Waiting to change my life aroundSat, 31st Oct '09, 11:25 pm::
I haven't written much here lately and I thought that it was because of my busy schedule. Earlier today Juliet and I took a stroll along the beach and we came across hundreds of women and men running for breast-cancer awareness and cure. As we cheered all the runners on, my mind went back to my months of training this summer and I realized why I have not felt like writing much in a while. I love writing when I am making big plans or in the process of changing myself or my situations. At this point in my life, I am not in a planning phase but a doing phase. I am going to graduate school, working hard at my job, and taking care of my zoo at home. This is a period in my life where I don't pick up new things every week but instead stick with the boring but important plans I made previously and push through with my best efforts.
Most people either plan a lot or work a lot but not both. This means they either end up hoping for great things but don't do anything or they do a lot without much forethought. I can't say I'm not guilty of that myself but I've got better at doing both planning and hard work in succession over time. In the past when I got into my work-hard phase, I used to fear that I've lost my aptitude for thinking big but now I know that is not so. It's very enticing to take up a fun project on the side and concentrate so hard on it that the rest of my life gets ignored. While I love that kind of excitement, it takes me away from the bigger goals in my life.
I want to finish my Masters and then in a few years, get into a Doctoral Program. I want to change my life around so research and invention play a bigger role than web design and programming. However, I cannot do that today without making a lot of people around me miserable and hurt. The time is not right. I cannot drop everything right now and instantly do whatever I want, no matter how badly I want it. So till then, I'm making the best of my present life and working hard in school and my job.
The way I see it, the planning phase is when I apply the knowledge I've gained over time to shape the course of my life. That is when I am open to new ideas and find out what excites and motivates me. The doing phase is when I don't waver from my plans no matter what and learn the skills I will need for the rest of my life. Right now I'm learning about project management at school and at work. I'm also learning about business processes, what happens in their absence, and how to make them work so people don't have to. While this may have nothing directly to do with my eventual PhD, I know these skills with help me throughout the course of my life. Things are pretty mundane lately but I know that every night I go to bed slightly more knowledgeable than when I woke up. This lets me sleep better because I know I'm slowly but steadily moving forward.
Happy Diwali everyone! Diwali is the Indian festival of lights and here to give you a brief history of the tradition is President Obama. He explains it so clearly that I wish he made more tutorials like these for different things. It would be awesome to have a Presidential video on how to upgrade to Windows 7, make a soup out of tree bark, or give your cat a bath. I think that would really make my day.
Two-spaces at the end of sentencesSun, 11th Oct '09, 11:55 pm::
I have been working on a group assignment for my class all evening. I would just like to tell all those people who use two spaces at the end of every sentence in a document to kindly take their respective posteriors down to the fiery domain of Beelzebub. It's 2009. We have proportionally-spaced fonts instead of mono-spaced text. Everything written online is automatically converted to single space because web-browsers treat one or more space characters as a single space. You may have experienced this yourself when trying to make a 'blog post or comment online. You actually have to use a special code to force web-browsers to render multiple space characters in a row.
Since we have charts and graphs in our paper that use a series of space characters for formatting, I cannot do a global search-and-replace for two space characters without messing up. We've all written different sections of the paper so each person has formatted and spaced it differently. The formatting I can remedy easily by using Word's style bar. However, I have to manually search through forty pages of text to find double-spaced sentence endings and fix them because the text looks pretty inconsistent otherwise.
Other than this, things are going well. I'm so glad to have Juliet back home. Since she missed my birthday, she got me lots of gifts and a nice big cake upon her return this Tuesday. I thought I had cleaned the house thoroughly before she got home. Then yesterday she went around every room and actually cleaned it. The house looks so much cleaner and makes me wonder if I even cleaned anything last weekend or just had a dream about it. I have my finals this week and two projects due so I'm busy studying day and night now. I have no classes next week but after that another half-semester starts. I feel like these classes are just never going to end.
It's my 29th birthday today and I'm doing homework four days before it is due. I think for the first time in my life, I am nonchalant about my birthday. Any other year, I would be complaining about having to do homework and chores but I guess after 28 of these, it's getting a little repetitive. Plus 29 is such a non-milestone age. Maybe next year I will do something fun for my birthday. Also, I'm sorta sick with a bad cough so I'd rather not go out and celebrate. I plan on drinking lots of orange juice and cleaning the house tomorrow. I should also get some laundry done as I've run out of clean t-shirts and have resorted to business shirts.
Everything else is going well. School is a lot of work and will get much tougher next year when I sign up for tons of classes. I'm not working on any interesting projects at home right now and just concentrating on school and work. I'm looking for a good research field for my eventual PhD. I'm not sure if I want to spend 5-7 years in computer theory, systems, AI, media, economics, mathematics, or a mix of all of these. I still have a few years to figure that out so I'm not rushing.