Wednesday, May 24, 2006

PhD comics has once again hit the nail on the head

I hadn't checked out PhD comics for a while so when better to than while I'm sitting here thinking about writing my thesis. When I got to the May 22 comic I had to laugh. It's so true. As I was reading it I turned to check out my thesis outline I made a while back. Six chapters is what I have listed, which nicely falls into the 'not bad' category. I've got the freebies written in there too. Those were the easy ones. Stuff I did my first year is chapter two (no lit review in my area or at least it goes under the intro). I don't have any stuff I'm supposed to be doing now since I'm done it all so I'll call that chapter 'years 2 to now'. The make stuff up chapter, heck that's easy and fun at the same time. You just need to think what you would do if you had all the money in the world and endless technicians and undergrads to do the work for you. Easy peasy.

The last panel in the cartoon is priceless. I've lost track of how many times I've given that answer when someone asked me how my thesis was going. Now I can say I have an outline, a chapter and some of another chapter done. Yay!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I'm back... with a tan

Okay I've been back for over a week now so the tan has faded somewhat but you get the idea. The cruise was awesome as expected. A lovely week of no stress or thoughts of thesis writing. Sure I packed papers to read but those were soley for during downtime at the conference and yes, they stayed securely in my bag until then. My highlight of the cruise, holding a stingray in Grand Cayman. The cruise made me realize that I really should have gone into marine biology so I would have a reason to live in tropical places. Alas, highschool never taught me about how to get a job in a tropical location.

As for the conference, it was quite uneventful, research-wise. I've gone to this same conference for a few years now and every year I find it a bit of a different experience. Some years it's the talks that are the most interesting, some years it's the poster, this year though, it was neither. Although the conference was still good. I met a lot of people, networking some may call it, so all in all it was good. Being a conference in the US though, most of the networking involved people in the US. I, however, would prefer to find a post doc in Canada. I'm still keeping some of those names of people I met in mind though because you just never know.

Now to the important part of the conference, the hotel on the beach. It was an older hotel which I thought had a lot of charm and was quite nice considering the economical price and the location. Other people I know who also stayed there had a different opinion. To some, a pea under the mattress makes for a restless nights sleep. That's all I'm going to say about that but I'm sure you get the idea. Unfortunately, the conference kept me quite busy. With the conference every day, all day, then dinner and chatting with this person and that person after the conference meant I usually didn't get back to my hotel room until 10 or 11 at night so no beach. The last day though, I got back to my hotel shorty before 3pm, changed into my bathing suit in record time and dashed out to the beach and stayed there until the sun went down. It was a lovely end to the conference.

Now it's back to thesis writing. It's going slow unfortunately. I'm hoping this is just a slump and it will soon end. Also, the supervisor is back to requesting me to do time wasting things for him. Today I got an email saying that he wants me to move all his boxes (that he came months ago to pack up but never shipped) into our main lab because they need to clean out the other lab. I sent a reply asking if I would get worker's compensation when I throw my back out. I ended the sentence with a smilie though so even though I meant every word of what I said he will take it in jest. Oh the eggshells a grad student must carefully tread.