My First Year of PhD

I can’t believe my first year of PhD is done. It is like a dream. I still remember, so clearly, the day that I got admitted and the day I finally accepted the offer from UT. It was a hard decision because I was concerned of the ranking of UT and my funding situation, but my AMAZING advisors and other faculty members made me believe that it is the right decision....

May 24, 2024

My Conferences at 2024

I attended 2 conferences for 2024 so far (probably that’ll be it) – NARST and AERA. Both are great gatherings in the education field, where I have met lots of great friends and colleagues, and was inspired so much by others. It was a big accomplishment for me to attend such meaningful events, I am proud of myself, and thankful for my advisors and peers who have always been so supportive....

April 22, 2024

Chinese New Year Gathering 2024

Not much to say. This is my second Chinese New Year in the U.S., had a crazy but wonderful night with a couple of good friends. I love everyone here. Here is a photo of what we had: (Photo by Xu Wu).

February 10, 2024

New Year Jottings

Welcome to 2024! 2024 means a lot to me, in different ways. One is because it is my “本命年”, which is my animal year in Chinese zodiac. I can’t believe I’m 24 years old. I thought I would be mature, success, young, and beautiful when 24, but here I am, still childish, frenetic sometime, and messy most of the time. But generally I’m satisfied with myself now. My family are healthy, my school life has been awesome, I am still close with my friends, I still read and play around with music....

January 10, 2024

How I Travel

Hobbies have an appreciation period, you might get bored after a while. But there are three things that I will always love, read, travel, and music. There is a saying in Chinese, “读万卷书,行万里路,胸中脱去尘浊,自然丘壑内营,立成鄄鄂。” It means that read as much as you can and go as far as you can, so that you will let go of the dust in your heart and build your own system. Reading is another way of traveling, and traveling is another way of reading....

December 19, 2023

Why I Chose Educational Technology

I was having a wrap up meeting with my advisor few days ago, and he asked me something like “tell me what you really want to do, in general”. I can’t stop thinking this question. My path to this postiion is not common. My undergraduate program, master’s program, and PhD program are all different. They are all in the “education” category in general, but the focuses are diverse. I completed my undergrad back in China, which is a program that is only offered in China, and it has nothing to do with STEM....

December 2, 2023

Data, Kill Me or Empower Me

I have been worried about my data analysis and Stats skills since I started graduate school. Numbers were away from me after high school, which means that I didn’t do one second of math during my whole undergraduate. However, as someone who decided to jump into acadmeia in social science and choose the quant path, data skills are necessary. Unfortunately my master’s program didn’t provide data analysis courses either (because it didn’t require such skills), so I got to learn by myself....

October 29, 2023

I Got My Driver's License!

Not much to say, just want to mark the date, 2023/09/19, I got my driver’s license from Tennessee. It’s my first driver’s license ever, in my life. Be careful Tennessean!

September 19, 2023

My New Life as a PhD Student

It’s been over a month since I started a new chapter as a PhD student. I have imagined this for a long time, but it turned out different, in a good way, generally. Let’s get started with bad ones. One thing is that I overestimated the quality of a doc student’s life. That means I thought my life would be easier, in terms of budget. Well, the good news is I’m basically independent, and my stipend is relatively high even across the campus....

September 14, 2023

Some Thoughts of Learning to Drive

Learning how to drive is absolutely a torture for me, I’m not kidding. Even in this relatively empty country, and I have the best driving instructor – my roommate, I still feel horrible. Knowledge test is ok, I prepared for weeks and took hundreds of mock tests, so I passed at once. A small episode is that, I was no sure if it was because I have not changed my glasses for a while, I could not see clearly with my left eye when I was doing the vision test....

August 13, 2023