… and counting. At this instant, life is good. In the last year of my existence, I feel that quite a few things have improved. I am closer to graduation than ever. Financial worries exist, but are more manageable. MAD and I are still happy being with each other. Hope this year I will get to live instead of exist.
I passed my general exam last week. It went amazingly well. QoH had my back all the way and put up a good offensive in the closed door sessions. It feels good to have a couple of days where you don’t get up with a to-do list that is long and everything on it is high priority. I am going to take a few days to recharge and then get back to the whole business of graduating.
QoH took a brief look at the proposal and thinks that I need one more chapter that ties all the work I have done into a cohesive and compelling story. He is right about it, but it so much work. These 15 pages are going to take me a couple of weeks if not more. I hope it is going to be worth it at the end. Right now, I am feeling a bit frustrated by the whole thing.
Most of chapter 1 is done. Trying to figure out what all the work you did over the last 8 years is a lot more difficult than one would assume. The hard part is not assimilating it into a massive document, but to figure out what exactly did you contribute to the advancement of science over the 16 different projects you were involved in, and communicating it succinctly. If any young grad student is reading it, start thinking about this now. If you wait till you actually write your thesis, it will be really really hard.
Feeling pretty happy that I am making some progress towards completion than not.
280 pages of half baked dissertation text beckon, nah… demand, my attention. Most of it is in a semi-decent form, and realistically it needs about 2 weeks of hard work to get into shape. Considering I am just submitting it for a general exam, it is probably a *lot* less work. Not sure why I am having so much inertia when it comes to opening up this file. I need to get this thing done. I am going to target this Friday as a goal to finish the first draft by. I have a good plan of attack.
This video quite succinctly depicts my everyday struggle.
If you thought this blog was dead, you thought wrong. This is a re-birth of sorts.
So, whats been going on in my life in the last year or so:
a) I am close to my general exam, and most of the time these days is spent writing up a dissertation proposal that is closer to final thesis than not.
b) My sis got married and is now just 1800 miles away from me as opposed the 8000+.
c) MAD and I are still together, and I couldn’t be happier about it. My family isn’t happy about me dating outside the culture/religion/race, pretty much every category there is.
As I had mentioned in the previous post, I have started to play poker regularly and with a bit more seriousness. I play at a no-money poker club that meets at a sports bar, and every week the player with the most points gets rewarded with a free buy-in at a nearby casino. This week I was leading till the last night, and at the last night I might have been ursurped by the second position player. I am not sure if that happened yet and am waiting for official results.
I spent most of last night cribbing about this to MAD, and hating the player for all of today. I googled his name and the first link to pop up was from an adoption site. Turns out the player was an adopted kid and is trying to find his birth parents. Now I feel bad that I might have narrowly beaten him to the win (by 1-2 pts out of total of 340+). I almost want him to win and feel like that might provide some relief to him. Not that he needs it. He has won quite a few tournaments. Still, it could be my contribution to his feel good factor however involuntary the gesture might be.
[Image from pixxp.com ]
The quarter has ended and brought along the joys of not having to TA for rest of my natural life, YAY!!! It was not that bad a quarter after all, just too much work that was not personally rewarding. The last week was very busy with setting up the final exam, grading them, figuring out grades for the course, dealing with irrate students, etc.
On research front, I got started on a new project that might end up being my PhD thesis, or at the least my next journal paper. Lets see which way it goes. I am very excited about it. We have had a few meetings with our project sponsors and all of them seem to be motivated to get the preliminary results out by August end. This boads well for my plans of holding general exams before the end of summer.
Things have been going pretty well with MAD. We spend most of the evenings together and seem to be enjoying it. She has been preparing coffee and breakfast for me for the last two days, and I have to tell you it is absolutely awesome when you can just jump out of the bed, brush your teeth and there is a hot cup of coffee waiting at the table. Also, waking up to her smile is a perk by itself.
The groom hunt for my sis is in full motion again, and it is a much calmer and through process this time around. I am optimistic about it. A direct result of this is much needed respite from all the yelling and anxiety in the family. Good stuff.
Oh, and I have taken up playing poker atleast 2 nights a week and I have been doing quite well the last couple of weeks.