Battle Fatigue | #3

On July 5th, our experiment was officially implemented for the first time.  On July 6th, Annika and I started getting data files.  By July 8th, I had already slogged through two different audio files, each about an hour long, and completed the coding and transcription, and I was exhausted.  The files themselves are monstrous, and listening to a person’s voice repeat, basically, the same phrases and words over and over for hours on end can really wear on a person.  I didn’t really give myself a break between the files, and it definitely showed; I worked at a much slower pace for the second file because the tedium of the task was really getting to me.
So I took a step back.  I took a break, I watched some TV (has anyone else been watching the Twin Peaks revival? I’m finally caught up!), I went out to dinner with my family, and I gave myself some time to breathe.  When I came back to my files, I was ready and able to work efficiently again.
I guess what I learned this week was how badly burnout can affect future work; I had put in long days of 9-10 hours, and it was really draining.  I need to be at full battery to do my best work.  I can’t wait to see the results from all the participants’ sessions, but it will definitely take a while for us to sort through all of this data!
And now, back to Praat…


My name is Kelly, and I am a junior majoring in Romance Languages and Literatures and Cognitive Science (language and cognition). In addition to English, I speak Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese with varying levels of proficiency. I currently work in Dr. Julie Boland’s Psycholinguistics lab as a research assistant, and I am working with Dr. Lorenzo García-Amaya on his 2017 MCubed project. My academic interests include bilingualism and foreign language acquisition.

One thought on “Battle Fatigue | #3

  • July 13, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Hi Kelly!

    I’ve done some transcription work before and I can imagine how tired you were. Although, I only transcribed two minutes of conversation and you and Annika transcribed two hours! Today one of my supervisors said that in my job, there are periods of time when we have a lot of work and then when we have nothing to do at all. As a result, the best thing is to not rush through everything when we finally get work. I feel like we both are people who want to get things done as quickly as possible, but as you said, we may get burned out quickly. I’m glad you learned to take a breather in order to continue to work efficiently. I can’t wait for your next post and what you will learn next!


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