Semester UpdateOctober 7, 2008
It has been a busy, but unexciting semester so far. As I mentioned earlier, I am taking a lab and one course for credit, auditing 3 others and attempting to start up some new research on the side. In the copious spare time that remains, I also am trying to manage my family.
The hardest part is trying to keep tabs on the girls. For a change, all my classes are in the afternoon, so I don’t need to dash out the door early in the morning for a 9 am class. The tradeoff, though, is that I am not around when their school lets out 4 days out of the week, which is tough on the whole family.
The first lab report (Zeeman Effect) has been handed in – it should do well (the draft version got high marks). The second lab (Plasma Diagnosis) is in progress, but has been very troublesome so far. Tomorrow is the last reasonable effort I can make to collect the needed data – report due in one week!
My first (only?) mid-term exam is next Thursday, in Astrophysics. I am somewhat worried about that one – the instructor classifies it as a hard exam. This is the professor who thinks the homework is fairly easy, but it invariably causes stress for most of the class. At least we can bring a sheet of paper with whatever we want on it – and I can write in very tiny print.
My research is totally slacking – I’m supposed to be learning how the outer layers of the sun work hydrodynamically (in order to assist with other work I’m done – I’m not actually studying stars for this research). I’ve just been so swamped lately – in part due to an out-of-town medical emergency (now passed – hi, Mom!) which chewed up most of a week of mental time, in part due to me being a slacker still – that I have not taken the time to truly absorb the material. I need to get my butt in gear before he casts me off.
Right now, I am watching the 2nd Obama/McCain debate instead of doing homework or studying for the probability/uncertainty quiz I have tomorrow, but at least I’m not on the Xbox. And where are McCain’s manners? He ignores Obama while the latter is talking and various other rude moments tonight and throughout the campaign. The worst, though, is totally blowing off Obama’s hand shake offer at the end – he tapped Obama in the back to get his attention, and when Obama turned around with his hand out for a shake, McCain looked at it and turned away! Obama recovered well and turned to McCain’s wife (who did accept the hand) and then continued his business. Manners, Mr. McCain, manners – you must be civil to the Democratic nominee to the highest elected position in the country, even if you despise everything about him (as he must be to you, as the Republican nominee).
This Friday, I am taking a photo workshop with Washington Photo Safari (monuments at night), which could be cool (with the offset problem of possibly getting me too interested in photography again – like I have the time!).
Finally, I am attempting to keep up my training in krav maga at least twice a week – I was on a good roll until a few weeks ago when I lost two weeks in a row. Now I have to get my butt in gear again. I might add on a second type of training (perhaps muay thai) just so I can open up another night or two to work out – the krav sessions just don’t fit my schedule well this semester.