Looking Right Instead of Left

Friday, April 20, 2012

Through a series of unfortunate events (mainly two participants not showing up for testing), I am almost halfway through data collection. 72 hours of EEG testing complete. That’s 3 days of my life. Now just 3 more to go.

When I feel completely overwhelmed with all the things I have to complete, I try to remind myself of where I started last September. Not only have I learned how to run and (kind of) read EEGs, which seemed impossible when I first started, but I’ve also learned to look right instead of left.

Big metaphor time. When you move to a new place, especially a place where people inexplicably drive on the wrong side of the road, it’s inevitable that old habits and assumptions and even your basic state of being get turned on their heads. While when I first arrived I denied any sort of culture shock, it’s the little things that start to get to you. Like the aluminium foil being in the catfood aisle or having to learn the different names for the endless types of biscuits. But it’s also the little differences that keep you going, like British ale or my new skill for identifying accents.

So, now that the terriblehorrible question has come up once again about where I’m going to be next year, I have to remember that my habits don’t have to stay habits. I will prosper wherever I land. I can learn how to set up an EEG and advertise an experiment and code in Matlab. I can learn to look right instead of left. Because as Uncle Walt advised my father, “Don’t worry, Danny. I’ve done it all my life and it’s never done me any good.”

I’ll work on that.

During the past week of dreary London rain and essay writing, these tulips have kept my room sunshine-y.

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