Archive for February, 2004
I forgot to complete Problem 2 part c on my Physics assignment. I’m such a dumbass. With stuff like this combined with the test I did poorly on, it’s not looking good. I’ll work hard for the other tests, though, and hopefully it’ll work out. I need to remember, however, that if I do too poorly, I don’t get a Physics degree. God, I’m an idiot for not just being more careful. That would have gotten me through the test (’cause I’d have studied more) and the homework.
I hereby forbid myself fark.com, slashdot.org, and computer tinkering until spring break. I’ve got to get stuff done. No, on second thought, a little slashdot while eating can’t really hurt. The thing is just that I have to be diligent and work hard.
Stanford rejected me. That’s okay; it just gives us more time to do other stuff when we visit San Francisco. I just hope the news is better about MIT and the NSF fellowship.
I’ve missed the shuttle by just thirty seconds a couple of times in the past week. So today, I walk outside and I see that the shuttle is stopped at the metrolink stop (about a block from my apartment). The drivers are supposed to leave there no earlier than a certain time, so it often stops there when it’s early; this time, it meant I had a chance to catch it for once. I ran, because I just knew it was going to leave before I had a chance to get there, and sure enough, it did. I half suspect that the driver saw me coming and left so that I couldn’t get there. If he/she/it was nice, he’d have looked in the mirror, seen me, and waited. The end result was that I have to wait for another fifteen minutes (at least; that’s if the next one is on time, which is unlikely). Anyway, it sucks.
I have a boo-boo (or an owie, I’m not really sure). In any case, I fell and skinned my knee like a little baby. I tore my green pants (are they patchable? I think they’ll need a patch; they won’t simply sew up) when I slipped on the last remaining icy patch on the sidewalk. I continued on to class, but when I got there I stuck my finger in the hole in my pants and sure enough, it came back with blood. So I had to go to the bathroom and swab off my leg. Lacking a band-aid wielding mommy, I tied a makeshift bandage of paper towel around my knee to keep my pants from getting any bloodier. All in all, the only bad part was ruining my pants; I managed not to drop my guitar too hard, and of course my laptop was all right.
I have good news and I have bad news.
Wait a minute, that’s not right.
I just have good news.
I just got accepted to Berkeley! I don’t know what the funding situation is yet, but most grad schools offer TA/RA positions, which cover tuition and also pay a salary, so I’m unlikely to have to pay to go there. Still, living in California will be expensive, but we’ll get by. Plus, living near San Fransisco is good for Kate’s career. I don’t know how it compares to, say, Boston, but it’s not bad. And it means that I no longer care about many of my safety schools, because the “worst” I can do is to go to Berkeley! They’re even going to pay (some of?) the cost of flying me out there to visit in mid-March. That’s really soon, and it’s making me a bit nervous. Anyway, I’m excited about the whole thing.
Oh wait, I do have bad news. I thought of a possible problem with my physics work, and if I’m right, we’ll be set back by several months at least. I just hope I’m wrong, though. Buckley said he wasn’t sure, and he’d check with somebody else, but I should probably go ask someone myself. I’ll have to do that tomorrow, though. I certainly don’t have time on a Thursday.
I think I understand how managers think. Since they themselves don’t work, but rather they supervise others working, they do whatever they can to squeeze as much work out of their workers. That means they’re willing to cajole and threaten and that they will not tend to treat their workers as independent people. They’re in charge of a whole group, so they find it worthwhile to hurt one person’s morale if it will bring up the productivity of the rest. In the end, it means that they treat their workers as a kindergarden teacher treats her class — as unruly children who must be nagged and pushed at continuously. Needless to say, this sucks for the people who actually do the work.
I had a masterclass with Paul Odette, who specialized in Renaissance lute. He reprimanded me on my interpretation, which is good in that he seemed to like my technique. That’s something. He had good points about interpretation: I should look at features in the music (places getting faster, higher, lower, etc) to orient my interpretation. That’s fairly obvious, but still I haven’t been following that terribly well. I just play it and see where I “feel” things should go, which isn’t particularly effective.
I saw Jeff, Kareem, and Colin (and Michelle) at the Superbowl party on Sunday. It was nice to see them, especially to talk with Colin. I can see what Kate sees in him. He’s cynical but smart, entertaining but not overbearing. His worst attribute is that he sometimes fails to take things seriously enough, which can get on my nerves. I also had lunch with Kareem today, and I probably will every Tuesday this semester. We ate at Tomatillo, where the server refused to give me an extra half-scoop of salsa. Is it that expensive? I’m tempted to boycott them, but 1) the food is still good, and 2) if I just stop going, they’ll have no idea why, so it won’t change a damn thing.
On the physics front, we’ve made further progress. We got results that we needed for the paper, so now all that’s left is the writing. I wrote some 10 pages earlier, but it’s apparently in too much detail. We’ll need to go more into why what we did is useful and less into what exactly we did. If anybody else really wants to see what we did, they can get the code from us directly, which is why I’m cleaning it up now. Who knows, but other people might soon be using code I’ve written? That’s like a growing-up point for a programmer: finally, I’ll have made something that’s not just a play project, but is actually useful somewhere out there in the world. And what’s better, I did not only the programming, but also the design, which puts me above your average corporate drone.
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