|Why Grad School is a lot like my first time Snowboarding...
||[Mar. 19th, 2007|10:44 am]
It has been brought to our attention, that I have failed to update my blog in the last five months. It's not like I died or something. I'm still here. I think that around the time of my last post I was anticipating a great triumph. I thought I was about to reach a goal, long sought after and that I would soon be able to write about it and be generally pleased, excited, etc. Well the publication of my first refereed journal article has still not occured. I came in late last night and put together a presentation, rehashing the text and figures I submitted to my adviser 4 months ago, hoping that sometime in this century I could submit it to a journal for rejection. But not yet. Which brings us to the subject at hand. |
I clearly remember my first attempt at snowboarding. It was a cold night in Pennsylvania some years ago, i scaled the bunny hill on a rental board. And then I fell down. Ow. Ok, let's try again. Ow, didn't even make it to standing that time. After about an hour of this, and bruising on 50% of my body, we give up for the night to try again tomorrow. In grad school, the bruising impacts the ego, but hurts just as much. I have at times developed bitterness in my disposition, that carries over for weeks and is directed towards all manner of unsuspecting bystanders. On day two of learning to board, it was day light, I had better gear, and even some personal instruction. But the outcome was just the same. Stand up, fall down, Start out a little higher, so you have farther to fall. Throw yourself repeatedly at what appears to be an insurmountable mountain. Sucessful, experianced boarders pass you on all sides, laughing and pointing. It takes so long to make any progress, you wonder if you will ever make it. But you trust that since you are on a "hill" you will eventually find the bottom, gravity is on your side after all. People go to grad school all the time, and come out with degrees, extra letters on the end of their names, have careers and what not. Just not me, just not yet.
So I'm at an impasse, while I work hard, progress is so slow that no satisfaction can be garnered from it. And small accomplishments are tempered by my isolation from loved ones and an adviser who thinks I'm too optimistic/upbeat to offer objective scientific opinions. But that's enough about work. Work is very much a daily grind, and I've had to find joy elsewhere or surely perish (almost wrote parish there). I went snowboarding in Lake Tahoe in January. That was awesome. You see, now I'm a fairly good snowboarder. Dodging trees and small children, (never laughing at the inexperienced). It was so flipping cold that both my camera and my mini camcorder froze right there in my gloved hands as i tried to capture the beauty of it all. Like 5-10 degrees static temp, and god only knows with the windchill. but it was gorgeous and fluffy white snow, miles of it, and veiws like heaven. No injuries, no horrific family related outbursts. Just a good time. If I can learn to snowboard, maybe someday I will graduate.
While stuck in Charlottesville, I've picked up a few hobbies. I make beer, from scratch, and it's awesome. Maybe it doesn't taste as crisp and clean as some of your store bought light beers, but it's full bodied, unfiltered, and I can add flavorings, make it in 6 gallon batches. it's bad ass. I've also tried my hand at politics. I rule over a small fifedom in the land of student government. The responsibility and the power I weild brings me a fair amount of joy and satisfaction to supplement what is lacking in my career. I am the president of the student council. it's almost as good as Doctor, right? Small joys in life are what makes it bearable. Now let's talk about the big joys.
Tomorrow I am getting on an airplane, and flying to Miami. We are staying at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa for the Winter Music Conference. If you don't know what all this entails, you should be jealous. The line up for the finale party is just a taste of the great music performers I will see next week. http://www.ultramusicfestival.com/ The hotel is on the beach, and I'll be laying out in the sun all day, and partying in south beach all night. So exciting! I guess I should provide some sort of description of next week when I return. I will endevour to provide the details as I should have lots to talk about. I hope you all have a nice week. Catch you on the flip side.