Monday, December 07, 2009

a phd down, what's next dawg?

Rejoice! I submitted my dissertation and received my temporary degree! Yes, that’s right…it’s doctor to you now!

After the hours and hours of agony that it took for me to finish my piece of crap dissertation, it was almost a let-down how easy it was to turn it in and get my degree. I almost wanted to scream, “That’s all?!” at the poor guy in the Graduate Studies Office as she handed me my temporary degree. All of that hard work boiled down to checking off items on a checklist, making sure my page numbers were in order and going in the same direction throughout, and random checks of my page margins? It almost made me laugh out loud. And I do laugh now, when I look back at how wonderfully trying my whole journey has been. In fact, my journey has been what a substantial portion of this blog has been about ever since it came into existence. And now that part of me is done. I am a PhD. What does it feel like? Strangely empty, I must say. Nothing changes, really. I still clean up my own mess. I still do laundry. I still have to see the in-laws for the holidays. But now, I suppose they’ll have to call my Dr. WHO.

All joking aside, it was really bittersweet to finally be done with this nasty journey that has taken up my life for 3 years. And while I didn’t really care one way or another about receiving my degree, other people did. I actually put off telling my mom about it for a couple of days because I just plain kept forgetting. Then one day, she called to talk and I let slip that I had finally gotten my degree, not knowing that I hadn’t told her yet. I swiftly apologize for not telling her earlier (and honestly, a part of me figured that at this point, no one cared anymore anyway) and I was shocked by how happy she was to hear the news. The cynical side of me figured that she was so happy because he had thought that I was never going to finish and had given up on me. And if that were truly the case, then I’m glad I proved her wrong. But I don’t really think that she believed that. I think she was just genuinely happy for and proud of me, something that she hasn’t been able to be ever since I graduated from college with my honors. And I’m glad that I made her proud. I’m glad that someone is happy about this degree because, well, me, I just feel meh about it. But then again, I am done and that is something.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

work, work and more work

that's been the story for the last week and a half. nothing too exciting save knowing that i can see more clearly and end to graduate school. the pressure is on, and i am still learning to fight the need to rush things, thinking that i do not have enough time.

it's funny though; the closer i get to finishing, it seems that my plate continues to grow with additional things to do. i guess this is the price you pay.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


i had a great meeting with my supervisor today, but it was not great due to anything that he said to me. it was great because the dissertation outline that we have been using as meeting material is nearly complete!!! the last chapter in the outline is more of a broad, high-level look at things, and should require minimal work in terms of experiments. it should be completed through thought experiments . needless to say, i can see the end. so much so that we even set a date for me to submit my dissertation: September 6, 2009!!! if that's not exciting then I don't know what is.

the only thing between me and this deadline is the work to be done!!!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

be thorough, FINISH, execution, follow through, etc

"if you have the courage to start, then have the commitment to finish."

these were the motivating words for me today. i have been working diligently for my short-term deadlines, but i also have finishing my phd heavily on the brain.

let's make it happen!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

back in the game

had an awesome day today! i have a clear direction for my deadline next month and am diligently working to get the work done. i know what experiments i need to run. i know the data i need to support my claims. and i even can begin writing in the meantime while i wait for experiments to run.

it must be something about autumntime and the chilling weather here for me. it really seems to get me going. last year (about this time) was when work really picked up. if only i could learn to fabricate this _feeling_ all year round.regardless........

it's here, and i plan to take advantage.

Monday, May 04, 2009

because that's what researchers do...

we see a problem and solve it. real simple. not necessarily easy. but VERY simple.

i'm not giving up until my work is done and the problem is solved.

Friday, April 17, 2009

what are your plans once you finish?

this is the million dollar question i get immediately after telling people what i am currently doing. and, to be perfectly honest, i have no DEFINITE idea. i am toying with a number of options, but, if i had to make a decision tomorrow, i have not decided. i keep telling myself that i have time to decide, but i may need to begin seriously trying to narrow down my choices and make a decision. and hopefully, this will help me finish my degree. on the other hand, things are so cluttered in my head right now, i don't even know if it is possible for me to make a GOOD decision at this point.

maybe i am lying to myself in saying that things in my head are cluttered, and the real reason is simply i am terrified and that's why i am indecisive (and the fear is perceive by me as "clutter"). there are so many things going on in my head which make my next step unclear. i am just now coming to realize what my passions are and what i enjoy. i am just now gaining the confidence to act on these passions. i am just now opening my mind up to the endless possibilities that are my desires. the magnitude of the success that i envision can be overwhelming at times. at others, it's extremely motivating and inspirational.

i could continue to write and ramble on about all the things going on in my head right now. i will spare you the reading and simply share with you a quote i heard this past friday that really stuck with me:

"chase the dream, not the competition" - the Flawless

Twelve months - endless writing

I have twelve months left of my PhD scholarship, which means twelve months to finish the necessary chapters, that my dissertation is composed of. As anyone who has ever tried it can probably testify, writing a 300 pages dissertation is a bumpy ride with many ups and downs.

On a weekly basis I enjoy the comics from PHD Comics - and I could especially relate to this one, as I often ask myself “how, when and why” :-D

Btw, I feel sorry for not being so active when it comes to blogging - but now you know why.

A change in focus

I never wanted to be one of those people who just abandoned their blogs for long period of time, but alas that is just what I did. I thank the people who have visited over the past month and found nothing new, but my summer/autumn obligations of working, hanging out with friends, having fun, and reading non school-related books as well as a general change in priorities have taken my mind off of blogging. I wish that I could promise in this post that I'll be writing regularly again, but I'll be going on vacation for awhile, for some much needed family time.

I'm still reading my favorite blogs on a semi-regular basis, so hopefully, I'll keep blogging!