What can I say..feels good to be done! It's time to recover the lost sleep and unplug from a hectic and sometimes stressful schedule.
I'm traveling to PY tomorrow, I'm really excited to leave. It's been a year since I've seen my family, and I'll be home for about three weeks so that should be plenty of time to hang around and relax. I have a couple of things planned during this time, such as reading a hefty pile of articles my advisor gave me as a souvenir for the break, restart going to the gym after a 5 month hiatus, catch a badly-needed tan, spend time with family and friends, etc. I also need to think deeply as to how things have turned out so far, it's easy to lose direction in the whirlwind of things and I've been somewhat jumbled lately.
Oh yeah, so here are my new year's resolutions:
-be more fiscally responsible
-fix my love life
-stop being such a slacker (this one might be the hardest one of them)
We'll see how things go, but I have a feeling I'll accomplish more this coming year now that I have goals.
That's it for now. Hashush has been visiting for a couple of days and it's been a blast. Now we'll have one more night of good fun by going to the Saloon...but I still haven't finished packing!
Oh gosh, hard to believe the first semester of grad school is almost over. The entire semester has been such a whirlwind with almost no time to rest from beginning to end, but it was a great experience. Just like when college began (which now seems forever ago), changes come inevitably as you trudge along. So...what did I learn this time around? I:
-figured out that even after blanking out I can still make it home safely and without losing anything (after several incidents)
-learned that people in grad school can be really evil, especially the profs
-increased my cooking expertise by buying a george foreman grill
-discovered that teaching can be fun (during my organic lab)
-made the right decision by staying in MN!
So yeah, it goes sorta like that. I feel like next semester is going to be much better - classes are going to be more interesting, my schedule will be more relaxed, and there'll be more time to go out and socialize. It's always important to start with optimism right?
I'm leaving for home in less than two weeks, I'm so excited! But before that we have some nasty finals in the horizon...and the first one starts tomorrow at 8!
So yeah...grad school has been keeping me busy enough to make me completely forget about updating my blog. I just can't wait to be done with this semester. They say that the first semester in chem grad school is by far the toughest one, so things can only get better after this. Not that they're not in good shape at the moment, but I don't recall having a busier semester other than first semester senior year at Mac.
Speaking of Mac, I visited some friends this last friday. I even went to Cafe Mac for old times' sake! It was scary that I only managed to recognize very few faces in the cafeteria...by next year, I might not be able to recognize any. Things can change way too quickly, especially at a small liberal arts college where you get used to know everybody around.
On a completely different topic, I was talking to my parents a couple of weeks ago and they finally confirmed that my sister is visiting me sometime next year! I am so super excited! I've been wanting her to come for a visit all my four years at Mac, and now it's finally happening! Maybe now it's even better timing, since we're both 21+...and Pao parties even more than I do.
Can't wait for her to visit me, but first, next week is shaping up to be one of the toughest weeks in the entire semester. Ugh. The only good thing that comes with the advent of the week is that thanksgiving in Florida is just around the corner.
Wow, it's been quite a crazy week already.
First things first - we're finally done with our first round of midterms! I'm glad we finished (at least, we get a week break before the next ones start), and it's even better to know that you've started the semester with a really solid footing...which means that now I can go out drinking more often!
Speaking of drinking, it seems like we've added tuesday as another drinking day. Monday nights are still some of the best, but on tuesdays the chem department has a massive gathering at Big 10 where we take full advantage of the $1.50 pitchers happy hour. Oh yeah.
Last friday I made a huge decision that'll follow me for the next 5 years and beyond - I finally settled on a research group and an advisor! Her name is Shana Sturla, a prof over at pharmacy school, with a specialty area devoted to cancer research. It's gonna be great! Right now we're finalizing the details of my first project, and the good thing is that is gonna involve plenty of organic synthesis....heheheh. Here's the link (although unfortunately the homepage hasn't been updated in a bit it seems) - http://www.pharmacy.umn.edu/faculty/sturla_shana/home.html
As I mentioned in my previous entry, I also bought my tickets to florida for thanksgiving - I can't wait for it! I'm visiting three cousins I haven't seen forever, we're gonna have so much fun!
Everything seems to point out to a very relaxed and work-free weekend. I'll be sure to take advantage and make some big plans.
...which means that now we're well into midterms. Just had my first test this monday and it went reasonably well, but now I have to deal with the fact that I also have three more tests lined up for the next several mondays and that my weekends will be partially ruined. Such is life as a grad student.
Everything doesn't look so bleak though, seriously. I've met with several potential advisors at this stage and now I'm 95% sure that I'm sticking with one - it's gonna be great!! This means that a huge stress factor will be gone by next week. Also, I've finally arranged for my trip to florida during thanksgiving and I bought my ticket yesterday. Yeah! Can't wait to escape the blizzard and enjoy a couple of days at the beach!!
Yesterday I went to the bars for a bit. It had actually been a while since I had hit the Saloon, but I had a really good time and now I have more clubbing buddies than I've ever had. Something good will come out of it all.
No weekend plans as of yet, but I'm sure that's gonna change real soon. Relax, relax, and party hard before next week starts.
Well, so much for my expectations of grad school. As I remember, I was told by a bunch of graduates (don't remember who or how many) that after braving 4 years of Mac grad school would be a breeze...yeah right. Lately I have so much homework that 9AM to 9PM days at the chem department are becoming the norm. Classes are tough (but interesting thank goodness) and on top of that there's work which I actually like a bunch but takes a lot of time to prepare for. It's like one my toughest semesters at Mac all over again - with the exception, of course, that downtown Minneapolis is a 10 min bus ride away :)
So yeah, things have been pretty interesting lately. I rushed a frat and met a bunch of cool people. I actually managed to get in as well! - although I'm not so sure as to what to do about it now. I'm busy enough as it is at the moment, but I'm sure it'd be a lot of fun. Whatever happens happens.
I'm definitely looking forward to the weekend. We're throwing our first official house party, and it seems that our keg invitation managed to convince a lot of people to commit. It's gonna be one heck of a party, if we actually succeed in cleaning up and preparing the house by friday evening.
So do I miss the Mac days? Maybe a little. Do I miss the friendships? Yes, many of them. Would I go back? Probably not. I'm thoroughly enjoying grad school and there's just so much to do all the time that my head's spinning.
Uhhh....so where's my research advisor?
(I'm blaming my month-long disappearance to my lack of internet access during my three movings, so there).
So we're already into the second week of grad school! I must say that I like it a lot so far - my new place is pretty sweet, classes seem relatively interesting, met a ton of people, and still manage to go out to the bars 4 days a week or so. The U is an overall great place and I really like the independence and flexibility of my schedule.
Today was also the very first time that I taught an organic chemistry lab all by myself! It was a bit hectic and confusing at the beginning, but things went alright and I actually enjoyed teaching quite a lot. Let's just hope that it keeps going like this and that none of my kids end up burned with acid or hurt from an explosion or something.
Got a couple of interesting things coming up in the horizon. We're certainly gonna throw a house-warming party sometime soon. Our place is quite spacious so it'd be tons of fun. Then Hashish might come for a quick visit in early October, and I might go to Florida on Thanksgivings to visit some relatives I haven't seen in like over 6 years. Let's see how things turn out.
Right now my only big concern is finding a good research advisor...and finishing up the howework for tomorrow. This semester is shaping up to be quite a good one!