Matt's opinion

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Keep your fingers crossed

Well I'm almost there. Tomorrow is the day I defend my thesis in front of the entire department. Damn the last month went by quickly. I'm pretty nervous but I think I'll be ok. I've practiced the entire talk twice today and I think it's good. The only bad thing is that it's running about 40 minutes, which is ~10 minutes too long. After this last time of practicing I deleted a couple of slides so I'm moving in the right direction, but I still think it'll be long. Oh well.

I had my visit at Northwestern this past Tuesday. I think it went really well. I'm hoping to get an offer by the end of next week, but of course that's not a done deal yet. I realize that no matter where I go I'll be doing some sort of low temp aqueous geochemistry, which is a little scary because I have no experience in it, but it seems that every new thing I try I end up enjoying. I do have a little experience with the tracers I'm using for my MS thesis, which is really what drew me into the topic in the first place. I'm really hoping to get into NU. It's grad program, although extremely tough, is devoted to research and only has like 10-15 grad students at any one time. There is a lot of pressure to research and publish, which may or may not be good, but I figure it's time to learn how to become a good researcher. I figure I already know how to be a good student, or at least succeed as one.

Other than that I really haven't had time to keep up with the news or anything else. I'm just wasting time right now so my voice can recover from talking for over an hour, and so I still have a voice for tomorrow. That's it for now

Thursday, March 16, 2006

good news, then i hate computers

As usual, it's been a while since I've posted, but oh well. Boy have I been busy since the last I posted. As I type the lab computer is converting my thesis from 3 MS word doc's to a PDF. Hopefully it works this time, it just stoped with no error message or anything the first time I tried it. Anyway I've got 5 printed copies sitting on my desk so it's all good. What a relief to finally get that thing done. Talk about a monkey on my back, this thing was like a gang of hoodlum gorillas making me grap my ankles for the last 3 weeks. You can image.

Oh yeah, more good news: I've been accepted to Northern Illinois for my PhD, and just today I got an email offer of a research assistantship to do geochemistry and groundwater discharge in the Yucatan penninsula. I've also been invited to Northwestern a week from Monday (27-28) to visit with faculty and grad students. I'm really excited about both opportunities, but I might actually have to make a real decision. I've always assumed that I'd be accepted or even considered by NIU and neither of the other two schools I applied to. Stupid choices. I still haven't heard anything from UIC yet, bums. I think it's because they're considering me a back-up if one of their first choices declines their offer, but I could be totally wrong as I have no basis for that assumption.

Everything else is going good. Melissa's sister is in town so we're going to Universal Studios tomorrow. That should be exciting. I've never been to a park like that, but I'm sure it's just like every other theme park, just with movie rides. I still want to get to Seaworld before I move back up north.

Oh yeah, I did want to make one comment about something other than my life and that, of course, would be about politics. Yesterday Republican Senate hopeful (yeah right) Katherine Harris (yes the former FL Sec of State during the 2000 recount) deposited 10,000,000 of her own personal inheritance (totaling about 63 mil) into her campaign fund for the Senate. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? That's almost as bad as Bloomberg spending something on the order of 10's to 100's of millions of his own money to buy, I mean get re-elected, mayor in NY. For Harris, that 10 million dollar deposit just puts her even with incumbent Senator Bill Nelson who has broad and overwhelming support accross the state.

you know what i'm done. This fucking computer won't make my pdf. i wanted to leave the office at noon today, completely done, but no. Word and all this computer bullshit have kept me here (it's now 7pm) and i haven't eaten anything besides a few girl scout cookies and a bowl of cereal today. i hate you computers