Diary Of An Almost Study Schedule (While Wearing The Head Of Carrie Fisher As A Hat)

* Delete cookies to Facebook and Twitter, so I’m not distracted by reading articles like “10 Things Pop Music Needs to Stop Doing“. Fail. Change all the passwords to make posting just a little bit harder in future.

* Schedule posts ahead of time featuring amusing videos and songs; put sticky-note reminding me that I Have Other Work Which Has Priority on keyboard.

* Set out books, write out the due dates for assignments in notebook, do schedule of all the set chapters and download articles and podcasts that are available. Find old Psychology revision textbook and pull out and dispose of all the old bookmarks.

* Sharpen every pencil in case and test all the erasers. Scribble test every pen and cut collection down to a third of previous number. Keep all the ones with logos of hotels in London and conferences which gave pens away for free (especially if they were ludicrously posh metal ones with fancy dotted ends, as

the conference logo rubbed off while using it on the plane to fill in a crossword puzzle on the way home).

* Work on reading chapters 1 – 5 and journal articles A – E. Highlight every difficult term, define them in notebook. Do chapter questions, then write out summary of chapter in own words. Take out CD of revision work, do each chapter revision and the quizzes. Note which questions I got wrong, review over material in chapter. Set date to hand in assignments, plan to finish both drafts by next Wednesday.

* Help out at Innovation Festival day, with sessions by Dr Ed Sobey, by putting out equipment for gravity cars and giving the successfully launched cars with motors and propellers to make them faster. He’s nice but he doesn’t know how to pronounce Csikszentmihalyi (I learned how to say the name of that psychologist back in 2008 after working as a research assistant for a PhD student who was investigating the notion of “flow” in secondary school learning). Monitor and clean up debris. Cheer as students manage to launch motorised scissors, straws, masking tape and paper plate-mobiles across the racing lines.

* Take podcasts of lectures to the gym and take note of time-stamps of interesting parts covered to write down later. Ignore fellow members of the gym looking sideways at me as I mutter about punishments and reinforcement schedules on the elliptical machine.

* Vaguely recall that Carrie Fisher in her stage show for Wishful Drinking mentioned that a picture of her as Princess Leia featured in an Abnormal Psychology book to illustrate a disorder – with the conclusion that it was the character of Princess Leia NOT Carrie Fisher who had a problem.

* Spend ten minutes tracking down evidence for this online and not reading the chapter on the disorder. Use Psychology book as table for the laptop while searching.

* Reward self for eventually finishing chapter and study guide notes on disorder by printing out and making paper hat out of Princess Leia photo. Practice saying “All I want is a proper cup of coffee / Made in a proper copper coffeepot / If I can’t have a proper cup of coffee / In a proper copper coffeepot / I’ll have a cup of tea!” while downloading the week’s podcast lecture and loading it onto iPod to take en route to AstroFest.

* Remember just as parking car at the University to remove Princess Leia hat. Wonder if people noticed at the traffic lights.

* Realise that Earth hour is an excellent opportunity to run an Astronomy fair. Spend the first few hours moving pinboards, laying power cables and carry boxes to set up AstroFest. Get asked to take photos of the event and spend about an hour and a half going around the field and the main hall, taking photos.

* Spend about one and a half hours minding the Space Dome display and monitoring people going in and out. Pleasantly surprised by friends turning up (and they patiently wait a very long time to try the Dome, which was nice of them) and a former student (successful, happy and with cute boyfriend).

* THEN the Chief Scientist of Western Australia (!?) who recognises me (!!) comes over to say hello and we chat about the Space Dome. I attempt not to be completely daffy about the experience after she leaves. Fail.

* Say hello in rather rushed fashion to very nice guy from the Perth Atheists at the end of the night – who didn’t introduce his name and he didn’t realise that I was looking for a replacement volunteer to take my place for the last two Dome sessions, so I could rush to find the bathroom… so I hope I didn’t come across as horribly rude (especially when he mentions the next Meetup, which I can’t attend as I have to get through lots of fun convention stuff first. And all the assignments. And reading. And the podcasts. And everything else going on in my life).

* Head home, and finish off the end of this blogpost. I still have this week’s chapter and podcast to sort out and review. Promptly upload photos from AstroFest to Flickr – collapse on couch and vow not to go online next week, until it’s closer to the date of the convention. But there’s people to email and documents I owe and a birthday party to attend tomorrow…

* Promptly fall asleep in last night’s spaghetti.

Bonus: another science museum volunteer’s account of how science museums and outreach programs are brilliant fun.

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