Recently I've been likening graduate school to experiencing the tide coming in and out. At times it's not unlike a nice walk on a warm sunny beach. At other times the water is up over my head, and I'm struggling against a rip current. A friend reminded me just how appropriate this comparison is in that the tide is due to the lunar cycle — which is to say there's a strong element of lunacy involved.
The tide has definitely rolled in with classes, projects, trips, and various other academic and non-academic responsibilities now upon me at the end of the semester. I have barely had a moment for anything else other than schoolwork over the last several weeks. And this is despite my best efforts to stay on top of and ahead of all that's due. As far as I can tell, I'll be drowning for the next four to five weeks to come as well.
My birthday is tomorrow. Being born in the middle of April means that in undergrad, my birthday always fell on the week before final exams. That's not the case this go around, but it's only because a classmate is forcing me that I'll be celebrating at all tomorrow. I understand there will be carrot cake involved.
I'm not going to list everything on my plate at present. You might not believe me anyway. Don't get me wrong. Everything on that list is a good thing. My classes are really quite excellent this semester. My research projects are going well. I'm meeting new and interesting people and having opportunity to be exposed to all manner of valuable ideas and experiences. That said, what I wouldn't give for a life preserver right about now.
Thirty six. That's how old I will be tomorrow. I'm starting to catch myself accusing the younger people around me with the charge of being young. I never did enjoy hearing that when I was younger. So I'm trying to be mindful of not hurling such unhelpful observations. Nevertheless, I'm old enough to, on occasion, now wonder just what this fool thing is that I've gotten myself into.
And speaking of fool things to do, the photo attached to this post was taken during testing of an experimental game at my lab. We've all been taking turns at our weekly lab group meeting testing out an iPod-based movement game where teams compete based on how in-sync we move with our partners. It's supposed to be a dancing game. But I don't know how much what we end up doing really looks like dancing. Ultimately it will be used to study social dynamics in games that do not rely on screens for their primary interaction with players.