Once again, a year older and largely unchanged.
I sent out another round of Ph.D. applications, got another round of shitty responses, threw my hands up, and took an offer to stay at UK and do a Ph.D. with the CS department here. The dichotomy between how pleased folks at UK seem to be about keeping me and how little interest I got elsewhere is a bit distressing, but I understand how it happened, and UK has been and continues to be amazingly accommodating, so I can’t complain much.
In the coming semester I’m TAing for CS275 (undergraduate Discrete Math course), which lacks many (by which I mean “all”) of the exciting hands-on aspects of EE281 and EE101, but is sophomores (which are generally my favorite to teach), and is a sufficiently presentation-dependent set of material that it has serious potential to be be rewarding. I was asked about teaching any of several things for ECE again after CS picked me up, because apparently people think I know what I’m doing in front of a classroom, which might have been more fun, but I had already committed, and this will certainly be more broadening.
I amazingly failed to get clear of my MS for another year, largely because the lack of medium-range plan pressure supplanted with a bit of a reddit habit made it easy to avoid cleaning out the remaining not-fun bits – things are mostly written and written up, it’s just a matter of sucking it up and dealing with the last few bits and pieces. As I’m finishing that I’m trying to arrange people and resources to just do a Ph.D.-sized project I’ve had in the back of my head for years …but that is a large separate topic.
In perhaps the only really substantive difference, I’m living alone in an apartment instead of in a house with people I’ve known since high school. I’m enjoying being able to impose order on my entire living space, and the greater opportunity to spend time, as a former housemate was fond of phrasing it, free from the tyranny of pants, but there certainly is less built-in variety.
I’m pleased with the state of my existence – perhaps too pleased in that I’m getting a bit complacent – but I’m not really suffering on any time scale as a result of not being in a hurry, and I’m getting to indulge in all sorts of interesting side projects, so I’m pretty OK with it.