Light at the end of the tunnel…
More than two years. That’s how long I’ve been in New York City and toiling away at my graduate studies. This past week was midterm exams for my last full semester of classes.
I think maybe I’ve gotten the hang of this stuff. I had two exams — five hours worth! — on Thursday. For the second exam, I studied only two hours immediately before walking in and taking the thing. I did just fine. Thankfully, my classes this semester are easier than some brain melters I’ve had in the past.
Now it was not exactly my preference to cram like that. But. First of all, now that I am a Ph.D. candidate I am no longer under so much pressure to ace all my classes. Secondly, I’m responsible for no less than four research projects in various states of completion as well as any number of other responsibilities — all outside of my coursework. These responsibilities take priority.
In fact, I just learned this week that one of those priorities is taking me to Munich, Germany in February. A paper I wrote on my Fidget Widgets research project has been accepted at the 8th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction. I’ll be presenting my work to (and inviting feedback from) a room full of smartypants for a little under a half hour. The rest of my time there will be spent taking in all manner of presentations, meeting people, checking out other projects, and seeing the sights. I’m excited.
These last two years have been just plain crazy, outright rough, and quite humbling. But slowly things have gotten better. This paper being accepted at a really good conference is encouraging and validating (it’s a great paper if I do say so myself). I was even recently on TV for a segment about a new center just opened on my campus (sorry, they haven’t posted the video yet).
I have just a handful of course credits to complete next term. Soon I’ll be proposing my dissertation, and eventually nearly all my time will be spent completing that monumental project. I have other adventures up my sleeve too. More on those some other time.
I can’t say that these last two+ years have exactly flown by. But I can say that I’m starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.