So, its the nicest day so far this year and I had to spend most of it cooped up in a residences common room being taught to think critically about my (and other people's) writing. Yes, it was time for more Transitions (the university's professional skills training course for postgraduate researchers). I shouldn't really complain though, as this block (spanned over yesterday and today) was quite a lot more useful than the first one (which was just fun).

We discussed the content and style of thesis writing which was very enlightening. I was all pent up with the worry of having to write some beautiful epic summoning every ounce of style I could. But it seems that coherence of argument takes precedence over quality of writing. Thats very reassuring!

We also looked at effective reading of articles and books which was quite interesting, though most of the content was just common sense - "skimming" and "scanning" for structure and keywords, reading with questions in mind and writing rough response afterwards.

Despite having said of the first block that it was interesting to work with a full cross-section of disciplines, I think that working with just arts and humanities students here was quite helpful. It meant that we could, for example, disregard the distinction between very empirically based studies when examining articles and focus more on opinion and philosophical concerns. Though, of course, the social scientists have a strong emphasis on methodology and results.

I've come back upstairs to find the KDE laptop monitor broken which teh annoying as I rely on it to make my processor fan be quiet by setting the performance profile to conservative. But I found the relevant command which I'll need until KDE laptop daemon is fixed and I've put it in a script called

echo -n "conservative" > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor

Ah, silence.