Busy Busy Busy: Graduate Project Time!

So this blog is supposed to be about neurodiversity and grad school, but I haven’t talked about grad school since December! I have had so many ideas about neurodivergent-related topics, but it’s time to talk about grad school again!

So for those who are new to my blog, in December, I announced that I was forced to stay an extra semester to finish my project requirement. This is because the website my university is creating was still not ready. I was supposed to do a usability study on a web application that would help autistic children in the emergency room.

Fast forward to February 8th and my project advisor tells me that the website STILL isn’t finished, so she offered to have me work on another project so I can graduate in May. Of course, I accepted. The December 2021 graduates are celebrating in May 2022, so I am able to get away with lying about still graduating in December. However, I can’t come up with a lie if I stay even longer. If graduates are listed by semester of graduation, I can lie and say that some names got mixed up. That’ll probably happen. It happened before. In May 2021, there were separate ceremonies for the 2020 graduates and May 2021 graduates. I saw some classmates who graduated in May 2021 be listed as a 2020 graduate and vice versa.

My new project will involve a usability study again, but this time with undergraduate students that the human-computer interaction professors teach. Interested students are getting bribed with extra credit. The students will be using eye-tracking technology as they analyze three different types of graphs to determine how well people understand graphs. However, this means I have to do the study in-person. While I didn’t want to do that, I want to graduate so if that means traveling nearly an hour to campus, I will gladly do it! I waited until the end of March to buy my semester-long parking permit since I get a lower rate on the evening parking pass than if I needed it for the entire semester.

Last week, I came back to campus to learn the technology needed for the study. Eye trackers are so cool to use! There are multiple professors involved in this project, but I worked with my Human-Computer Interaction professor from two years ago to learn the technology. He remembered me despite my last name changing, and I had to remind him that my class was during Spring 2020 so my class was never able to do the usability study group project. My project advisor will be around during the study as well since this is a pilot study and she needs to determine if she needs to modify the study for the future.

The studies will be done based on my schedule, but with a combination of doing the study and working on the project report (report is required for everyone who is doing a graduate project), I will be quite busy with finishing grad school. Add to that my upcoming brown belt test in kickboxing and the fact that my grandmother had her gallbladder removed, I will probably not have time to do a new blog post until probably around graduation. I already started working on a neurodivergent-themed blog post, so I will finish that at some point.