ru: (strange)
Some of you I know are in grad school, or are thinking about grad school, and I have some advice: If you get the opportunity to see a lecture by Jorge Cham, creator of Piled Higher and Deeper, go. Rearrange your schedule, move mountains, and go. I saw him speak today, and I can't tell you how therapeutic it was.

For starters, I laughed for about an hour straight, which is beneficial in and of itself. But it was also massively comforting--I sat in a room (mostly) filled with graduate students, and heard someone who's been there voicing the fears and anxieties that I have, and bringing forth the realization that it's not just me that has anxieties over being good enough, putting together something worthwhile, feeling guilt over not working 24/7, and trying to make my advisor proud of me. We're all feeling the same way, and we were able to laugh about it until our faces hurt. In a way, it was downright cathartic.

There was a book signing afterward, and I got a copy of the volume that has the character Mike defending, which I got Dr. Cham to sign. He drew grass on it, along with a picture of Cecelia. It is now my talisman of geeky protection for when I defend next month. <3
ru: (strange)
Pictures are a wonderful thing! I've been wanting to take a picture of my desk at school to show off to you people for a while. I think I have a rather distinctive desk, with the things I have on it. I bet I could be a contender for Most Unique Desk in the Department. ^_^

So take a look at the Ru-home-base-at-school! <3

Complete with numbered guide. <3 )

Also. I can officially say now that the Dalek army has doubled in size.

Meet Dalek Redshirt )
ru: (strange)
YES! I got an A+ in the herbarium course and an A in plant form and function! I cannot TELL you how happy I am about the A in plant form and function. It was a very difficult, intense class, especially considering it was very molecularly oriented (things like, plants bend towards light! Let's figure out the EXACT CHEMICAL PATHWAYS that cause that to happen!), which is difficult for those of us who are on more of a whole-plant scale. The class was also very work-intense too, featuring two exams, an independent paper, two presentations, and 1-2 articles a week that we had to read and post something intelligent on. It's a lot when you have twelve thousand other things to worry about at the same time.

But nevertheless, I DID IT and I'm happy. Check mark for this semester!

This is gonna be a busy break. I've got grant applications to do, presents to make, Daleks to knit, and a ton of stories I want to write. I'm gonna try to do as much writing as I can and as much as my brain will allow me to do in the next couple of weeks.

On a slightly different note, I smell like cherry blossoms, thanks to the Sakura bath bomb I used earlier. I'm totally loving this scent. Dunno that I love it as much as I love Blue Skies, but it's still really delicious. <3

On a more slightly different note, last night I went to Eien-chan's company Christmas party, which was full of massive deliciousness. I was feeling pretty well gorged by the end. I can also now say that I've tried raw oysters. That was an interesting experience. I dunno that I'd willingly get them again, but I can at least now say that I've tried them. They taste very...oceany. That's the best way I can describe it. They're like eating the ocean. In retrospect, it's very Moira-like. Ah Moira, we love you. <3

Note to self: Write at least a second part to the Anika albumfic over the break. I need to keep working on that. I've got 11 more songs to get through!
ru: (Default)
Well, I got my evaluations back for this time around. I think they might actually have been better than last time, which would be nice. The biggest thing sounds like that I'm still quite nervous when I get up there, and it shows. One student said I was the most nervous TA he had had. My nerves and I have got to find a way to get along, if I'm gonna have any hope of improving.

On a different note, it appears to be graduation day here, judging by the fact that I saw a professor wandering around in cap and gown. Once again, I've proven I've achieved full grad student status by the fact that I'm haunting the school on graduation day, when I'm not graduating. Lo, I have become a wraith. XD

And also,

Holy crap, Star Trek movie.

I'm...really not sure what to make of it, honestly. The first few moments made me think something more along the lines of "Wait wait WAIT. Is this Star Trek or Dukes of Hazzard?". It was also weird trying to place new faces over old and familiar characters. It's like it didn't quite fit, especially since it seems like Kirk and who I *think* was McCoy look an awful lot alike. Scotty, however, seemed like he'd be great fun. I always liked Scotty. <3 And I will admit that hearing the red alert sound and that it was a proper red alert sound made me a bit tingly. XD;; I think I'll have to go see it, if nothing else than to see what they did with it.
ru: (Default)
*dance of VICTORY* No, seriously, the music I'm listening to is fun and I'm bouncing a bit in my seat. <3

My finals are done! I really don't know how I did on my plant form and function final. The best I could with it, obviously, but the big question is whether or not it was good enough. Right now I'm going to just try to content myself with the fact that I have gotten THROUGH this semester. Good gods it was a busy one, between projects and papers and trying to beg for funding. Oh, and measuring grass. Lots and lots of measuring grass.

I won't be able to completely turn off like I did as an undergrad during winter break. I've still got more measurements to take, and then I need to actually run an analysis on my data so I can hopefully have something to supplement my funding applications other than "My work is IMPORTANT even though it is GRASS". And I need to write permit reports and apply to present at the ASB convention. Oh JOY.

But at least I don't have school and teaching hanging over my head for the next few weeks. That in and of itself is a relief. I think I will reward myself tonight for getting through it with something I've been wanting for quite a while. <3
ru: (Default)
Too many things. Too many things.

I've got my herbarium project due, my plant form and function paper due next week, the plant form and function exam the week after *that*, which I've barely started studying for because of the twelve thousand other things I have to do. I need to get grades out, and I'll have exams to grade next week, and somewhere in there I need to apply for two funding sources. And I have to get permit reports out to the places I visited over the summer, which aren't due for a month or two, but the fact that I'm getting reminder emails about it is stressing me out because I feel like I need to do them RIGHT NOW, for reasons I'm not entirely sure. Maybe I'm expecting wrath from some permit god if I don't get them out in a timely fashion. And on top of all that, I want to write, which of course I have no time for. But that doesn't stop my brain from coming up with snippets and ideas when I have other matters to concentrate on. Oh yeah, and holidays. Somewhere in here I need to do holiday things. There's a holiday coming up, isn't there?

I kinda sorta feel like I'm about to explode.
ru: (Default)
Wowza. I had an awesome day today. For a little bit of time I felt like a human being with a life! Holy wow!

I spent the morning/early afternoon with Eien-chan, which was a balm in and of itself. I haven't see him in, oh, three weeks or so? That was wonderfully nice. Then later we went over to my cousin's house to spend time with my family. That was insanely awesome. We talked and I watched my cousins play Guitar Hero and we had a good guffaw over the sheer wretchedness of some of the lab reports I was grading (because I can't completely disconnect from school). We had delicious food and awesomely delicious cake and it was wonderful. I think I laughed harder and longer today than I have in a month.

Although there's a part of me that's guilting me over the fact that I didn't do a ton of work today. I still have 30+ lab reports to grade, a lab to teach on Tuesday, a project to edit, and a term paper that I've barely begun writing that I'll need to give a preliminary presentation on in a couple of weeks. Sigh.

Well, now to read a paper on plant hormones so I can write up a reading response. Haaaaaate the reading responses. It's hard to write intelligently on a paper where half the text is indecipherable three-letter acronyms - LRR, BRI, BAK, BIN. I have no clue what they mean.
ru: (angry)
*sighs* Planning for classes in grad school is about 115% harder than it is as an undergrad. Why, you ask? Well, at least in undergrad, most of the classes are offered at least once a year, so planning is somewhat doable. In grad school, though? Certain classes are offered only once every two years, when Jupiter and Neptune are in the proper alignment and Venus is ascending. Which means if you're a master's student, you basically get one shot to take a class, and that's it. What makes this worse is that I'm expected to have exactly 9 credit hours. EXACTLY.

So you can imagine my elation when I finally got my plan of work together. And my insane frustration when I found out that the two classes I was going to take next semester almost completely overlap during the week. One class is required. The other is a course in systematics that would have taught me a lot of practical stuff that pertained to the area of botany I'm working in.

Since the required course is so involved that it would be better to take it now rather than try to do it at the end when I'm trying to write my thesis, I'm going to have to drop the systematics course. Which means I have to take something different. Right now it looks like I'm going to be taking a course in wetland flora. Which is an all day Saturday affair. You can imagine my enthusiasm.

On top of that, I should still probably take a systematics course. It looks like there's one offered in the spring. Although the only way I'll be able to take it is if I drop a course in paleobotany which, while not really pertaining to my research, is something I really wanted to take. I've wanted to take it ever since I was an undergrad, but couldn't take it then because, again, it's only offered during certain times of the decade. And if I don't take it in the spring, I won't be able to take it, period. So it's starting to look like I won't be able to take it.

*sighs* This sucks.

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