Friday, March 31, 2006

Small milestones

I'll take 'em. I finished the initial analysis of the first set of data for my current small project. This is the analysis I was doing yesterday when the program crashed. I've taken to obsessively hitting Ctrl-S, since there's no automation of this function (It's a shareware program, but perhaps the best for what I'm doing). It's a good habit for me to get into (especially since this program doesn't prompt at close to save).

It's a cold and grey day here. It's "Cesar Chavez" day, so the entire campus is closed as well. Since I have a building and lab key, it was no problem for me to get in and work. But... I couldn't get lunch anywhere, and didn't think to pack a lunch today. Sorry to say, I didn't know it was CC day! So, I've been subsisting off of dried apricots and a bag of Chex Mix. (Now, why do I feel like a grad student today?)

It feels good to have reached a small milestone. I had a nice chat with the newest member of the faculty here in my host department. He's a couple years younger than me, but quite accomplished. And we share an interest in [InterdisciplinaryField]. As he put it, he's been lucky. And he has. But he's much more published than I. He gave me some ideas that I think I'll take away with me. Mainly he simply reiterated what I wrote a few days ago about publishing. I've got to simply take the attitude that what I have to say (even if it doesn't seem perfect) is worth sending out. I have to trust that it's at least good enough for feedback. And, who knows, maybe some of those articles will be stamped "pending revision."

Most importantly, I simply have to keep on keeping on.

WhatNow? has been writing about some issues that speak to my present experience. The situations are different, but I think the underlying emotions are recognizable. The main thing I take away from it is the need to remember it's my life I'm living, it's my choices that have gotten me here, I'm in the steerage... and what's more, I kind of like it. I'm the one who's had most to do with forging this life, and I'm the principal player in all that happens next.

Granted, Dryden may be right, when he says misery is more entertaining than most other alternatives. But, frankly, I'm tired of my own whining. Timna may be right as well that others like to catch us at our whiniest. So maybe I won't be getting links for a while. I can suffer it.

No promises, though. But I'm going to make some effort to just enjoy my life. Misery makes us martyrs, leads us to disregard our own best interests in pretending our suffering serves some greater goal. Just think of Zacarias Moussaoui.

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