Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On getting excited...

Hey all

So the graduate school search continues.  I've decided to shelve my efforts to throw together an application for the NSF graduate fellowships for the time being, and focus on getting to the graduate school and advisor that will be right for me.  Seems like this is a more important and immediately pressing goal.  If for some insane reason I find myself with enough time as the deadline for the NSF thing approaches, and am simultaneously struck by inspiration, I'll give it ago, but for now it's cooling its heels.  I've been discovering how hard it is to work on designing and thinking about science when you work 40+ hours a week, and aren't in an academic setting...  one more reason to get my butt in gear applying to schools.

Towards that end, my total count of potential advisors contacted is up to 4, of which 3 have responded, and 1 has conversed on the phone with me (soon to be 2)... I've also started contacting their graduate students to get some inside scoops.  I'm kind of starting to get excited about one place in particular, although that may just be because I've gotten the best response/most information from them to date.  So far everyone responding has been very helpful/friendly/informative, so that's nice.  It's cool to be on the up swing of a "feeling excited about science" cycle - sometimes I just get too overwhelmed to feel the excitement.  There are probably about 4 more people I want to e-mail, but definitely I'm making headway... whew.

In other news, we've got the first of 9 replicates of a very large experiment happening down here tomorrow - something we've been preparing for over the course of several weeks, and involving the coordinated efforts of 6 people and several radios.  Keep your fingers crossed that all goes well tomorrow, gulp.  If so, then I'll be working the next several nights collecting data (argle, also yeeeehaw!).  I'm working significantly more than 40 hours a week right now, which was something i was concerned about when deciding if i wanted this job - I'm trying to preserve the time I need for grad school apps, etc.  But I tend to be very stubborn, and want to work until a job is done, rather than cutting off at 8 hrs a day, so I'm well over 40 again.  Extra hours are saved up and count towards paid vacation apparently...  at this rate, I could be getting paid for a week or two of extra 'work' well after having finished physically working here.  Good deal.  I'm planning on burning some of that over Thanksgiving, when I'll be heading off to visit Eugenie and her family (more on that in the future I'm sure).

But for now, off to bed, as tomorrow could be a 16 hour day (eeeeek!)

Peace out...


- Jonas Salk

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