Sunday, January 9, 2011

Week 1 - Classes and Life Decisions

Super unproductive today. Did a bit of work but didn't managed to finish the entire assignment. Baked bread though. I felt like I spent the whole day eating, watching anime, and napping. I went running in the morning and was sore afterwards. Sore after running 3 miles, seriously...

This concludes week 1 of my last quarter at Stanford. The weeks will go by fast. This has got to be the longest time I've spent shopping around for classes ever. I've pretty much decided on my classes now. I will be taking:

  • Earthquake Hazard and Risk Assessment Analysis
  • Infrastructure Project Delivery
  • Mechanics of Finite Element Analysis
  • Financial Literacy (seminar)

And sitting in on:

  • The Vietnamese Experience in America
  • A Chinese class (maybe)
I actually went to a couple of linguistics classes as well but I don't think they are going to work out. I went to a phonology class which I think could be useful if I learned the stuff. I think it would make me a lot more aware of the way people speak, the differences, and reasons why. But it seems like a very work intensive class and it's not something that I can do easily. Doesn't seem like the best use of my resources. The other linguistics class is a joint class between linguistics, anthropology, and education. It's called the Race, Ethnicity, and Linguistics in Education. It's a very interesting class but it's definitely a grad level class. The other students are all doing research and seem very focused on a topic. So I'm not sure I can keep up with them. It would be interesting to sit in on though but there are already too many people in the class.

I think this will be an interesting quarter. I am also TAing a class on Foundations Engineering. There are 20+ people in the class right now. I hope the homeworks are straight forward and easy so that they don't all come to office hours! It will be an interesting class since it's being taught by someone who is working in industry. Maybe I'll learn something too. I am also helping out with the Peru seminar. It's starting a bit slow. I'm not exactly sure what's going on actually. 

I woke up at 7am Friday morning to speak with a former coworker about my future job. I have two offers now and am in the process of choosing between them. It feels like a big decision. First, real job. I think I'm losing sleep over this. I wish it wasn't such a difficult choice. But I guess they're both what I wanted. I'm sure that 10 years down the road, this won't even matter at all. I'm glad I have this network of friends and mentors. I can't imagine what I would be doing without my mentors. I really hope that I will find great mentors at my future jobs.

Anyway, new resolution for this year. I want to read at least one geotechnical journal paper in depth per week. That would be 52 papers by the end of this year. That's actually not a whole lot considering how many papers are out there and many of the ones I will read will probably be on the similar topics. But I think it's really important to get used to reading technical papers and find out about the latest research. There are actually a lot of empirical formulas in the geotech industry so academic research is highly valued. Maybe I'll get a chance to publish a paper one day for a conference, book, or something. People are always looking to verify numerical results with field measurements. That's something that I can imagine myself doing, even at this stage. Build different finite element models using different constitutive laws and collect field data to see how well the predictions are. Maybe set up the monitoring program in such a way that it captures something that is the industry has been wanting verification on. 


Y said...

What's taught in the financial literacy class?

docey101 said...

yeah..i want to know that too! ahaha. cool. sounds like things are coming together. good luck