Monday, August 24, 2009

how did these get moved to mondays?

My thesis proposal is scheduled for the Thursday of next week. I'm a little scared, which means I'll be spending lots more time talking myself hoarse rehearsing it between now and then.

I've got bunches of cherry tomatoes! Every day or two I get to pick 2-6 tomatoes, wash them off, put them in a little bowl and snack on one everytime I walk through the kitchen. They all taste great, but the skins on the littlest ones are kind of tough. There's a ton of peas sitting on their vines too - N has to decide to pick them since they are his.

Gustav had his followup dermatologist visit. We all agree he is much improved, but suspect that not only does he have a food allergy, but there's probably also a pollen or dustmite allergy still bothering him. It's still a lot better, so for now we'll stick with treating the symptoms instead of putting him on lifetime meds.

I even had to go to the doctor - I had an infected cyst. Now I have an itchy, healing hole in my back which is a big improvement. They kept asking me "you've never had one of these before?" in that way that means that the odds favor that I'll get another one day. Joy.

We survived both the judo picnic and the math dept bbq. I am endlessly amused that we were not the only ones who went to both - the wife of one of the professors is very into judo. Black belt, stands up front with the instructors when she visits my club, whole deal. N made friends with the entire math dept by running the grill.

I'm not ready for summer to really be over, but it's not waiting for me. :( I even wrapped up my summer work project - I really did write a instant messaging bot. Of course, I have a bunch of next release todo's on my list...

Monday, August 17, 2009

while my code is running

Classes start today. You know, for those other people. But it's also a sign that it's time for me to get really serious about research. I've been asking people (mostly people with PhDs.. ) for advice on how to make this happen. The one tidbit that really rang for me so far was "do something everyday." (I will try to give myself one guilt free weekend day.) I also had the kind of "duh" realization that since I work from home on autonomous projects... I should already have the right kind of scheduling and prioritizing skills that say, get a java bot written when I don't know java.

So I'm trying to quit work early every day and do at least 2 hours of thesis work every evening. I've already gotten carried away with this annoying bug in my code which is making it easy to keep working. I bought myself the same kind of notebook I use for my work todos, and I'm making the same kind of todo list. I'm not sure if I want to write my hours worked, or nothing at all by each day. (For work, this is my proto-timecard piece of the notebook.) I'm experimenting with one line of what I got done that day.

If this doesn't work out, my next best guess is to work two long days and two short days and do thesis work on the short days. Every day sounds like a good habit if I can manage it. I'm always happier to have a plan.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

done with classes

So... I'm starting to really believe this. I'm done with classes now. I'll still sit in on things, but no more homework.

My presentation went really well. One of the simple examples was simple enough to have the class play, and I gave them brownies "as the game payoff" (but, yes, really I just gave everyone brownies. I have never seen such a welcome as when I walked in with food. I think this has a lot to do with class being from 10:30 to 1:00.) The paper went ok, and it's handed in, ....

which means I should have an economics degree now? Today I realized that no one had sent me any information about graduation or tried to rent me a gown, so maybe the paperwork didn't actually go through. At worst, it's all done but the paperwork, but either way, I (will) have an M.A. in Economics. Stubbornness pays off once again.

I got everything on my to-do list done at work. It's a weird feeling. I do have some other things that need to be converted from "try this vague thing" to an actual task, but it's still a strange and wonderful sense of accomplishment. And perfect timing because I'm only working a two-day week, because

Wednesday I'm flying out to stay with my friend in Florida. I'm really excited to see her house, meet her cats, go to the beach, and generally be on something resembling vacation.

But I'm still a good PhD student, because I've already packed a book I need to dig through for my thesis proposal.

Bonus: I have a ripe-ish tomato. Tomorrow, I'll pick it.