500 Words At A Time: Research, Nemesis (Corrected)

Nemsis in MinneapolisLike all good movie series there has to be an end. And like all good movie series there has to be at least one death to signify the seriousness of the story, this is the end of the research posts and the death of my research. Hopefully, someone somewhere will pick up what we did, dust it off, and in the grand Hollywood tradition reboot. Until then…

The immediate aftermath of the presentation was a sigh of relief that it was over. There was a request by a member of the school library for a paper. Unfortunately, the person in charge never, to my knowledge, gave specifications or responded to emails in a timely fashion. The paper was written, at least a rough draft. Research paper writing is not a style I enjoy writing in, no allowances for snark, and the more I wrote the more I became convinced that there wasn’t enough for a paper. A preview of things to come for sure, but the research was at the beginning.

There was talk and consideration of moving onto graduate school. I am not a researcher and more importantly I am done with school. This semester is my last unless something really damn interesting shows up at my door. Such as an aging Jedi, two robots, and a mission to save the galaxy from the latest galaxy destroying event caused by the Klingons, Romulans, or some new alien species.

Most importantly, there was talk about the next phase. Remember, the goal, the ultimate goal, was to get my brain scanned and that had not happened yet. Thus, with our exciting initial data we needed to move onto phase two which would have been larger and grander in scope. Of interest to me, beyond one step closer to my ultimate goal, was the larger scope, the move away from my blogs, and other people writing and using voice-to-text to see if the effect was limited to me. Our plans were grand, but doable. There was the issue of where to find a lot of volunteers, but plans were in the making.

Meanwhile, I went with Paul to attend the conference in Minneapolis, home to great sushi and an elevated walk-wayslashshoppingslashrestaurant scene that closes on weekends. I got to see how a school supports student research, got some interest from people and schools in the results, and generally left feeling better about the research than when I went. On the plus side we did get to see MA•Chet•TE! And for the last time, it is only cold in Minneapolis when it is cold in Minneapolis. It was not cold then.

You may be wondering, why seeing how other schools support their student researchers was a thing for me, but allow me to…At the end of the year, the student research in all departments* was put on display in a hallway outside the amphitheater. There people could come for the event (yes, more pinwheel sandwiches) to see what the students had done. Faculty and administration would be there. Paul wanted his department head to see the research and we hoped the assistant Dean of the school would see it as well. The department head was interested in the research. The assistant Dean ran, or should I say, speed-walked through the whole hallway display until someone grabbed his arm causing him to come close to falling down. He was more interested in…whatever it was I have no clue. At the Minneapolis conference there were entire teams of students and professors, it was a sight to see. **

Now I have to be honest. I thought that original research with an interesting and exciting initial conclusion and far reaching effects would be something that Ferris would want to throw money at because it would be something that the school could hang their hat on, point to, and say, “Look we do original research here and with undergraduates too.” That was my mistake or misunderstanding, which is why when our application for another Summer Research Fellowship Grant was denied I went into an apoplectic rage.

There was talk of finding other sources of income, but given the labyrinthine nature of paperwork at Ferris, seeking outside funding seemed like more work than progress. That is my opinion. Mostly though, I was tired of fighting with the “school” again. Fight for classes, fight to write about sex, fight over the nature of education, and so on…the school, was beating me down. So I did what I always do when the game isn’t fun and people don’t want to play, I quit.

260440I packed up my toys, the research, and moved onto other things, such as getting out of here. Right or wrong decision is up to you. For me, it was the right decision. I am glad I did the research. I am glad that I stretched beyond what I was doing. I am glad that Paul took a chance on me. I am proud of the work that we did.

* For the record, there were three of us with non-science research. 😦

** I have a faulty memory, which is why I am glad people point out where I get things wrong. Corrected was the department head being interested and dean to assistant dean.


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