Friday, August 31, 2007

Life post-Germany

I'm too lazy to come up with a coherent post, and I also feel like I need to go find a coffee shop or library where I can set about studying my ass off for quals (I must relearn of undergrad physics in 7 days... if anyone wants to make bets I'll say there are 5:1 odds that I fail miserably). So the following is more or less what I've been up to lately, but in no logical or chronological order.

This week, the powers that be deemed it necessary for me to attend grad student orientation/TA training. This has convinced me of two things: 1) I might be a decent TA but 2) I'm very glad I won't have the opportunity to prove that in the near future. I'm going to be taking three classes, doing research, and trying to learn undergrad physics so I can pass the qualifier this year.

I have keys to a bunch of labs and classrooms and offices in the physics building. I also heard a rumor that grad students are allowed to get keys to the library for use after normal library hours, which I hope is true because that would be awesome.

The physics librarian is cool. She made us brownies and let us eat them in the library.

I have an office with cool officemates and a coffee maker. I also have an $800 ergonomic desk chair (my experiment has tons of money). There is also talk of replacing two of the desks in my office because they are old and/or not the correct height.

In celebration of half-price margarita day at Frida's I opted to walk home yesterday afternoon and leave my bike at the downtown office... but I'm not at the downtown office now and getting there is vastly more time consuming on foot.

Yesterday, I filled out a travel expense report. I learned that I will be reimbursed ~$20 for each breakfast I ate in Germany, ~$40 for every lunch and ~$50 for every dinner. Meanwhile, I probably spent less than $80 total on food.

Also, while I'm aware that if I had a real job I'd be earning at least a factor of two more than I'm getting now, I still don't know what to do with everything they pay me... I should probably set up an IRA.

I need to buy a stamp and mail my electricity bill.

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