Saturday, January 21, 2006

a new beginning

I meant to post sometime during last week and then after last weekend, but it just didn't happen. to bring everyone up to speed, let me sum up the last two weeks: the 11th and 13th I took the physics written comps again (which was not as painful as the time before, but I'm still not feeling really confident - which is fine), then I participated in a two-day soccer tournament with my Brilliant! team (lots of fun, but ended up really sore and with possible shin splints), then one day off to recooperate from all of that, followed by the first week of the new semester.

I am feeling really good about this new semester. I am taking three education-related classes and am super excited about two of them (the third should be alright, but won't be as interesting as the other two). I have a history/philosophy of science class, a philosophy of education class, and another one on how to "generate" and analyze qualitative data.
I have come through the break with a new apprecation for my research interests and have decided not to apologize for them anymore. regardless of the outcome of the comps, I am seriously considering switching over to the education department, even though that is something that I initially was very against (due to some discussions I have had in the past with other people in my field - this is not because I think any less of the education department but because it is widely acknowledged that it will be more difficult to do future work in physics departments with a degree in education instead of physics). but I am starting to come to terms with the fact that I may be better suited over there, since their department is populated with people who actually seem to care about me and about what I want to do. the physics department is a big mess right now, and on top of all of that, my advisor is leaving and I need to find another one (and there is only like one other person in the department that would be able to advise me and I just don't know if that would work out). lots of things would need to happen for me to stay. I might be able to find an adviser in the math department or something like that. we'll see what happens. but regardless, I have told myself that by the end of this semester I need to have it figured out. I need to have a new advisor who understand where I am coming from, what I want to do with my research, will be able to help me with my research, and I also need to form my committee and start thinking about dissertation topics. oh, and I need to edit my paper from last semester and try to get it published. on top of all of that, I also have about 200 pages of reading each week, not to mention all of my research for the project that is paying me and my personal research as well. it is going to be a really busy semester, but I work best when I am busy, so I am happy about that.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

happy 2006

I am currently holed up in my apartment in phoenix trying to study and not procrastinate. but clearly, I must take breaks for my own sanity, so here are my thoughts on the new year.

after a fairly uneventful trip to LA to see the folks for christmas, I drove down to san diego for new years and stayed there about five days. I caught up with a lot of old friends and that made me really happy. I hope that we can all keep in touch throughout the year. I saw Cogan at Jeremy's house, saw Eric K for some greasy mexican food (yum!), had lunch with Mike and Jen on sunday (really good to see them!), Carolyn and I watched WHMS sunday evening, and I chomped on pizza and beer with Ficken on monday.

the new year's eve festivities were quite nice. a lot of people came over and we all imbibed champagne and other intoxicating drinks. luckily, Jared and I woke up super early that morning to go to IKEA to buy champagne flutes; they were only 10 cents each (just that day - hence why we woke up early). we were only supposed to buy 8 each, but we went back in the store again and picked up another 16.

the rest of the weekend was lots of fun. we went to PB one night and Hillcrest another (wine tasting) and the boys even convinced me to play counterstrike with them for an hour or so one day (it wasn't so bad, but not something I am going to want to do on a regular basis). it was really nice being in san diego, and of course I didn't want to leave to come back here. I mean, really, what I was thinking leaving that place originally?

I was going to resolve not to have resolutions, but that sounds kind of silly. so I made some up I might actually follow: I resolve to read more books and watch less TV (unless it's really good Tv - then it doesn't count). I resolve to cook good food more often and to not go to fast food places (except In-N-Out burger which is the best place ever). I resolve to take the stairs instead of the elevator (unless the elevator is broken or I'm really in a hurry or I'm with someone else who obviously doesn't want to take the stairs).