Saturday, September 30, 2006

We Have The Technology

Well, I finally did it. I've made the decision to put my beloved bike under the knife... err... wrench. All of the key parts are original from when I bought it with the insurance money I got after being smashed into by an elderly driver. And that was about 14 years ago. A couple of days ago, the back wheel started wobbling a bit more than could be fixed with a little spoke tightening. So, I took it into a local bike shop and told them to go to town. A bunch of little wear and tear issues are going to be fixed, the cables, both back and front sprocket thingies (TOUCH MY MONKEY) are getting changed out, and I understand they are going to hang a little pine-scented cardboard tree from the rear-view mirror.

Also of note:
  • The show I'm seeing tonight (and tomorrow) is actually a three-day marathon-style to-do. I'm thinking of actually dressing up. The horror.
  • This morning: 4.39mi - 31'08"
  • First day of class was very odd - main lesson learned: If something works in the first class, it cannot work in the second class.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Alas, No Diamond

Well, Neil wasn't there, nor was anyone stilt-bound, but there was an open bar, and that's something. The shindig was actually pretty well-stocked with goodies of the drinkable and edible varieties. What it didn't have, alas was space. multiple thousands in one building was frankly a bit too much for me. It didn't make matters much better that I was lugging around my bag o' joy. See, I don't have a lockable office anymore, so I have to drag about everything I own, and that sucks.

Anyway, beer, eggrolls, mini sammiches, roast beast, and other finger foods were enjoyed before I escaped crushment.

Such was yesterday.

Today was the first big day o classes. I got to see the lecturer for whom I TA in action, lecturing. Frankly, it was a pretty bad situation. several hundred students, none of whom seemed to have properly enrolled. Most of the class was eaten up with trying to sort people into categories - those with a faint glimmer of hope of getting in the class over there, those with no hope over there, and the handful of people who actually enrolled properly can sit over there and daydream. uck.

My first TA section is tomorrow, and I'm a bit worried. Not only do I not understand any of the technical and administrative issues, the content is something fundamentally different from anything I've ever taught before. Joy. So, I'd better get plotting.

Oh, yeah. Bonus cool! I got free tickets to a really cool show this weekend. Yea me!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dark Secrets of the Ivory Tower

Secret #1, it ain't ivory. It's mahogany.

I just escaped from orientation number four, and am very prepared for the wild and crazy shindig that has been promised for tonight.

This last orientation was perhaps the most sobering. It was the departmental one that explains all the how-tos of getting a PhD here. It was brought home in painfully clear language the time and effort required. It was terrifying and exciting. I'm sure there are going to be many more of these awakenings, but I'll say it here as I've said before and I'm sure I'll say again. I'm in a PhD program. I mean seriously. Wow. What in the hell were they thinking when they let me in? hehe. I feel like a kid that's been let into the teacher's lounge.

On that note, I've been given the keys (figuratively) to a members only reading room. No hoi paloi allowed in, thank you very much. Only grads and profs, and only those from our corner of academia, because you can't ever trust some types of those people. You know how they are. It really is gorgeous, too. I've sprawled out at a nice desk next to a window surrounded by lovely books (useful ones, even) happily housed in arches of dark wood. I think I'm going to live in here. Pity it's not open 24 hours.

I've got a few more minutes before the above-mentioned shindig, so I'll gather myself up and head out. They promised foods from all corners of the world, acrobats.... on stilts! and monkeys! on stilts! and... and... Neil Diamond! They said they couldn't get him on stilts though. Something about insurance or somesuch. So they've got Scott Biao - on stilts!

If I see any of that, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

4.44mi - 31'58"

After the last run, my thighs were burning like crazy. Even before today's run, I could still feel the burn a little bit. I still made it a bit faster than last time. I'll probably be in agony tomorrow though.

Monday, September 25, 2006


I've been so oriented that I could point out north at the north pole. Seriously. Friday was one all day orientation and today was another all day orientation. I think there's one more on Wednesday. It's only a half day though. Then there's a departmental shindig tomorrow, I think. Ye gods.

On the plus side, I had a chance to meet with the prof I'm TAing for and the other TAs, too. I've never TAed a class with so many TAs. We've got a conferance room full of 'em. Also on the plus side, it sounds like the mandatory 'intro to TAing' class shouldn't be too burdensome. One the less than plus side, I realize that the work load for the TA class itself is going to be brutal.

Then there's the grad seminar - I learned that the prof is cruel and inhuman in assigning readings, astronomical in expectations and cosmic in her theortical ruminations.

Then there's the reading group. We're tackling some pieces that aren't well studied yet because none of us have read them yet. So that'll be more work.

In short, I'm in way over my head already. But that makes me happy, and I need that.