Monthly Archives: August 2009

Recent happenings

I honestly don’t really know what to write about.  So much has happened/been happening that it’s hard to figure out even where to begin.  I guess since it’s freshest in my mind I’ll write a little bit about grad school first.  For the past few months I have been working in a lab as a temp because my grad student status doesn’t officially begin until September 1st.  Unfortunately, that means I have to stop working in said lab at the end of August.  Even worse, it means that I have to get my ass in gear and write up a lab report summarizing my research so that this will count as one of my mandatory three lab rotations (though I’m going to do four).  This is a problem because in addition to all the work involved in “my” project my boss has made me take over parts of three other projects that no one wants to do (I’m decent at a particularly finicky and tedious technique that involves a lot of front end work that no one else wanted to do).

Because of this situation I have a very odd problem.  I’ve been generating data like it’s my job (literally and figuratively… wait, nope, just literally) but I haven’t learned anything new.  I’ve missed the big picture.  I feel like a lab tech again.   Such feelings are not good when one is in grad school.  So for the past week I’ve been trying to play catch-up and figure out what my results have added to this particular field and while I’ve been having success in doing so there’s just so much more I need to learn before I feel comfortable with it.  Maybe it’s a lost cause and no one really expects me to know all that I expect myself to know, but since those people aren’t telling me otherwise I am just going to assume I do.  Well, grad school is off to a fantastic start!  Can’t wait for more of this!

Sarcasm aside I actually can’t wait for the school year to begin.  I haven’t been intellectually stimulated in years and very much look forward to the challenges that await me in classes that range from how to build a patch-clamp rig so we can study individual ion channels on the surface of an axon to how large-scale neural circuits underlie complex behaviors.  It’s gonna be awesome and I am truly excited for the long term, but now is all I know and now sucks.  Oh well, it will get better soon.  It always does.  In the meantime I’ll just listen to a little M83, Drive-by Truckers, Broken Social Scene, and MGMT to get me out of this funk.

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No time for a title

Hot damn I have been neglecting this blog. That’s what happens when you don’t have internet access at your house. Don’t worry though, I’ll write up something good these next two days and post it while at work.

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On moving

I nearly forgot what it was like to move out of an old and disliked, yet comfortable, place into completely different one.  It throws your whole life off, as I have been for the past week.  In a sense I have felt a bit manic depressive due to the elation I have felt unpacking all of the stuff I have accumulated over the past few years into my new apartment while feeling an overwhelming sense of loneliness.  It’s weird, I haven’t lived with Emily for six months now, but for some reason living in a place where we had once lived together had fooled me into believing that I wasn’t alone.  My new place doesn’t have that history and now, finally, I feel alone.

Being alone sucks.

Thankfully, I still see Emily fairly frequently which has helped immensely, but coming home to an apartment still full of semi-empty boxes just doesn’t feel right.

On the grad school front I’m nearing the end of my first rotation and attempting to set up my next three for the upcoming year.  So far I’m zero for three of my top picks (one “no” and two haven’t replied yet) which is beginning to worry me a bit and now I have to spend a lot of time making a back-up list of profs I would possibly want to spend the next six years with.  Fun stuff.

Also, one of the forgotten joys of moving involves eating a lot of crap because your kitchen isn’t completely unpacked and situated the way you like it.  Throw in the recent Chicago heat wave and I’m left to eating prepared foods from the supermarket or anything cold I can get my hands on.  I feel like crap eating that stuff but I’m so hot that I don’t want to cook anything.  Talk about a rock and a hard place.

I’m going to do what I can to get most of the rest of my junk unpacked tonight just so I can begin to get my life in order.

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Now the hard part begins

Well, 14 hours and many hundreds of steps later I am finally moved into my new apartment.  Now comes the tedious part of making sure everything in my apartment works (it mostly does) and putting all my shit away.  I have a lot of stuff.

So far it’s been fine not having cable and internet.  I get a lot of reading in between unpacking and it’s forcing me to come into work on Sunday to get a little access and tie up some loose ends from the end of the work week, so all-in-all it’s not going badly.  We’ll see how I feel about it in a week or so.

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