Saturday, September 19, 2009


Yesterday was the last day of training camp for us pbf's. So on Monday we have to actually start pretending to know how to do something useful (I hope to soon be able to actually Be Useful). Thursday morning we were given a survey to fill out regarding which of the working groups we most wanted to work in. It turned into a rather lengthy undertaking, perhaps predictably, but after nearly an hour (we were initially allotted 10 minutes) we had all successfully managed to rank our choices for working groups. Yesterday, at the end of the day, we were assigned to our working groups for the next year or so. So I will be working in the Mortality working group, which after some initial sadness and disappointment--it was neither my first nor my second choice and I had, again predictably, become rather attached to those two choices--I am actually quite pleased about it. The other pbf, Megan, who was assigned to the same group as well as myself talked a bit with our new supervisor, Julie, and I am excited about what will be doing and very, very, very much hoping that I will be at least marginally competent at my job next week. And actually competent in the near future (fingers crossed).

Anyway. This is the link for the working group: I think the various projects are interesting, and I even think it's possible that I'm not the only one who thinks so. Which is a good thing since everyone will inevitably be hearing about this for the next year or so.

The end.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A New Truth I Have Discovered

The more numerous and the more widely varying ways there are to define a statistical concept that you have, at best, only the loosest grasp on, the more difficult it is to find any kind of assistance on the internet. This unfortunate situation is exacerbated when it becomes Obvious that no one else has any idea either.

I probably shouldn't take it so personally when the internet fails me. But I do.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Post Bachelor Fellow

Today was my first day at IHME (the institute for health metrics and evaluation) as a post bachelor fellow. It was a rather long day, though shorter and better than it could have been. I was nervous going into today because I don't especially like meeting new people, and I particularly dislike meeting large groups of people whose names I will inevitably forget. But it turns out that everyone (seriously, everyone) was exceedingly friendly. It was rather reminiscent of meeting all the people in the honors program at Greenville the beginning of Freshman year, and as I still love that group of people as well as I love anybody, this bodes well for the next two or three years. I've already given a blow by blow description of my entire day to Jeremy and my mother and am in no mood to write it again (not that anyone actually reads this except maybe future me) but here are several relevant lists:

Things I Now Know:
1) In 2011, I get to go abroad for 6 weeks to do research. Hurrah!
2) I will, at least for now, be taking one formal class at UW each quarter in addition to the classwork I do directly at IHME
3) I get an office which I will share with three other people
4) UW has good benefits for its employees. Very good benefits.
5) I have a husky card and a bus pass (I am THRILLED about the bus pass) and may also sign up to get a membership at the UW student gym. Where I can go swimming. If it turns out that I have time.

Fun Facts About Today:
1) We all went to a bar after worked and I was the only one carded. Which is ironic because I'm also the only one who didn't order something alcoholic.
2) Jimmy John's has fantastic vegetarian sandwiches
3) Put a bunch of smart and motivated people in a room and talk about benefits and they will insist on asking questions about dependents until they fully understand all aspects of the various benefit plans. This is in spite of the fact that (to my knowledge) none of them actually have any dependents.

Also, it should be noted that today I learned that I am far and away the least accomplished person in this program. Everyone has done multiple internships and has worked abroad and has graduated from crazy prestigious schools, except for me. I have decided to not let this bother me. So far I am succeeding. Tomorrow, if it turns out that everyone is eight times smarter than me when we start learning Stata, I will probably be bothered.