Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Transportation woes

I went out with some other grad students for martinis this evening (yes I know it's a Tuesday - I missed drinking over the weekend for both academic and health reasons), and while I had an excellent time, getting home was more of a pain in the ass than usual. First, the bus showed up at West Wash later than expected by about five minutes. Then, it went about three blocks, and stopped in traffic because all the barriers were down at a train crossing. Note that there was no train in sight. So, after ten minutes (which is already a factor of two longer than my entire trip should have taken) the driver decided to turn around and take a detour around the intersection by going one block south. Naturally, when we returned to the correct road, the barriers were no longer down. Point: Mad City PD. Unfortunately for me, upon getting home and turning on my computer, I learned that the west end of campus and surrounding area (my former neighborhood) has basically been locked down since 6:30pm because the cops and security are looking for some suicidal guy with a gun. Oh, wonderful. But, had I known this before coming home I could have saved myself the twenty minute bus ride by simply calling a cab company and telling them I was a student (apparently, as part of the security procedure UW arranged to pay for rides with the major cab companies this evening).

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's the small things

...that are driving me slowly crazy. In New York, there might be sirens at 3am, but the goddamn undergrads don't ride around on leaf-blowers -- I mean mopeds -- at all hours of the day and night because they're two lazy to walk 500'.

In other news, I got pissed off at the gym website, because it lists the building hours, but not the hours that the weight room/cardio stuff is available for rec use. And I don't want to call and ask because then I'd have to interact with either another human being or worse an automated phone system. Then I got annoyed at the fact that I have to get up for class five mornings a week instead of just four (or three last semester).

So now I've decided that if I'm going to get through grad school in the Midwest without annoying the crap out of everyone around me I need to adjust my diet to contain more (a) carbs and (b) chocolate. Excellent.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Quick! Look busy!

Imagine the following scenario: you, a hapless grad student, are given a small task by your advisor to learn how to read your experiments simulated data and make plots with it. Then your advisor leaves the country for a week and a half - and you promptly forget that she will be back in town for at least one day before going out of town again, so you don't get too panicky about the details of your assignment. Then, on the Friday before she returns you realize that you might be expected to have something to show for the week, so you decide to finally track down someone who can explain what you need to do. Once you have a script to crunch through the data and have compiled the necessary software it's 3:30pm. And then the data server crashes. "Great!" You think, "I'm going to have to do this over the weekend." Then when you wake up on Saturday morning, the data server is down *again.* You imagine how bad it will sound when you tell your advisor, "I'm sorry, I couldn't do what you asked me to do last week because the data warehouse went down on Friday and didn't come back all weekend." :-(


Friday, September 14, 2007

Hey look! I have a blog!!

Heh. I sort of forgot about that for a while. So here's a random story that I was reminded by while talking to Chris and Karen the other day. At some point over the summer, I got into law school. This might be less impressive, had I actually applied to law school or taken the LSAT (something I debated, on account of the questions being fun, but decided against, on account of it costing >$100). Apparently, I was one of 20 people who Rutgers-Camden decided to accept on the basis of their GPA and GRE scores alone. What I'm curious about is what makes the admissions committee at RU Camden think that someone with my GPA and GRE scores would want to move to Camden to pay to enroll in a program that she hadn't applied for in the first place. Anyway, the (unsurprising) punchline is that I decided to stay in Madison where they pay me and I can go outside at night without getting mugged. Right.