February 26, 2008: Finishing My First Grad Term Paper

I still haven’t caught up no my sleep and feel pretty run down this morning. I am very relived that my term paper is to be done today. One way or another I can’t keep working on it after today.

My early morning was pretty slow. The weather was pretty nice today and my walk into the office was perfect. Just warm enough to only need a fleece but not so warm that you got too warm.

Good news for young writers out there – it appears that it has now become acceptable to begin sentences with conjunctions! Yay! Oh joy unbounded. Now if we were only allowed to end our sentences with prepositions we would really be making some progress. But if we did that, what would the world come to? 😉

I found a very good article from the University of Pennsylvania’s Language Log “If They Do It Too Much, They Should Be Told Not To Do It At All” in which is discussed the use of but, however and nevertheless as primary position words. The synopsis is that however should, in all but the rarest of cases, be used within a sentence while nevertheless being nearly synonymous is the more appropriate first position word (reference to Strunk itself.) And, more recently in Garner’s “The Winning Brief“, that but is more appropriate than however as a first position word. This gives us two very strong recommendations against the traditionally held schoolteacher belief in the incorrectness of the leading conjunction. The paper from UPenn makes a good analysis as to where this traditional most likely began as well. It is a good read.

Another high school friend, Alayna Dickerson, tracked me down today. Being as prevalent on the web as I am is very handy in being findable for people who have not spoken to me in a very long time.

Yet another person in my building, Eleven80, that I have never met before came up to me in the lobby to tell me that they recognized me from my web-based video tour of the building. Scott’s November, 2006 Video Tour of Eleven80 in Newark, NJ. I am planning to do another video sometime soon when the weather is a little nicer and put it up on Vimeo. Something that shows more of the interior space and some changes that we have done to our apartment and some views, maybe, from some higher floors and in some different directions.

I got stuck in the office rather late today. I was contacted by people who needed my assistance near the end of the day and held for a really low time waiting for work details that never came. Eventually I gave up and decided to just go home. I called Dominica to attempt to make some dinner plans but was unable to reach her from the office. The original plan was for there to be a Dungeons & Dragons session tonight but our dungeon master is under the weather and about to leave for Germany so we are pretty sure that the session will be cancelled tonight. That is probably best as Dominica and I have more than enough work backlogged to keep us busy. I have been totally overwhelmed by this term paper over the last several days.

I spent a bit of time today attempting to polish my term paper. Lots of literary refactoring. Not something at which I am usually very good. I ended up doing some additions and modifications today but I think that it was all for the better. The paper ended up being a little longer than it was supposed to be, I think, but I feel that I covered a lot of good ground and that it turned out pretty well. My plan is to post it on SGL somewhere between midnight and tomorrow morning. All depends how late I am up.

I came home and talked Dominica into going over the The Spot for some dinner.  We haven’t been over there since their soft opening and this was our chance to try them out for dinner.  This was my informal birthday dinner since we didn’t get a chance to do one last night.  We tried the vegetarian sliders which were really good.  It is great having another eating option right next door.  This is going to make a real difference for us.  Our food selection is very small and we are getting really run down eating the same food over and over and constantly trying to come up with something that we want to eat night after night.  Eating really feels like a chore sometimes.

Ryan came over with some beer right after we walked in the door.  We were lucky that we didn’t have anything planned tonight.  It turned into a rather full evening.  Dungeons & Dragons was cancelled as everyone involved was too busy, worn out or under the weather.  So Ryan hung out until a quarter after eleven.

I kind of wanted to stay up and post my paper to SGL at midnight.  I can’t post before midnight because that is when the submission deadline is so I can’t make it public until after the class has closed.  But since I was already up so late it seemed like it would be worth staying up a little later to get it posted.  It took so much work I would really like to get some feedback on it.

We got into bed at eleven thirty and watched an episode of the third season of Family Ties before going to sleep.

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