Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Y-Axis Crises

It's day two of NaBloPoMo...and I have a presentation to write for Friday.  It should have been an easy throw together sort of deal, except for the fact that that's not how things work out for me.  Instead, I've spent a really long time fixing what should have been done by someone else months ago and remembering how much I hate Excel.

So because I need to write this presentation, I had to waste 2.5 hours on data labels, phase lines, formulas, over-extended X-axes, behavior rates per minute versus percent of opportunity on the y-axis, and graphs with and without baseline data.  Looking for a fun way to spend your Wednesday night?  This, my friends, is it.

In the middle of the percent of opportunity vs. rates per minute crisis, I decided to take a break.  "You need to write something tonight," I told myself.  "You can't fail NaBloPoMo on day 2.  That's just totally lame."  So I opened up my documents folder to find something I had written that could pass for tonight.  It's totally legit to recycle old writing when you're having a crisis on at least 4 different Y axes, right?

Upon opening my documents, however, I pretty much gave up hope.  It's all organized into folders and nice and neat, just like I like it.  I had a choice of such fun options as: "Dissertation" and "Research" and "Psychopharmacology" and "Work."  Sometimes I write fun little notes about something that happened at work and they end up in my work folder, so I opened that up, realizing I was getting desperate.  In this folder are hand-outs on three-step guided compliance, time-out protocols, and a particularly fun document labeled "Private Parts Touching Rules" followed by "Private Time Story" and "Private Areas Social Story."  It's much more fun to write social stories about masturbation than it is to spend 2 hours on data labels, believe me. 

"I have nothing exciting to write about," I thought, closing the "Work" folder.  "The only things I write now are progress notes, initial evaluations and discharge summaries.  And masturbation social stories.  That's not exciting at all.  I have nothing exciting to write about.  Nothing ever happens.  My life is consumed by Y-axis crises."

That was when I remembered several important things:

1.       I work in a job where I say things such as, "No, the rose stays with Jesus.  Put rose on Jesus.  Buddy, we can't take things that don't belong to us, give the rose back to Jesus.  Put the rose on Jesus' feet like this.  Thanks for giving the rose back to Jesus, bud."  And things like: "my friend, we both know Tom Cruise isn't out in the hallway.  No, Tom Cruise does NOT want to talk to me. No bud, the Easter Bunny isn't here and he didn't give you that money. Now hand me the money that is in your sock."  And, "Listen kiddo, I'll give you a high five or tickles, but popping out your veins is not available."  And, "Time to work.  First work, then look like Cousin It."  This fact alone makes my life interesting.

2.       The past 3 days have been one continuous Sneaky Hate Spiral.  It makes writing difficult and data label crises nearly unbearable.

3.       I can't remember the third important thing I thought of and I need to get back to data label phase line y-axis hell.

One of these days, I'll write something interesting.  Once I get out of the sneaky hate spiral, and once the presentation is written and the graphs look semi-presentable.  Because right now, it looks like somebody vomited data points, data labels, and phase lines alllllllll over my graph with the incorrect Y-axis and the over-extended X-axis.  And the mislabeled/incorrectly idenified Y-axis with the wrong scale.  And the missing baseline data.
Frankly, "vomit" isn't a good look for a graph.

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