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A Quick Post from the Other Side of the World…

August 3, 2009

So it turns out I’m not getting an M.HSc, but an M.Sc.  Whoops my bad.

I also find this mildly amusing considering how I graduated undergrad with a Bachelor of Arts.   I suppose I am finally fulfilling my Asian-scholarly ways (at least partially*) by eventually obtaining a degree with the word “science” in it.

*Next stop, M.D. Haha.  I kid, I kid…

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Grad Students are Weird…

June 17, 2009

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For some reason, I’ve always found graduate and professional (i.e. med and law) students to be a bit… odd.  Somehow attaining that additional degree seems to also come attached with the acquisition of some quirky characteristics.  They may be genuinely nice people, but when it comes to their mannerisms and social tendencies, there’s something off about them – whether it be with the way they act, dress or converse with other people.

Case in point:  TAs.

Many grad students take on TA-ships to fund for their own degree.  With that said, for every one “normal” TA, there are usually 10 oddball TAs conducting tutorials.  I myself have had to deal with many of these oddballs.  The strangest one that I’ve ever encountered was the one who always wore shorts.  This TA wore shorts 24/7.  His entire wardrobe consisted of shorts and running shoes!  Many of us questioned whether he even owned a pair of pants.

Now this preference for wearing shorts year-round might not have come across as unusual if say, Undergrad U was located somewhere that only experienced sunny and warm climates.  Unfortunately, Undergrad U is home to some brutal Canadian winters.  Of course, this seasonal weather never seemed to phase this “Iron Legged”-TA considering how he was spotted multiple times braving the cold winter weather in shorts.

Like I said before, grad students are quite strange.

Perhaps, the reason behind their eccentric habits is because after exhausting their brain power on academic pursuits, they become too tired to remember how to handle social interactions properly normally.  Or quite possibly, couldn’t care less.  I mean, spending the majority of your time with a petri dish of bacteria or figuring out the kinks of SPSS than with people will probably put a damper on your social life.

Such is the life of a grad student.

Officially Graduated in T-Minus 2 days!

June 10, 2009

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Not really a post about grad school, but i’ll be heading back to Undergrad U tomorrow evening in preparation for convocation, which is Friday morning.

Yup, I get to wake up super early on Friday, make my way over to campus and put on a very expensive rental gown.  Then I will sit among a few hundred people that I don’t know and wait a few hours until my name is called.  At this point, I will make my way across the stage to receive my piece of paper that I paid $20,000-something for.  I estimate that this will occur in less than 5-minutes.

Sweet deal.

On another note, head over to Chronicle for Andy’s take on grad school.

I Have a Place to Live!

June 6, 2009

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After all the frustration, stress and anxiety, I have finally found a place to live!  Most importantly, it’s a nice place, it’s with the person I want to live with, the rent is dirt cheap, and best of all:

IT’S ABOUT 5 MINUTES AWAY FROM CAMPUS.  AS IN YOU CAN SEE MY APARTMENT ON THE CAMPUS MAP!!!!!!

I’m so excited to finally be living close to campus.  Most of all, I’m so thankful that after all the housing issues that I’ve had to go through, I’ve been blessed with this great place to live.

A quick tip on housing:  Even if availability for a university apartment is dependent on lottery, it doesn’t hurt to call the university housing department directly.  Turn on the charm machine and you might be lucky enough to bypass the system. 😉

Frustration Looms…

June 1, 2009

It’s getting frustrating, looking for a house.  Mainly because 1) we still haven’t found one and 2) I’m leaving the country in about three weeks for a month and a half.

The first major dilemma is that notification on whether R and I will have been selected for grad residence won’t be released until the day before I leave, which means that in the event that we don’t get grad rez, I won’t be in town to look at housing in person.

The second dilemma is that I’m getting the feeling that R isn’t as “gung ho” about living in residence as she was before.  This sucks, because I still am.  After three years of living more than 20 minutes away from the edge of campus (30 minutes, in the winter), I am done with living far away from school.  Also considering how Awesome University is situated in the middle of a snowbelt, it’s supposedly home to some Unawesome Winters – and if there are two things that I dislike, it’s walking far distances and walking far distances in the snow.

So what was supposed to be an exciting time is now beginning to become one of frustration and nervousness.  Perhaps, this all can be attributed to cold-feet.  Moving in with one of my closest friends whom I’ve known for almost 8-years, I just keep wondering,

“What if our friendship fucks up because of housing issues?  Is this really a risk that I want to take?”

WordPress is Confusing!@##!!$$!

May 21, 2009

WordPress is giving me a headache, as I’m finding it extremely confusing to navigate through this blogsite.  There are just way too many options and functions and frankly, I don’t have time to read through the WordPress manual. It’s a pain i tell ya.

Seeing as how I’m currently using a generic WordPress Theme, eventually, my goal is to revamp this site and make it a little bit more attractive.  Unfortunately, altering themes requires knowledge in CSS and the only CSS that I know of is a band.  Plus, considering how it took me about 20 minutes to discover how to insert an image into a post, I don’t think my goal will be achieved any time soon.  UNLESS! Unless, some amazing person (with a bit of time to spare) is willing to help me out with redesigning this site.

All I am really looking for is to insert in a header, add in an RSS subscribe link and rearrange the right column.  Basically, add a little “oomph” to the site.  With that said, if anyone is interested in this task and/or enjoys doing favours for people, let me know in the comment section.

Worth a shot, right?

Hitting on your TA?

May 20, 2009

phd0130As part of my funding package, I was offered either a RA (Research Assistant) or TA (Teaching Assistant) position.  When I mentioned the possibility of being a TA to one of my friends, she jokingly replied that I should be prepared to be “hit on” by the guys in my tutorials.  I laughed and told this to my mom, who then told it to my dad, who misunderstood the conversation:

Mom:  So Tammy’s friend told her that when Tammy becomes a TA, boys in her tutorial will “hit on her”.

Dad:  What do you mean “hit on?”  Tammy, don’t let people in the class bully you, okay?

In any case, the chance of a student “hitting on” me is highly unlikely, considering how the makeup of the undergrad program is probably 98% female.