>> Friday, September 19, 2008
Let me just say.. I signed in to update my blog and the first thing I see on dashboard is my profile picture completely zoomed in on my chest!
Peter just told me that he only sees the full picture... so I guess that means only I have to be subjugated to staring at my chest when I sign in.. so that's good :). But I still don't like it.. I can't figure out for the life of me how to change the settings without changing the entire picture. Oh well.
Recap on the week:
I killed myself to finish a 12 page paper on international trade issues and three weeks worth of data gathering at work... but I have seemed to survive. I think the paper turned out fine and the presentation was easy, my work presentation was long and mentally draining (sitting in a conference room with 5 of my coworkers going through 2 different 20 page documents of graphs and figures!) but I got through that ok as well. Starting last Friday I morphed into crunch mode... which is weird since crunch mode is usually only a couple of days. It's a little longer in grad school. Saturday I actually woke up at 7 in the morning to dig into the second half of my research (that I didn't finish Friday night) so that I would have all of it finished before I would meet my project partner at 12:00. Lots of notes and 5 sources later I headed to the coffee shop to see Emily. I didn't feel great about what I had found but I figured I would need to just suck it up and deal with it. We sat at the coffee shop from 12 until 7 that night... rehashing all of our findings and realizing that international trade is (obviously) a very complicated subject. The rest of the week I worked and went to class and worked on the dang paper every other free minute I had. I figured out that I had not exceeded one 5 hour night of sleep since last Thursday, and between Tuesday and Wednesday night I only got 6 hours combined... yikes! Needless to say I haven't seen my roommate more than 20 minutes here or there since about 2 weeks ago. I'm beginning to wonder if she thinks I've found a second home.. haha.
We finally pulled all of it together around 2 in the morning Wednesday night.. and I felt good about it and definitely ready to turn the page on the project while Emily was still freaking out. She's an undergrad senior that's trying to move into the grad program at VT and I guess the combination of the application process and the fact that she still thinks about grades (she's an undergad) made her a little more sensitive to the whole thing than I was.
Everyone liked our presentation and it was honestly one of the easier ones I've had. I've been MUCH more unprepared for grad school presentations... which is something you generally get used to (and probably more realistic in the real world anyway). You DEFINITELY don't worry about grades.. you do the best you can and that's all you can do. I take that back, I worried about grades last year in my methods class... but that class was crazy. We were all walking on egg shells the entire semester.
After the presentation I hurried over to my office to throw together a power point presentation with the 50 graphs I made the day before. It was the second day I had skipped lunch entirely.. but I knew I would be down to the minute to pull this one off. I had exactly 2 and 1/2 hours until I met with my office to present my work. Sure enough, in usual Tia fashion, I handed them the stapled print outs still warm. Good thing we have one of those fancy high powered printers! I would have been completely screwed had I try to accomplish that in the lab.
Granted, had my research partner not spazzed out about the paper (and thus if we didn't have to rewrite it like 10 times), I think my week would have been a little less chaotic. Although, I'm starting to realize that adding a real job into this grad school thing is going to make my life much more hectic. I just have to keep telling myself: "debt free, debt free, debt free" haha
Anyway, the week ended with a really fun night out in Blacksburg (last night)... in which I actually stayed out until the bars closed! Haven't done that in forever, let me tell you. I felt really old the whole night.. but I still had a blast. A bartender called me darling and I just thought that was funny enough to text Peter to share the good news.
I don't know if it was the sleep deprivation.. or the alcohol.. or both... but I definitely had a close call to losing my phone because I dropped it while leaning against this car (I fell asleep for a second.. true story). I think I vaguely remembered something like that last night before I went to sleep but I didn't have the strength to walk outside in the dark to try to find it (looking back... probably a wise decision). I retraced my steps this morning and sure enough.. 5 blocks from the house where I was staying at... I found my phone on the ground next to the car that I recognized because I had left a huge smudge on the window!! Gross! I'm sure some random VT student is loving that right now.
That was the extent of my crazy night- almost losing my phone (seems to be pretty normal when you hit 25). Funny thing is.. I wasn't terribly worried about someone stealing my phone because it's such a piece of crap! I had some assurance that if I went back to the bars that we were at I could probably find it.. or someone may try to get it back to me. Overall, I think I've learned to become much more selective in my stressing. Can't stress about everything... gotta pick and choose.
So, overall, I'm doing ok. I like Blacksburg so far and I will have an opportunity to actually go outside this weekend so that should give me some new juice to get through next week. The kids in my program want to make this Thursday night out a weekly tradition, but I'm starting to think that may not be realistic for someone like me. I think at least watching the bluegrass band from 8-10 at the bar we started out at sounds reasonable.
Oh, and one last thing... go tigers/hokies/bills/eagles/cougars! I'm going to start spreading my allegiances so at least some of my teams will win :)