Monday, February 1, 2010

stretching my intellectual reservoirs

I had 2 grants due today, one major one, one smaller one. I recently found out I have another grant to write by Wednesday. Ironically, the Wednesday grant asks for more money than the other 2 grants combined. And I'm writing it in about one quarter of the time.

So tonight I tried to turn my muse on while Abe was out playing volleyball.

But you can only use the words "economic turnaround" "ignite curiosity and inspire imagination" and "implementation plan" so many times before wondering if you could just randomize the text from previous applications, fill in the appropriate word counts, and pass it off as a new proposal.

As a blunt test of this hypothesis, I input several of my previous grant narratives into Wordle, which generates word clouds with word size corresponding to number of times the word is used, to compare the resulting images for similarities.

To my surprise, each application did have substantially different key words emerge in the word cloud. For example, guess what this application was for?

That's right. A new technology plan and system for staff at the Museum to save time.

Which means I should move to plan B. Write a list of words that I think describe the grant, give each word a numerical score indicating how important it is to the project idea, and then hand that list to a troupe of monkeys* to write the application.

*What is the proper counter word for monkeys? A fleet of monkeys, a host, a company, a menagerie, a flock, a posse?


Jen said...

Erin, I love reading your blog. I haven't wordle'd anything but my delicious tag cloud highlights "gifts" "recipes" and "crafts". Probably tells you more about the areas where I need help more than anything else.

Have you found a way to insert "monkey" into any of your proposals, it would be so fitting.

I like the term cartload or monkeys.
collective terms

Rita said...

I like a barrel of monkeys. And I often state that many tasks at my work could be done by monkeys. Is that why your sister always had a monkey butler?

Matt said...

You can use "cartload", "tribe", "troop", or "wilderness".

Dawn said...

A gaggle? Wait. That's geese...

Dawn said...

So I'm guessing you got it all done!