So it turns out I make a terrible unemployed bum. For one thing I insist on showering, and for another I get very excited when offered the chance to work. How pathetic is that?! I don't know why I'm not revelling in the month-long holiday but I am not. Oh wait, maybe that's because it's UNPAID. So actually, although I make a bad unemployed bum I would make a great Lady Who Lunches. If I had an income or an inheritance or a very rich husband, I would have a great time swanning about getting my toenails pedicured and organizing charity extravaganzas for good causes. I think the inheritance thing is sort of out of the question, but rich husband applications can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yup, working in the Psych Department again has been fun. It's temping, so I don't have time to get sick of it and grouchy, and yet it's freelance so I'm not giving a temp agency a huge cut of my earnings. Also, I'm helping the girl who's running the grad department, meaning I'm helping organize the grad school applications of everyone who's applied for a Masters or PhD in the department this year. Very interesting.
On the downside, I got my first papercut five minutes in, and the heat is out in the department (and has been for a week). Isaac, my old friend from the shop, assures me it will never get below 13 degrees celsius. Some consolation! You try typing all day in a room that's 13 degrees. Just call me Bob Cratchit.
In exciting news... Chris Sturdy stopped by the office yesterday and gave me some copies of Spatial Encoding in Mountain Chickadees: Features Overshadow Geometry, our paper that was published in Biology Letters! I think I sort of knew it was submitted for publication, but there was never a guarantee that a). it would ever see the light of publication and b). that it would have my name on it. But they published it last summer and I'm third author and I'm very pleased. This was what was known to the lab as the Asylum Study, since it involved testing the spatial memory of chickadees in a big white box. Those poor birds absolutely detested being left in the box at first (though they got to quite like it when they figured out they got fed nice plump mealworms every time) and freaked out a lot, hence the Asylum nickname. Can't say I really blame the birds, actually. Those shiny, shiny endless white plastic walls would freak me out a bit too.
I actually really enjoyed that study. For one thing, it was the first where I got to help design the apparatus, and then build it all by myself. (okay, okay, with major assistance from Isaac.) Definitely one of my favorite parts of being a research assistant. And then, once everything was built, this was more fun than most studies to run. I liked catching the chickadees from their home cages. They're fascinating little birds, despite being evil-natured and attempting to bite everyone in the vicinity.
Went to the library today. The lady at the desk was amazingly nice. She halved my old library fines (from 2002, oops) and waived the yearly charge when I told her I was broke and unemployed. Then she spent twenty minutes showing me the library's online job-hunt resources, which was well beyond the call of duty. Great job, Edmonton Public Library!