Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I think I'm done. It's kind of surreal. I've turned in my last assignment, fulfilled my TA obligations, picked up previous assignments, just need to return those library books now.

I went to Trader Joes yesterday and got some ground beef to make meatballs with Chinese chives. I will miss this store. The meatballs are turning out okay. I put too much salt and soy sauce though. I didn't managed to put in an egg the first time so it was kind of dry.

I managed to leave the store just as it was pouring rain. It had been sprinkling all day and dried up by the time I got back to my apartment. Of course, I missed the shuttle as I was crossing El Camnio and had to wait in the little bus shelter thing for the next shuttle.

I was looking forward to a night of watching anime and relaxing when I got bombarded with calls and emails about the foundations final the next day. I don't know how I feel about this whole TA thing. I think I need some more time to reflect on it. Maybe I should have written more about it during the process. Thinking in retrospect always makes things better. I think it was a good experience in general. I guess the part that was a bit of a shock to me (probably shouldn't have been) was that people expected me to have answers to their questions. Like I would somehow have some extra insight that they didn't. When in fact, most of the time, I was just as clueless and had to think about the problem on the spot. It was rewarding to be able to answer questions and help students out.

Got up this morning and ran around Campus Drive. Made breakfast of cinnamon toast, meatballs, and masala chai tea that I got from Peets. And was just about to enjoy it with my reading of the morning news when I realized I need to go to Y2E2 for a few things before noon. I poke my head in at the foundations finals as they were getting the test. I went to the bento lunch/crane making event that was held by some Japanese students and had a pretty good lunch. I made some cranes as well. I didn't know whether or not to make the cranes super fast. I think I can, if I wanted to, produce a whole lot of cranes. But I thought I should leave some paper for other people to come by and make them. They were aiming to make 1,000 cranes though so maybe I should have helped out more. You're supposed to donate $1 for every crane. I donated more than I made but a lot more people were donating than making. I suppose it can seem intimating?

After this, I chatted with the instructor for the foundations engineering class. We talked a bit about how the class went and his experiences as a PhD student at Stanford. I feel like I didn't have a very good grasp of what doing a PhD is when I came to grad school. I thought of it as an option but I really had no idea what it entailed. I think I have a much better idea now. And I think if I want to pursue a PhD in the future, I would have a much better idea of what to look for in a program, what I want out of it, etc. It's a complicated process. Not as straight forward as doing undergrad or a Masters.

Had dinner with mshaw at a ramen place. We talked about the nuclear reactors, tsunami, visiting Asia, airports and airlines. I find that I always end up talking about airlines and airports with people who travel a lot. I guess it's a shared interest. The ramen was pretty good. Very oily though. I think most of it is sesame oil. The menu came and there were descriptions of ramen that we didn't understand. Turns out, it was different types of soup and everything else was the same. It was pretty good and at a pretty good price as well. They also had pretty good chili and garlic sauces.

I've written a lot this month! Don't worry, more to come.

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