I am posting after many days now. I think the last sensible post I made was quite some time back. I really haven't had any time to browse over my blog. My first semester in grad school was quite an experience. A roller coaster ride. Ups and downs, the whole package. There are too many things that I want to talk about, so let me share a few.
I love my office space. Yes, my department has been kind enough to give me a nice office and some very comfortable chairs. The entire CS dept at CMU moved into the spanking new Gates building recently, and so far space has never been a problem. I have my own corner in campus and it is where I live most of the time. I guess the concept of having an office, where I can walk into anytime of the day or the night, has pampered me into a state of taking the office for granted. Frankly I can't imagine having to study at home or lounge about in the public spaces. I wouldnt have been able to do half my work were it not for my office. I love my office.
I came to terms with the fact that my body is a machine. If it gets food and rest, it works fine. The importance of free food in my life is immense. Most often, I dont get time or motivation to prepare an elaborate meal at home. Not surprisingly, eating habits have become very random, And also with the financial constraints that I am living under buying food is really a luxury. So free food, be it a pizza, mexican burritos and even the rare wraps is a great treat. Free food might seem very stereotypical of grad students, but it really is extremely important.
I managed to do some fun things this semester as well. Tried out my dancing abilities by learning some beginners ballroom dances such as Waltz, Quickstep, Swing and Cha-cha. Went swimming a few times. Learnt how to use gym facilities. Watched a few good movies, went to watch a theater performance, hung out with friends, partied infinitely, tried different kinds of beer, had the best birthday ever and jumped off a plane with a parachute.
But most of all, the grad school experience has been very fulfilling so far. It's not like everything has been rosy. There were some initial hurdels, some culture adjustments and some 'learning to play hardball'. But the classes are mindblowingly brilliant. I love going to Statistics class. I love listening to every word that Larry has to say and I love reading the notes that he gives out. It's like everything that he says is logically connected. There are no gaps in meaning and purpose. It's a new feeling, really, to be able to exercise your mind and solve challenging problems.
All in all, it's been good and it's been bad. But one thing is for sure, I haven't been bored.