Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Getting back into grad school life, sort of

I just spent most of the day relearning undergrad structural analysis. So painful. I don't know why I am taking advanced structural analysis. Never really liked this stuff. I feel like every time I attempt to learn these things, I just keep looking up examples and follow along. Not sure a whole lot of understanding and intuition are coming along. I found out though, that I should have a pretty good background in this stuff because apparently I took pretty good classes back in Cambridge. If I had actually managed to learn that stuff, I would be in really good shape. I'm not sure I did though...

I got the motherboard of my new computer replaced, for the second time in a year. Also got the power cord, usb connections, sound connections, all replaced. The computer decided to freeze every once in a while the past few days. Probably due to a fried motherboard. I was really hoping for a long lasting computer. I suppose I'm putting my warranty to use. I should write down the date that the warranty expires so that I can make sure I get parts replaced if I need them. Apparently you can even ask for things like rubber feets. So I'm thinking I'll need a new screen and probably webcam before this is all over. The LCD screen is missing some pixels from the last technician who came out.

Going to the ESW national conference next week in Purdue. Need to find a place to stay. So if any of my readers have friends in Purdue that I can stay with, let me know! It should be an interesting conference. I think the talks are pretty interesting. I'm very interested in finding out about other projects. I want to know what other people are doing out there.

I was looking at the Human Development Index from Wikipedia earlier. They categorized countries into 4 categories: Very high, high, medium, and low human development. I realized I have spent significant amounts of time in all four categories (well, not so much for the 'high' category but I think that's okay...). I feel really lucky to have had these experiences. I know it's not good to generalize and countries have different regions where the HDI might be very different. But I think, especially for people who live in "very high" areas to grasp the idea of a "developing country" since there is so much variance. The range is very big. Sierra Leone definitely skewed my idea of a "developing country" so I'm definitely glad to have spent some time in West Sumatra where people are much better off. I think even for people who do work in developing countries, it might still be hard for them to imagine life in the "low" category.

The week after the ESW conference, I'm going to a conference in Hollywood. Still need to work out the details for that one but I've already booked the flights. There are so many conferences and seminars out there. I feel like I've managed to discover a lot of professional societies in the past year. Maybe there are more of them out here since there's not only the normal ASCE stuff, there's also a bunch of seismic related organizations. There are overlaps on event advertisement so I don't feel the need to join every single one of these things. But there are a lot of events though. I've also been trying to participate in some geology related things as well. Getting to the point where I'm hesitant to even write down events because I don't actually want to go to all of these things.

Been feeling rushed and busy the past few days. I feel like I haven't had time to do stuff on my own. There area always events (see above paragraph) and meetings to go to. There's just so much stuff happening. Maybe it's just that I haven't gotten into a routine yet. And I haven't started working yet so it feels like I'm waiting for something to happen. Speaking of working, I haven't seriously begun to look into job stuff yet. Definitely feeling like I'm punting on that one. I need to come up with a game plan. I mean, I can start emailing my contacts but I think I should come up with some general strategies and goals first. Maybe later this week...

1 comment:

yalu said...

Yeah, your year in Cambridge was interesting. But in the end, it was still an experience. You made up the classes and you don't seem that worse off for it.

I remember the first time I went back to China. I thought it was very underdeveloped. I do think I've gotten a bit used to things being different, however. I wasn't quite as shocked in SL, even though it's quite underdeveloped (no restaurants!)

I was really busy last month, so this month I'm not committing to as much stuff. It's amazing - you should try it!