Monday, October 03, 2011

Projects And Deadlines

This semester there were projects assigned in all of my classes. Two of the projects are due near the end of the semester and one is already ongoing. All of them put strain on the workload, but they’re all underway.

Biology’s project is a research paper. The topic I picked (and I hope it’s approved) is related to tissue engineering and how feasible it is to grow peripheral nerve tissue. I submitted the proposal a week and a half ago and I have to get started on the research over the next week or so. The sources we’re being given are limited – I can’t go to journals. I have to stick with “mainstream” publications, which might make this a little more difficult than it needs to be. That said, I’m pretty confident that I can get it done. I’m not certain, however, that it will be in the manner I would like; the research may take me in a completely different direction. But we’ll see.

Organic Chemistry’s project is just that: a full-fledged project. It involves research and writing, and there is a creative component involved. I’ve decided on the subject of how to deal with the waste stream generated at the site of a clandestine drug lab. It will involve a lot of research – just dealing with the toxicological aspects of the chemicals will be almost a project in itself. And I’m only looking at organic compounds; I’m not even considering the inorganic stuff because it isn’t appropriate in the scope of this project. I am studying organic chemistry, after all… The part of this that I’m pinning creative usage on is in the form of an interview with at least one subject matter expert. I’m looking either someone from Law Enforcement or the Fire service, a chemist with expertise in dealing with mitigation of stuff like this, or a physician familiar with the long-term impact on the health of anyone exposed to these chemicals. I may have to narrow the scope of this some and deal with one or two chemical compounds. But – that is something I’m sure I’ll talk with the professor about.

The third – and ongoing – project is the statistical analysis being done with SPSS. I completed the first of four assignments late last night and will surely see the next one tomorrow. So far I’ve found that SPSS is not a bad application. Supposedly there is interoperability with Microsoft Office, and to a degree I was able to move output object data from SPSS to a Word document with relatively little difficulty. That made it easier for me to format the output and use less paper to print it on. If I had used raw output from SPSS it would likely have been a little less neat. I’m not unhappy about that; even with my relatively inexperienced eye I can parse the output with little trouble.

As I sit and write this I do have homework to complete. Chemistry problems need to get done and problems related to Probability Theory need to be worked on. I’ll catch up to this later in the week and maybe I’ll have some EMS-related stuff to write about. The Paramedic refresher I’m taking starts this Friday and runs for six consecutive weeks. One problem that it causes for me is that it takes a study day away; I’ll lose my Fridays during the course of the refresher. But I may be able to work study time into breaks, after I get off shift early Friday morning, and in the afternoon. We’ll see what happens.

Until next time, my friends.

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