Yes, I am still alive out here in Grad School Land.
I knew this second half of my final term would be busy–my naive fantasy of a calmer existence was blown quite awhile ago–and it is not disappointing.
For most of the past few weeks, the intensity of my respective projects and jobs has been increasing, which will make me feel accomplished, say, later this summer. At the moment, it just makes me very tired.
PDR, or Professional Decision Report/final master’s project: research is ongoing and has me so entrenched in solar energy as a topic that I’ve begun speaking in odd technical lingo (you know, “a-Si thin-film vs. CVP” etc.) and my long-ago and far-away science teachers and professors might be happy to know that for the most part I’ve had a terrific time reading technical reports and geeking out on diagrams. The government impact studies, on the other hand…
Fellowship: Data requested months ago arrived. Last week. Not my client’s fault, but I may have shook my fist at the sky momentarily before pulling out my solar-powered calculator. I may have also daydreamed about the diagram I found explaining exactly how a solar calculator was a step forward in PV technology.
My Job: Talib decided to live-blog career services’ last alumni panel, so that was not a shameless plug I initiated. (Great idea, by the way!) We have a couple more of those panels upcoming as well as an event I’m quite excited about, a three-hour collection of mini-sessions showcasing our services. If you’re looking for an internship, about to graduate, and/or wondering how to stay sane in either case, please do stop by for one or two of those hour-long sessions at Lang Student Center next Friday from 10-1. (Now THAT was a shameless plug.) Planning for those events takes up quite a bit of time these days.
Classes, generally: I’ve come to think of class sessions as quiet time during which I can think hard about complex issues, and I cherish those moments since I know they have an expiration date. I am also feeling less like a student and more a working professional/consultant these days, so there is a certain oddity to those.
Career Search: Oh yes. It has commenced in earnest. (If you’d like to hire me, particularly for a writing-intensive position, please feel free to drop a line. I have broad interests and a burgeoning live-tweeting practice). I have a rule I’ve largely stuck to this semester, which is to have at least one “career-related” meeting a week–an informational interview, appointment at career services, or check-in with a professor; attend one event per week at which I’ll talk to a couple of new people, and to spend time on the “thinking” and “searching” work weekly as well. (Meaning: that “touchy-feely” introspective and reflective piece of employment search). Those stolen hours, and I do mean stolen, are the most difficult to carve out of my days but to me among the most important as we get closer to May.
Otherwise: also stolen, but necessary, are those self-care/fun elements which include time with my writing mentee, exercise, meditation, yoga, and even sharing a drink or two with a friend. Those things are sometimes only 20 minutes of my day, but they make all the difference.
With that, I am off to another writing/media project. I would like to promise a return to weekly posting for me, but we’ll see; I suspect you could simply lather, rinse, repeat the above and get the gist of my life until late May. It is nerve-wracking, exciting, exhausting, and even, at moments, a happy time.