My morning started really awful this morning.
I received a notification from NodeXL, a freeware that I need for my research, that starting next month, the free version will not support some of the features that I use for analysis. The pro version which of course supports the analysis will require me to pay a considerable sum of dollars to use. Although they offer a lower price for the academic/research use (USD 199), and even awfully cheap price for students (USD 25), the academic one is still very costly (especially since the exchange rate of rupiah to dollar is currently skyrocketing, Rp 14,000 something per 1 USD), and I will not have a status of PhD student from the University of Manchester until late next year. Although the research that I currently conduct is basically a pilot of what I’m going to do in my PhD, that doesn’t change the fact that I’m not yet a PhD student, and thus I have to choose the academic status.
The first thing I did upon receiving the notification was to find an alternative freeware. There are plenty out there, even more sophisticated one, but they all (as far as I read in their description) lacked of one important feature: Facebook data importer. With Facebook as the primary context of my research, this feature is a must.
A fellow researcher mentioned two freewares to use. I had installed Gephi, one of the freewares, in my laptop for quite some time, so I promptly followed her suggestion and opened it. It refused to open once, and twice, and three times. I uninstalled it, downloaded a fresh copy, installed it, tried to open it. Still, it refused to open it. Restarting the laptop didn’t help either.
I was crestfallen, and crushed. It is not a positive way to start my day. Not at all.
My point is not as much about NodeXL or Gephi or other Social Networking Analysis Tools. Nor about Indonesia’s unfortunate exchange rate against dollar. I know that somehow I will find some alternative solutions to my research method problems. I know that maybe sending an email to NodeXL, appealing for a leniency or any solutions to get the pro version, will eventually lead to an answer. Or perhaps, posting in Gephi Forum will enlighten me in the know-how of the software. There are many alternatives to solve a problem, just like in any other daily problems that I encounter.
My point is how do I make myself positive throughout the day, considering that I haven’t finished my data analysis for tomorrow’s presentation at an international conference, I have to read and edit two thesis drafts, I must start working on preparing for an out-of-island course, and not to mention tons of other engagement and responsibilities that of course I have to do?
To make myself positive this morning, I turned myself to a piece of a used paper, grabbed a pencil, and started doodling. I started with two eyes, a broad smiling mouth, two dimples, and before I knew it, I had finished a drawing of a man, smiling broadly, and saying ‘Good Morning!’. I shared it in my Instagram account, crossposting it to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, finding myself smiling even brightly every time it received a like or a heartwarming comment.
That helps. A lot.
What’s your way of making yourself positive today?