medical school: finish applications. I’ll start on that in a few days.

Update: I have been practicing typing with QWERTY all week, and now I can’t seem to type on either Dvorak or QWERTY. Thank you very much, MCAT!

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-909,
    title = {So, how did the MCAT go?},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-09-2,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/09/02/so-how-did-the-mcat-go/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "So, how did the MCAT go?" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 02 Sep 2010. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/09/02/so-how-did-the-mcat-go/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Sep 02). So, how did the MCAT go? [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/09/02/so-how-did-the-mcat-go/


Done!

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Rate of write for my last paper

Rate of write for my last paper

This last essay was particularly painful to write. It’s not that I found the material less interesting, or that there was anything about the essay itself that was bad—I’ve just had a huge headache for the past few days, and all I wanted to do today was sleep. I don’t think the quality of my writing suffered as a result, but it was just harder to get through it.

I’ve been drinking water and taking acetaminophen, but I think it’s just the stress catching up with me. I’m tired and I’ve had a hard time sleeping lately.

I was originally planning on writing about hyperintensionality, but I couldn’t find the right sort of sources for the essay I wanted to write, so I decided to write about Kit Fine, the guy that I did my in-class presentation about. He argued for modal pluralism, and I was reasonably convinced by him, and I was going to defend him from Chalmers and his zombie arguments. While writing this essay, though, my opinions changed. I started as a modal pluralist, and ended up a modal monist. Good work, David J. Chalmers.

I would like to note at this point that zombies in philosophy aren’t the same as zombies in the movies. For a philosopher of mind, a zombie is a person who is a complete physical duplicate of a normal human being, but who lacks internal phenomenal experience of her own consciousness. Ooooo … spooky. I sometimes wonder if the term was invented by a lazy philosophy prof who wanted to go to a Hallowe’en party but who didn’t want to bother dressing up:

“No seriously guys, I’m a zombie. I’m a complete microphysical duplicate of the non-zombie me, but I just don’t have any phenomenal experience. There is no ‘what it is like’ for me to be me.”

And, like other philosophers, he would be totally socially unaware of himself, and not notice his friends rolling his eyes at him.

One of the concepts that Kit Fine makes up for use in his paper is that of “schmass,” which is like mass, except that it works on an inverse cube law, rather than an inverse square law. I just like the word “schmass.”

Sometimes I think that the best part of my papers are the titles. I called my paper, “Schmassive problems with zombies in modality and metaethics.”

If you will direct your attention to the graph, you can see that there were a couple plateaus in my productivity, right around lunch-time and dinner-time, which is to be expected, but I generally worked well up until the end. Speaking of the end, the end of this paper officially marks the end of the course-work for my MA. If I don’t want to, I don’t ever have to attend a class again.

Actually, I suppose that’s been true since I graduated high school. I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment. I didn’t have to go to university, and I didn’t have to go to grad school after that. And since attendance isn’t really taken at the university level, even though I did decide to go to university, I could have skipped class. (Actually, that’s not true. Many of my profs take attendance in my seminars. I should have skipped class back in my undergrad days when I had the chance.)

Tomorrow I start work, and I’ll let you know how that goes. I called in this afternoon to confirm that I’m coming in and to find out what time I start. I start at 9h. I’ve never had a real 9-5 before.

I’m going to hit the sack early and hope to feel all better by tomorrow. If not, I still have most of a big bottle of easy-to-swallow analgesics, so I should be all right.

Oh, does anyone have a suggestion for a work of fiction for me to read? I finished the Deptford Trilogy recently, and I’m looking for something to fill my “things that I read on the Métro” void.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-745,
    title = {Done!},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-04-28,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/28/done/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Done!" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 28 Apr 2010. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/28/done/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Apr 28). Done! [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/28/done/


Almost done

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I’m almost done writing my last essay. It’s on zombies. I’m not even kidding. Zombies are surprisingly important in philosophy of mind and metaethics, and a lot of ink has been spilled by philosophers over a thought experiment involving them.

This is the last assignment for my coursework for my MA. After this, the only thing that’s left is my thesis. Depending on what I decide to do after I graduate, I may never sit in a classroom again.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-742,
    title = {Almost done},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-04-28,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/28/almost-done/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Almost done" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 28 Apr 2010. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/28/almost-done/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Apr 28). Almost done [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/28/almost-done/


There’s something strangely satisfying about this

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It feels pretty good.

It feels pretty good.

Part-way through this semester, my professor handed me a large stack of official-looking papers relating to an ethics consultation with a CLSC here in Montréal. He indicated that the papers should be shredded when I was done with them, since their contents were sensitive.

It felt good to put them through the shredder. I think it might be the finality of the act. There is a satisfying noise that the machine makes as it takes all the meaning out of the paper that you feed into it.

It’s magical really: Pages and pages of meaningful information go in one side, and then strips meaningless paper come out the other end.

By the way, I only have one paper left, and I have a pretty good idea of what I’m writing too.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-738,
    title = {There’s something strangely satisfying about this},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-04-26,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/26/theres-something-strangely-satisfying-about-this/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "There’s something strangely satisfying about this" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 26 Apr 2010. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/26/theres-something-strangely-satisfying-about-this/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Apr 26). There’s something strangely satisfying about this [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/26/theres-something-strangely-satisfying-about-this/


Big presentation last Wednesday

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On last Wednesday, I had my Bioethics Practicum presentation. I was stressing about this particular assignment for a while, but largely thanks to the hard work of my partner, it turned out very well.

In fact, after the our time in front of the class, the prof indicated that he had been to presentations done by professional bioethicists, who were hired for sums of thirty to forty thousand dollars, who did not produce so thorough an examination of the issue at hand as my classmates and I did in our assignments.

I felt flattered of course, and asked him if we could have thirty or forty thousand dollars.

He thought I was joking.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-717,
    title = {Big presentation last Wednesday},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-04-11,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/11/big-presentation-last-wednesday/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Big presentation last Wednesday" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 11 Apr 2010. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/11/big-presentation-last-wednesday/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Apr 11). Big presentation last Wednesday [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/11/big-presentation-last-wednesday/


Practicum journal

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I’m really quite proud of myself for the way that I’ve been working all semester at my Practicum journal. I don’t think I’ve ever been so consistent at working away at a small task on a weekly basis.

I remember every once in a while, through grade school, there would be an assignment for a class where I have to make journal entries or something like that, every week over the course of the year, and invariably, I would fail to even think about the journal assignment until the last week of the class, when I would put together a bunch of entries, look up dates for when the entries should have been made, and do a generally bad job of it.

This time, and probably for the first time ever for this type of assignment, I actually did do the work incrementally. The assignment was to write 3 things that we learned from each class in a journal to be handed in on the last class. I’m just figuring out what to write for my last journal entry now, then I’ll print it, and that’s all I have to do. No furious scrambling through my old notes. No forging of dates with my calendar. Just type-type-type, command-P, enter.

If only I had developed this skill of working steadily throughout the year in grade 7. It would have made my French cahier a much less stressful piece of work.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-705,
    title = {Practicum journal},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-04-3,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/03/practicum-journal/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Practicum journal" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 03 Apr 2010. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/03/practicum-journal/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Apr 03). Practicum journal [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/04/03/practicum-journal/


All done my work for this semester now

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As of 17h15 today, December 26th, 2009, I have officially finished all my work for this semester. My last essay is due tomorrow, and I just finished it now and emailed it to my professors.

When the classes ended for the semester, I had no idea what I was going to write about. I was pretty much done by the 24th, and I didn’t work on it at all yesterday. Then today, after going out for a bit with my mother and younger sister, I came back home and put the finishing touches on my essay.

It’s an essay regarding a particular philosopher/cognitive scientist and his take on, among other things, a man named Ian Waterman with a very interesting neuropathy which left him without a sense of touch or proprioception below the neck. I’m happier with how it turned out than I thought I would be.

Actually, I’m reasonably proud of the work I’ve done this semester, all in all. :)

I’m going to spend the next few days relaxing and collecting my own thoughts about the last few months and getting ready for another action-packed semester. Actually, I really hope it isn’t as action-packed as the last one. I need a break.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-584,
    title = {All done my work for this semester now},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-12-26,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/26/all-done-my-work-for-this-semester-now/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "All done my work for this semester now" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 26 Dec 2009. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/26/all-done-my-work-for-this-semester-now/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Dec 26). All done my work for this semester now [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/26/all-done-my-work-for-this-semester-now/


Only one essay left now!

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There were some distractions

There were some distractions

I just finished another essay. This is the paper for my Bioethics Theory course. Check out the graph of my progress! Along the x-axis is minutes after 10h this morning. Along the y-axis is word count.

My essay is done, but I could probably go through it and put a bit more work into it tomorrow. My brain is fried now, though.

You can see there were some distractions. Part-way through the day, I got caught chatting when I should have been working. You know who you are!

After this, I have two sets of papers to mark, and only one essay left, but that one’s going to be painful because it’s for the Merleau-Ponty class.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-507,
    title = {Only one essay left now!},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-12-10,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/10/only-one-essay-left-now/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Only one essay left now!" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 10 Dec 2009. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/10/only-one-essay-left-now/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Dec 10). Only one essay left now! [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/10/only-one-essay-left-now/


Snowy day

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Working on my essay on a snowy day in December

Working on my essay on a snowy day in December

It’s snowy today. Snow is one of the few pleasures reserved for non-drivers.

There’s something reassuring about looking out the window, and seeing mostly white from the falling snow.

I don’t have to go anywhere today, if i don’t want to. My Bioethics Theory essay isn’t due until tomorrow, and I have a very good start on it. (And yes, I will post the graph of my progress when I am finished.)

Today I can stay inside, wearing my big blue hooded house-coat, do my schoolwork and stay warm next to my fake fireplace. And yes, my apartment has a fake fireplace in it.

Update: it is nearly 17h, and it is dark outside and still snowing. I can see about a half-dozen people from my front window, and they are all shovelling snow off their driveways or cars. I am still inside. I still haven’t put real clothes on yet today, and I am watching them and laughing at their expense.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-500,
    title = {Snowy day},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-12-9,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/09/snowy-day/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Snowy day" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 09 Dec 2009. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/09/snowy-day/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Dec 09). Snowy day [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/09/snowy-day/


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