Thursday, October 30, 2008

Second post of the day so I can catch up and blog about something current for once

I know, when it rains, it pours, and now I've given you two posts at once after a week and a half of nothing. At some point I'd like to return to blogging about current events. No time better than the present, right?

Recent events have caused me to disappear from my journal and blog. I hope to remedy that now that a couple of deadlines and other important dates have passed. What were these events, you may ask. Well, I'll tell you (and I'm not going to sing it)...

When I got back from the conference late on October 1st, I had to catch up on a week and a half or two weeks of class work that I'd ignored while working on my poster. It was worth ignoring classes to the extent I could because my first ever poster turned out quite nice. I was somewhat disappointed with the poster session, as I mentioned, but the poster itself looked good and had good information on it. I think the problem was more with the conference and lack of interest than the poster itself.

Back to the missed class work...I had a homework assignment due the second day back in town, which I finished on time, and loads of reading. Reading is easy to ignore.

I was also a bit burned out on research because of spending so much time working on my poster before the conference, so I needed a break. My first full week back, I did very little research and focused on classes and house stuff. Did I mention that housework was very low on my priority list? Frankly, the house was a mess. It hasn't really recovered yet and I don't expect it to recover until we have to pack everything up to move out. The boyfriend and I will be very busy next semester, wo I expect to be eating a lot out of boxes, bags, and cans.

My advisor was also very busy. He only had a week and a half before a two-week international trip to attend two conferences back-to-back. His wife had already been alone with their two small children through the other conference and single-handedly cared for them while he went to the international conferences. In the time between travel, he needed to give her a break to get some of her work done (she's finishing her dissertation). He also needed to work on a seminar, a talk or two, and a poster. I tried to bother him as little as possible.

Then the advisor was gone for two weeks in a foreign country with poor internet access. He was barely available via email. I spent the first week of that reading background papers for a fellowship proposal. The second week I worked on massive data transfer and processing. The computing cluster I was putting it on had a few issues with its setup, so those had to be worked out in the process, and I initially didn't have the permissions I needed to put the files in the correct directories. It took a large part of the week to get all that worked out. I also learned a bit more about shell and batch scripting, which I'm sure will be useful in the future.

Now that the advisor is back, things are getting a bit easier and moving more quickly. He's still busy this week because he's filling in for the person who subbed for him last week, but he'll be in town for the rest of the semester.

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