Wednesday, August 14, 2013


So here I sit, just waiting for my husband to be finished working on his program. He was so stressed out about it yesterday. He'd gotten stuck and was brooding about it the entire day. I could feel the stress emanating from him. It was downright miserable.

I was exhausted and could tell he was, too, so suggested we turn in early. He agreed, brushed his teeth, and collapsed into bed. Melancholy. Morose. Distant. Depressed.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"Nothing," he sighed. "I just can't get my stupid code to work. No matter what I do every article turns up neutral when I know that's not true, but I just can't figure out how to sort them other than by hand and there are thousands of articles and I just can't do it..."

That, of course, is just my interpretation of what he said. He actually included a lot of computer gibberish that went right over my head.

"I have no idea how to help you with that," I said. "But keep telling me about it and maybe it will help you feel better."

He rehashed his problem and then, somewhat magically, I came up with a viable solution. What he needed to do all along was to consult a linguist, not a political scientist or computer programmer.

"It's perfect! It's simple!" he exclaimed. "I'll just create a corpus of all the words and define them as negative or positive and that will allow me to sort the articles!"

Of course, that was just my interpretation of what he said. He actually included a lot of computer gibberish that went right over my head.

"Well, I'm glad I could help," I said. "But now you have to build the corpus. How are you going to do that?"

"Oh, that's easy!" he said. "I can do that in like two lines of code."

"I'm glad that will be easy for you because I have no idea how to help you with that. And I'm super glad that we figured something out because I've been worried about you all day. You've been moody and not very much fun to be around. If you didn't notice, everyone spent the day avoiding you."

"That's so funny!" Andrew laughed—he was back to his normal self.

"Is is?" I asked. It hadn't actually been that funny. He's usually quite pleasant. His moping was quite worrisome.

He pulled out his phone and brought up a Buzzfeed page about things only a developer would understand and showed me #4 on the list:

That was pretty much how our day went (only far less dramatic (that girl might have a few trust issues)).

Today was filled with several jubilant shouts from the office: "Wahoo! It's working!" Andrew may have even emerged to do a few happy dances for us when things were going particularly well. He ate lunch sitting down at the table, away from his computer (while it was running a program, of course), and even went swimming with us after Rachel came home from school (though that did cause him to feel an unusual amount of guilt (number 11 (because, you know, he gets paid for 15 hours of work a week for this project yet puts in about 15 hours of work per day—it's probably academically irresponsible of him to take his children swimming for an hour (not)))).

It was a much better day.

T minus 13 sleeps until the next semester starts.

I just have to keep telling myself: We can do this again. We've made it through five years of graduate school. We can do four more. You can do anything for four years, right? Right? Right?!

We'll just take things one semester at a time.


  1. Haha, my code is broken! That definitely made me laugh! Um sure you can do four more...I guess. I don't know. At this point I'm so tired. We are in our eleventh year of post secondary training. It has to end eventually, right?

  2. You are far nicer to your husband than I am to mine. When Jared called me all upset that he had just failed a test (or so he thought) and that was going to make him fail the class and blah blah blah. I simply asked him if he wanted to give up now and drop out of graduate school. Sheepishly he answered no so I said good now come home and help with the kids :) And alas he DID graduate and so will Andrew!