Tuesday, June 20, 2006

gone till october

today was my last day in the office before i leave for the summer. i am headed to uc berkeley to do some research out there. i am really excited about the opportunity, and i hope things turn out as i have in mind. we shall see. i get back to the us tomoorw afternoon. so excited.

Monday, June 19, 2006

in search of a sense of 1st year closure

i have one more day in the office, and i find myself searching for some sense of closure/accomplishment for this first year. i would have loved to get a paper out, to have done more talks, or at least attended a conference. although all of these things are related and closely coupled (i.e. - if you get a paper accepted to a conference/workshop, you most likely attend the conference/workshop and probably give a talk to the group or at the event), i feel like i failed myself for each of these milestones as individual and separate entities. granted, i have set my experiments and research up to yield success in these areas upon my return in october, i REALLY wanted to have one of these "trophies" to take home with me this summer. i am still in the midst of the battle for my research independence and gaining complete control/understanding of my own research path. working with others is wonderful, but in these early stages, i tend to forget that it is necessary and see it as me just tagging along for the ride. i want to be the driver........and drive FAST.

p.s. - "there are no iPods in baseball....or are there???" (in the Tom Hanks voice from A League of Their Own)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

breaking down the barrier

as i continue to chug along and get my work wrapped up before i depart, i cannot help but feel that i have contributed only a minimal amount of my own ideas and have used many others' ideas to develop my research direction. this is not to say that i am not interested in or did not want to do what i am doing now, but i just feel like the ideas should have been more my own since it is MY research and MY phd. i was just talking to one of the research associates in my group, and he was able to comfort me by letting me know that "a phd is just the process of breaking down the barrier we have setup in our minds that stops dumb ideas from coming out. because, eventually, one of those ideas turns out not to be dumb at all."

i can understand this growing process, but this is one of those things i wish i had been told before starting my phd in order to avoid feeling like a parasite of ideas. it can get very frustrating when you try and sit down to come up with new ideas and nothing comes of the 2-3 hours you spend thinking. THEN, when you talk to other people, they throw out ideas left and right in a matter on minutes.

..............the life of a lowly first-year phd student

Monday, June 12, 2006

don't know what to say

it took a while to get going today. for some reason, i seemed to be moving AND thinking in slow motion. i hope i can chalk that up to today being monday, but i really need to have some VERY productive days until i leave next wednesday.

Friday, June 09, 2006

so glad it's friday

for one of the first times since i have been here in england, i am glad that it's friday. not so much for the amazing night life (i hope you can hear the intense sarcasm in my voice), but for the simple fact that i have worked long and hard this past week and need a break. between writing this first year up, finalizing some test setups, and preparing work for some summer students visiting our lab, my brain has been going a hundred miles an hour for quite some time. today was a nice end of the week. i made some REALLY good strides and have some fresh ideas to ponder and come up with. i finally got some more papers to read, but we'll see when that gets done. have a good weekend.

p.s. - Think twice before using that USB thumb drive you might find

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


sorry for my absence the last few days. work has gotten rather hectic as i try and tie up all the loose ends before i leave. tasks are being added to my to-do list faster than i can scratch things off, so you can imagine that i have been running up the wrong escalator for about a week now. everything is relevant, it is just a lot to do in a short amount of time. anyway, i will try and do better.