Monday, March 28, 2005

head job

The other night I went through all my old psych notes and tossed a lot of them out. I don't know why I've been keeping them really; it just that when you've spent many thousands of dollars on a university education, and many thousands of hours slaving over a hot photocopier in the university library gathering journal articles (long live internet-based course delivery!), you feel sort of guilty just throwing it all out. But I just felt like culling and there's so much paper in my house.
My old statistics notes I threw out with particular glee. I never could understand why psych students were tormented with learning sophisticated statistics formulae; I reckoned so long as we understood the concepts, surely we could pay an independent, qualified statistician to crunch our numbers for us (hmm, actually I think I did that for several subjects). In my recalcitrant opinion, wasn't it better for the psych research student to not be able to do stats, so that they couldn't possibly attempt to mould the numbers to fit their hypotheses? Another thing I never understood was why we had to learn complex UNIX statistics software and were forbidden from using the easy-peasy point-and-click Windows-based WYSIWYG stats programs. Geez, so long as we knew what we were trying to do, why did it matter which computer program we used to crunch the data? Anyway, even though I only answered three out of four questions in the final exam, I somehow squeaked through--despite the fact that even those three answers I did manage to give were so convoluted and muddled that they were almost certainly saved by my lecturers to be ridiculed in class in future.
So anyway, I threw out about ninety percent of my old notes and photocopies, though I did keep the actual stats exam papers just to impress myself that I once understood them enough to pass, and I kept a bunch of other notes that might come in handy sometime.
In particular, I kept anything relating to child development (oh, if only I had listened in lectures instead of coming in late to make an entrance and sitting in the first row and preening and hoping to be noticed by the cute lecturer). And I kept anything relating to the psychology of love, because it still confuses the hell out of me.
So now I'm sifting through a cocktail of research from the plaintively-titled The end of 103 affairs to the anxiety-inducing Impact of parental discipline methods on the child's internalisation of values.
So hopefully, maybe tomorrow everything will make a little more sense. It's worth a try, surely.