Saturday, October 3, 2009

Week Two: The work starts to pile up

Maybe I shouldn't number the weeks. I think it was fine for the summer but for the academic year it's kind of scary. But it's easier to see what happened when if I ever decide to look back at these entries. Anyways, get ready, this is going to be a long entry. Maybe I should blog more often in the future??

Monday. I got my computer fixed. Well, the guy came and put in another motherboard, which works. The actual problem of seeing lines when the computer is plugged into the external monitor hasn't really been fixed. I still see the lines for some colors. But at this point, I don't think it's worth getting fixed anymore. Actually, right now I have my old computer plugged into the external monitor and there are no lines. Seriously, that old computer is a really good one. I probably could have gotten a cheaper new computer. Anyway, a good side effect of all this is that my old computer can now connect to Stanford's internet. So I have two fully functional computers again.

Tuesday. Tuesdays and Thursdays are really long days for me. I have classes from 12:15pm to 7pm. Not all the way through but I usually stay on campus the whole time. And I usually leave my room at around 10am so that I can go print stuff out, use the library, etc. I was kind of stressed on Tuesday because I haven't really made as much progress on all my homework for that week as I would have liked. After going to all my classes, I went to an ESP meeting. They seem to be doing pretty well. They have a couple of new people, which is good. I felt really hosed so I didn't volunteer for anything. After that, I met up with a couple of classmates to work on homework for my finite elements class. I think this class is very easy for people who have very good theoretical math backgrounds. I met up with Eleanor and Andrew today (Saturday), who are computational math PhD students, and they said the class was easy. They both took it last year and Eleanor got a perfect score on the midterm. Seriously people, this is supposed to be an engineering class. Why are all these math majors taking it?? There are two other people from my department who are taking the class and we got help from a second year PhD student who is also taking the class. She works in the Blume Center. The Blume center is where the structural and geomechanics PhD students' offices are. We had lunch with a couple of them afterwards.

Wednesday. I've been using the geocorner's undergrad lounge as a place to chill. I'm in that building a lot and they have nice couches in that lounge. I also discovered a microwave in there that I didn't know existed because it was tucked away in a corner. There was also leftover pizza from some event so I helped myself to some. In the afternoon, I went to an Engineers for Sustainable World (ESW) meeting in the afternoon. They work with NGOs in a couple of countries on specific projects. There is a class that you have to take in the spring to be on the team. They fund 2 people to go to the site in the summer for each project site. I think this year, the projects are in Mexico, Indonesia, and Kenya. But I'm not entirely sure how things. We sat through this 40 minute presentation where they didn't really explain the mechanics of the program. I hate it when this happens. You have to guess how the program works. I guess for people who've worked with the program forever, that part is just too obvious to explain. Anyway, the classes are in the spring so I don't really have to worry about them now. And I don't even know if I will have time to go on one of these projects over the summer. And it's just not satisfying to work on something like this and not go. I mean, you learn most of the stuff when you're in the field.

Thursday. I made it to one of the geosciences/geophysics seminars. It was pretty interesting. The speaker is part of a group that is trying to gather data on earthquakes and faults around the world in order to inform people about potential hazards. Even though I had a long day, it was more relaxing because I managed to finish everything I had due this week on Wednesday. So I was not as stressed out. After my classes, I met up with a friend to eat at one of the dining halls. The food was okay. I mean, it wasn't bad. Lots of choices. And it was all you can eat. The dessert was really good though. And I had a lot of asparagus. I really like asparagus but it's hard to find thin ones at an affordable price.

Friday. Friday is usually a really light day for me since I only have one class. But there was a day long Seismic Seminar hosted by the American Institute of Architects. I'm not sure there were all that many architects attending but they invited Stanford students to attend for free. I went because the first session looked interesting. I stayed for all but one of the sessions since I had class. The talks were somewhat interesting. What was really cool was that one of the sponsoring companies for the events is a geotechnical company. The company sent a couple of people to the event and I got to talk to them. Turns out they're a local company that's just down the street from Stanford. They're really small so they work on smaller scaled projects and do everything geotech related for those projects. One of the guys told me to contact them if I'm interested in an internship. This is really awesome because I think they are exactly the type of company that I would want to work for starting out to get some experience. I would be out on the project site getting experience at doing site investigations. Logging borings, rock cores, seeing piles go in, etc. I think it would be very valuable experience. I got both of their business cards so I will definitely keep them in mind. Networking was one of the things I had in mind going into the event. But this definitely exceeded my expectations.

Friday night. After the seismic seminar, there was a happy hour at the Blume center. There was a lot of food and drinks. It was good to chat with people and I met a few more people in the structures program that I hadn't had the chance to talk to. I left before it got dark and ran into some people at Rains when I was getting my mail. I went out to dinner with them. After dinner we went to a bubble tea place where I got sesame milk tea. It was pretty good and the cup was bigger than usual. We sat at the place for 2+ hours chatting. That place offers a ton of flavors and hot snacks. So it's a popular place to hang out and chat with friends. They were extremely busy the entire time we were there. There were high school kids, college kids, and families.

Saturday. I woke up at around 10am and called up a couple of friends about food shopping at the Milk Pail. The Milk Pail is a veggie and cheese market nearby. We've heard that it's a good place to shop so we took the shuttle there. The market was extremely crowded with people and loaded with all kinds of vegetables and fruit. Everything you could ever want. It was great. The produce was reasonably price. Some of the cheeses were expensive but I guess if you want high quality cheese, it's a good place to go. They also had a lot of freshly baked bread so I got a stick of baguette. Anyway, very good store. I like it a lot. Wish it was closer but it's still pretty convenient to get to. After this, I went to the football game for a little bit. It was against UCLA. Stanford won again! That's three games in a roll. Then I headed to Lyman (another graduate dorm) for their annual pig roast. It's nothing like steer roast. It's just more like another free food event. They had buns and sides to go with the pork. I chatted with Eleanor and Andrew for a while. I realized at some point that I hadn't told them I was coming to Stanford for grad school. haha, oopse.

After all that, I've been data crunching the entire Saturday evening. Hopefully I can get through this pset that I have due Monday sometime Sunday afternoon so that I have time to work on my other homeworks!!

1 comment:

yalu said...

man I thought you told Eleanor and Andrew when we visited during Splash in the Spring! Hmm...maybe they forgot...