First Project: Glaze Matching

After recovering from the initial shock I experienced upon seeing John Austin’s collection of Thorley’s pottery, he briefed me on several possible options in terms of approaches I could take.  This, he said, would give me more freedom to explore what interested me, as there is evidently more than enough work than can be completed in one summer, rather than being forced into facets of the project I might find not as desirable.

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Testing Temperament

Hey everyone,
           Hope your summers are continuing to be productive and fun! Over here in Tyler Hall, I just had my mother come in for her second day. It was so interesting to see the changes that had taken place over the eight day home exposure. Although the mother said her infant did not really seem to enjoy the food at home, when she came in the lab the infant ate quite a bit. I found this really interesting. I will just have to wait to see what happens with the other infants who are coming into the lab! The pre-locomotor temperament procedures went very well for conducting them for the first time.  The infant did not like two out of the five tasks, which was intriguing. My colleague who is running the study in Norfolk also found that the same two procedures caused the infant to react strongly. We do, however, make sure to change the order of the tasks every time to rule out any other variables influencing the infant’s reaction. I am curious to find out whether the next few infants will react the same way to the task.
             Just so you can get a picture I will briefly describe the tasks. The first task involved presenting two rattles to the infant, letting him/her choose, then letting him/her play with the rattle, after which the mother took the rattle away and gave it to me to present back to the infant. The second temperament procedure I performed involved standing behind a tri-fold cardboard and sticking a parasol through a pre-cut square and opening and closing it in front of the infant. In the third procedure, we had the mother lay her baby on a soft blanket on her back, and after 30 seconds I would try to place the baby on her stomach. In the fourth procedure, I had the mom stand behind the tri-fold cardboard. I would knock and open the doors revealing the mother 4 times, and then on two trials I would open the wrong doors, so that the mother was not revealed. Last but not least, for the last task, we gave the infant blocks to play with, but the mother was instructed to remain neutral and not to engage in play with the child. Maybe from these descriptions you can guess how the infant reacted? Maybe I’ll let you know next time…

Research Connections

Research is off to a great start this week – I’ve found so many great articles and NGO models to begin looking into. When I first started with the concept of nonviolent communication I had no idea how many interrelated topics there were – even in my own life! I find myself using the language of needs and the Enneagream model I learned about in the Williamsburg NVC practice group even in my own home.

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Back to Lab

After a very relaxing weekend celebrating the fourth of July, I am back in lab.  Unfortunately, the reagents that I ordered last week have still not arrived (holidays truly slow down the shipping).  It will be okay though, I have gathered a lot of data over the past few weeks and I am spending the day sorting it out and actually making some graphs.  In addition to this, I am taking notes as I read more literature.  Hopefully by the end of the week I will have a great deal of data and notes to send to my advisor to show her that I haven’t slacked off just because she left town!  Of course, it is the day after a long holiday weekend so I am struggling.  In fact, I was so gung-ho to get back into the swing of things that this morning I went to set up a reaction before realizing that I still had no reagent.  Oh well, I am getting back into the swing of things and I hope that the final two weeks of my research are as productive as the first five weeks. I do know one thing, am certainly glad to be spending my time reading/working indoors because the stifling heat has returned to Williamsburg and being outdoors is unbearable. 

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On concluding that I need conclusions

Ok, ok, it’s not that bad. I’m not just swimming endlessly through documents or wandering into purely philosophical musings. What I am, however, is an undergraduate who can create some hypotheses but lacks the means to back them with authority.

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