Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mission Accomplished!

First of five summer goals is accomplished. I read “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” – brillant writing by Hunter S Thompson. Reading a book that had nothing to do with engineering was a huge goal for me. (One could argue that it had a lot to do with chemical engineering but … well, that’s not fair, you can’t avoid science.)

So, I was trying to ease up on the booze of late. I kind of let loose once exams were over. It wasn’t difficult. I didn’t need absinthe – total lightwieght. Two or three brews at Dive Bar and I was discovering Baudelaire’s Paradis Artificiels. In time, I did pick up some more gusto and that only gave me more girth. Again, I was looking pull back the reigns. Then I start in on this psychodelic escapade of a journalist … oh, excuse please, a Doctor of Journalism, and his attorney who are on a quest for the American Dream. They hunt it with the religious passion so many have sought the Holy Grail, and they’ve got the alpha to omega of drugs. So why should I care about a few glasses of wine and some run raisin ice cream?

Another goal - stop swearing. That’s easy: take all the fucking stress out of my life and out goes the vulgarity with it. Life is good this summer. Come exams, I’ll cuss up a storm.

GRE was another important one. I started the summer thinking this may be my most peaceful summer in my back to school experience, so I took the prep class and was ready to hunker down. The professor who is my boss in the lab where I work told me that it is not important. The class professor informed me that often schools will take results that are from more than 5 years ago. He has heard of a 10 year old score being accepted. “I thought they were purged after 5 years!” I took it 5 years ago and did better than the average bear and was in the class thinking I had to work up to and pay for my own GRE déjà vu. Actually, scores are archived. Sort of … they are purged from the expensive database but archived in the pay-in-bearer-bonds database. Alas, I may not need to take it. If I go for a PhD, I can see a school not taking it, but if I only do a master’s then the GRE is a silly check mark necessary for the school to maintain accredation.

I was pretty gung ho on the PhD at the beginning of the summer. Hence an important goal was to look at which fields of research I want to pursue (pretty much done) then find out who are the leaders in those fields and start writing them. Take up a dialogue. It sure beats applying cold. That might not happen. I’m thinking I’m headed back to industry and if the company wants to pay for I will perhaps do it.

Finally, training for the NYC marathon is back on track. I had a great race a few weeks back was a 10k; I hoped to do less than 42 min. Surprised me to do less than 40 min. - 39:30 was on my watch. 39:33 officially or 6:22 pace. The other race I signed up for, I missed because I was hung over and j’accuse Mr. Hunter S. Thompson.