Thursday, August 31, 2006

it's in my head, but i can't get it on paper

lots of thoughts and ideas about research, life, people.................EVERYTHING. but, i just can't find the words to begin to convey the extent of how much i have been thinking about things lately. the constant struggle continues between my rational mind and thoughts in an irrational world full of irrational people.

gone to atlanta for the weekend (notre dame vs. georgia time.....under the lights), be back tuesday.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

someone keeps moving the basket

as much progress as i have made recently, it feels like someone keeps pushing the goal further away from me although it seems so close. i guess this is a typical feeling for any long-term project. i thought i was almost done, but it seems i have at least a week's more work to do as i keep thinking of new functionality, try and take into account all possible error conditions and prevention measures, and make the application robust at the same time.

i'm off to class.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

moving forward

yesterday ended on a very discouraging note as i could not figure out why my code was not working. thankfully...(and with the help of the internet and google).....i found the solution to my problem. it was such a breath of fresh air. this was a big hurdle as i needed to figure this out in order to begin to do more meaningful work. it's full steam ahead from here.

p.s. - since when did ONLY HUNDREDS (first paragraph) of people die in katrina? was this cnn writer not watching cnn?

Monday, August 28, 2006

ready to move on

so i finally finished and submitted my first-year report and thesis proposal to my advisor. i can turn my attention back to my program that i am working on right? well.........i turned into a brick wall..........AGAIN. i am stuck again and really don't have any clue how to solve my current problem. i know that it will be hard to come in tomorrow and start hacking away with no ideas. maybe i will get a stroke of genius tonight or in the morning. i may just have to break down and ask for help again. BUT, i don't think anyone in the office knows how to solve this I/O issue i am having with my application. i think i am truly on my own on this one.

i am in serious need of some motivation

Friday, August 25, 2006

lots more to learn

i had a productive morning in that i got some much needed reading done for my own research. the final feeling though was that i had a lot more math to learn before i can begin to start on my own algorithms and solutions to the problem. do you know how long it's been since i have done formal math like integrals or summations? whew!!!!!!!!!..................that's what i said. i tried to work on my program for my berkeley project, but i am stuck again. i think getting unstuck is a great way to start the week (can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?). i really don't have much choice because i refuse to stay hear any longer on a friday. plus,..............."idlewild" comes out today.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

staying focused

today started off as a very productive day, but after lunch, i watched as my focus slipped out of my grasp. my attempts to regain just a bit of it were futile for about an hour and a half. that leaves a lot of work to finish tomorrow if i want to make my deadline for finishing my first year report and thesis proposal. i REALLY would like to be done with these documents as they have become a royal pain. once i can submit these, i can refocus on my work here at berkeley.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

a quest for greatness

i cannot help but wonder where all of this hard work will take me once i finish my degree. words cannot begin to describe (nor can i totally imagine at present) the impact that i want to have on society, technically AND socially. at times, i feel a great deal of pressure to be that individual, BUT i don't really know who that will be. my best attempt at describing the person would be to create a wishlist of the individuals that i would like to rope together into one person. the problem with this is that i feel i am defining myself based upon others, and i want to be my own person.

in writing my first-year report, i tend to think about where i will be in 2 years time and how impactful my research will be. this sparks me to thinking about life further down the line as i just described. the paper is coming along. i can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

the world we live in, and the people we live with

i normally wait til the end of the day to post, but as I was reading some news articles this morning, i could not help but be overwhelmed by emotions (anger, despair, name it).

Spike Lee has put together an in depth documentary detailing the events after hurricane katrina last year. the first two acts of a four act series aired monday night on hbo, and the rest will air this evening. the program is described here.

i read the comments about monday's program here. i cannot begin to describe how confused and angry i became at some of the comments. i am truly baffled that there are individuals that cannot seem to fathom being so poor that you cannot just up and leave a place (whether it be financial, no family, no transportation....whatever). i thought that katrina would be a wake up call in exposing the EXTREME poverty and low-level of living conditions in OUR OWN america...............supposedly the richest country on earth. RICH IN WHAT???? is money the ONLY thing that matters? is RACISM not that important an issue to deal with? is CLASSISM not that an important issue to deal with? WHY can the american public not see this? this was the only news on television for WEEKS. on several occasions, newscasters BROKE OUT IN TEARS in seeing the devastation and UNNECESSARY death first-hand. the government even had the nerve to say that "they did not know"....................ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS TURN ON CNN. *expletive term*!!!!!, THEY KNEW.

there is a certain level of responsibility that each individual should be held accountable for, but in a land where the government has promised to take care of the individuals that cannot/choose not to take care of themselves, their responsibility is STILL expected. the country has the resources, the means, and the personnel to make this happen. maybe things were just TOO BLACK for people to see the problems.

Monday, August 21, 2006

sorry, i didn't have any ideas

my first-year report is coming along fine. i hope to finish it by the end of the week. i need to start focusing on my thesis proposal as well. i would love to have both done by week's end. i have turned my full attention to these deliverables and will return to my work here at berkeley once i am done.

my apologies for not having an interesting blog entry today. for some reason, i just was not able to see through the cloud in my mind and tap into any creative/thought-provoking ideas/comments/feelings.

Friday, August 18, 2006

always something to learn

throughout my little experience as a phd student so far, i have learned that there is always opportunity to learn something new. whether it be in my particular field of interest, whether it be about life, whether it be about being a phd student, or whether it be about people, i have been overwhelmed at the NUMEROUS moments where i find myself learning a great deal when i was not expecting it.

i still find myself amazed at others who are well established in their research (professors and older students), and i often find myself in awe and envious of their expertise. i frequently wonder how seasoned i will be as a researcher in the coming years. how will i progress? how much will i know? will people look up to me as i look up to others? how significant will my contributions be?

what started out as a pretty crappy week has definitely turned out for the better. NOW, i can actually enjoy my weekend.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


after 4 days of staring at 2 + 2 and wondering why it did not equal 4, i broke down and asked for some help. sure was a VERY minor problem that prevented my program from operating as it should. i am so glad that i can move on now that i am not that upset that i wasn't able to figure the error out on my own.

Monday, August 14, 2006

"commitment cannot be compromised by rewards" - Michael Jordan

new week, new motivation, new desires............

after an eventful weekend of praise and interesting conversation, i woke up this morning with the determination not to let my short-term successes deter my long-term visions and goals. the longer i am here in california, i am more and more thankful that i came and had this experience. i have met some of the most interesting and intelligent people that i have met in my life. NONE of which are my co-workers here at uc berkeley. i am definitely surrounded my brilliant individuals at work, but the people i have met outside of work have made an impression on my thought process, my personality, and my growth that i am forever grateful for.

i feel an intense sense of pressure to succeed coming on. an extreme fear of being the one that failed. this is great for motivation, but the stress and anxiety that accompanies these feelings can be more than a load to bear at times. it never fails that whenever i think i am figuring this whole "life" thing out and feeling a comfortable sense of maturity, i "see" how much i still have to learn and how much more i have to grow as an individual to be the person that i want to be...............that person that will turn the world upside down for the better.

my work is coming along fine. i overcame some VERY irritating confusion with my program today. (remember last week, i was extremely confused and stuck). however, i ended the day staring at a brick wall AGAIN. maybe tomorrow will be productive as i have given up on solving the problem today.

p.s. - get ready to forget everything you learned about the solar system

Friday, August 11, 2006

out of it

the last few days, i have lacked serious motivation to work on my application. the main reason was me being seriously stuck and confused. 4:30 on a friday....with the help of a colleague's fresh eyes........i am no longer stuck. maybe i can make more progress starting next week knowing that i don't have to look at the same thing i have been for the last 4 days.

on the flip side, i have made some initial strides in finalizing my first-year report i have to submit to my advisor at cambridge. i even found more sources that provided VERY useful information. i just want the paper to be done.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

finally met Dave Patterson

after much anticipation, i finally had a chance to meet Dave Patterson and talk with him for about 45 min. it was awesome. he is an awesome guy. and, he finally gave me the feedback that i have been yearning for since i got here to berkeley. he gave me some excellent feedback....good and bad..... and provided some sound advice/suggestions. the meeting was well worth the wait, and i look forward to many more meetings with him during my stay and in the future.

after a great start to my day, i reached a lull in the afternoon as i asked someone to look at something for me. this simple "it's working right" or "it's working wrong" answer that i ASKED for turned into a conversation to show me how much he knew and all these suggestions about things WAY down the line. to top it all off, i DID NOT get my question answered, and i will have to ask again tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

it's like pulling teeth

the last few days, i have been struggling with my work and to find anything interesting/insightful to write about here. sorry about this, but my mind has been cloudy regarding the thought to produce both. work has slowed to a crawl as i have spent 4+ hours each day trying to solve a simple problem that only increases functionality minutely. i guess this may be a reason that i have not had much to write about as................ you may imagine................ i am pretty frustrated when i leave work. granted, i have not killed myself yet because, luckily, i have solved the issue on my own as opposed to leaving the office with no solution. it is extremely hard to find the motivation to come to work knowing that the problem from yesterday still haunts you and no progress can be made until this LITTLE problem is fixed.

Friday, August 04, 2006

100th post!!!

i never would have thought that i would stick to my blog enough to have 100 posts, but here it is. thanks to those faithful readers and the comments left. i will keep the diary rolling along.....but hopefully not too long. i plan on finishing this whole phd thing one day.

after a shaky start, i was able to accomplish my goal for the week. my program is coming along fine. i just need to sit down and talk to the guys that i am writing it for to see what functionality they need. the learning has not stopped and doesn't look like it will let up anytime soon. berkeley was a good choice this summer.

p.s. - how hypocritical our government is.(i say this like it was a secret). punishing people for what our gov't has done AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO!!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

i'm getting there

it's been a slow process, but my venture into uncharted territory is coming along. i have not done this type of programming before, so the learning curve is pretty steep. i spend a good bit of time debugging errors that i am unfamiliar with, but thanks to the lovely place we call the internet, i have been able to overcome any problems i have encountered up to this point and see examples of what i want to do. as i always say, i do not understand how things got done before the internet.