January 17th, 2012

distraction

Circulation, agitation, frustration

This working in a group business is fairly new to me, study wise. I mean, in my job I work collaboratively in groups much larger than this one all the time, often with people with disparate agendas - and I'm good at it. But in that context I'm the expert advisor in a particular area. In this, I'm one of the grunts and no more of an expert than anyone else.

And it's.. interesting. I think I prefer working alone - while I'm probably learning a lot from this exercise, I'd still rather be in complete control of the work that goes into my final mark, and I'm pretty sure the result of the collaboration will be 'less than' what I'd produce myself, partly because we have picked an interesting topic and gone the simple path to presenting it. No curly questions, no real challenge - just presenting information. Dunno, maybe that's how it is in science. I'm happy to be wrong, of course, and it may just be my frustration talking, but yeah, I'm not convinced group work does my academic performance any good. I'll enjoy what I learn from this after it doesn't matter any more, eh?

Today we talked about the Southern Ocean and its impact on global climate (generator of the thermohaline currents, buffer for Antarctica etc). I'm not up for a detailed rundown as I have been doing - I'm pretty much studied out for today, however I'll give you one fact - an increase has been detected in ocean temperature 3km down. It's minute, but it's there. That's scary.

Meanwhile, most of my friends are off to Kiwiburn. Have a fantastic time, you lot. Think of me and my thermohaline currents and phytoplankton, won't you?

[edit] Oh, links:

Top class lecture series on climate change science from University of Chicago, online, FREE.

Highly recommended BBC TV series "Science Under Attack". Also free, on YouTube.