Friday, 11 January 2008

Psychoanalysis by numbers

And so back to school. After nearly a month’s break, the new year of study starts with five seminars and one film screening over three days. Time to take stock, draw up some accounts.

My first degree in psychology left me feeling I’d learned little about the human mind — let alone my own — but it did instil in me a deep respect for the power of numbers. Even if you did as little work as I did, you couldn’t help but come away with a decent grasp of statistics and what they can tell you.

As far as I’m concerned, correlational studies are one of the great scientific advances of the past 150 years, from John Snow figuring out how cholera worked to Richard Doll linking smoking and lung cancer. They’re why I take statins for my high cholesterol and why I argued so hard to get a friend of mine who had breast cancer to take tamoxifen rather than rely on homeopathy and aromatherapy. (She’s taking it. Thank God. Or rather, a patriarchal projection of our infantile selves.)

So here, in numbers, is the story so far.

37 Seminars attended
0 Seminars missed
2/3 Seminars late for
0 Essays written (none due yet)
77 Books, papers etc read (includes preliminary reading)
51 Books, papers etc finished
2 Parties invited to
1 Parties attended
6 Alcoholic drinks consumed with fellow students
1 Non-alcoholic drinks consumed with fellow students
19 Caffe nero mochas and cappuccinos bought (to drink in seminars)
c20 Pre-dawn starts
2 Post-midnight finishes (I’m old)

Music to crunch by

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