Thursday Nerding Quickie
Denis just texted an offer to come pick me up at school — either half an hour from now or four hours from now.
What did I say?
Basically, “Sweet! I’ll hang around here until 7 PM and cruise for data.”
And I did, in fact, use the phrase “cruise for data.”
Here’s the thing: I am Doing Science (kind of) and it’s exciting (very)! My sample is pathetically small, and yet I am seeing interesting trends — trends that are related to the predictions I made, but perhaps a wee bit more complicated. I want MOAR DATA so I can get a better sense of whether these trends might actually be real or whether my study is suffering from that bane of all researchers, Sampling Error.
I will admit that data gathering has been hard, y’all. I mean, not the process itself: it is really easy to set up a few hoops and make people jump through them (well, not literally hoops, but you take my point). The hard part has been buttonholing random people and convincing them that they really do want to participate, For Science!
It would probably help if I wore normal nerdy clothes or something instead of showing up in bike kit. I think there might be something about a dude in skintight lycra with a stack of papers and some hand-eye coordination tasks that sort of intimidates people.
And then there is the part where I am fantastic at standing up in front of a huge group of perfect strangers and doing anything, but ask me to talk to an individual person and I come all undone and forget how to function. I have begun to suspect that this is a function of being a control freak. It’s easy to control the direction of the conversation when you’re the only one talking, or when you have a badge that says, “Ohai! I r en ottority figure.”
Individual humans in undefined contexts, on the other hand, are slippery (see what I did there? Okay, so it’s a slow puns day here at the central office.). And I think I make them even more nervous than they make me. So basically finding participants to fill out the staff/faculty side of the sample is a huge pain in the neck (students were easy; you can bag whole groups of students by asking their professors if you can drop in on intro classes; it’s like parametrically measuring fish in a barrel). So maybe I will really actually cruise for more data and maybe I will just hunker in my bunker and analyze the data I’ve got.
So, yeah. This is all really the long way ’round to say, “Life has reminded me once again that I am a nerd, and I’m okay with that.”
Off to (maybe) cruise for data.
Keep the bottom side down, whichever side it is.