Saturday, October 31, 2015

My Life Thus Far and other random tidbits

I believe in random capitalization. Just call me Margo from Paper Towns.

I was going to write a blog post this morning. After all, I just entered the crazy post-midterm part of the semester where strangely enough I'm suddenly more busy than before. Who wants to work on an impossibly, devilishly hard take home math exam when you could just write a blog post instead?

Then, I read my friend Sami's blog post. I would prefer you to read it after you've read mine-- or else your standards will be impossibly high. She literally quotes Dickinson and writes such beautiful metaphors I feel like I have a unique, small window into her life.

And I could totally quote some poetry here-- I've been rereading my favorite poem anthology called She Walks in Beauty curated by Caroline Kennedy.

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies
Lord Byron

But I'll admit, I don't have the skill to weave beautiful feelings and expressions into this poem, to describe my life in such a way as Sami does. 

So I wasn't going to write a blog post this morning. After all, I knew it wouldn't be like hers-- and I loved hers!

But then I looked at my math exam and figured almost anything would be more fun than that, so here I am. 

Side note, I don't necessarily consider myself a "math person", a random fact which throws many people off. After all, I study physics! How can I not be a "math person"? But doing math for physics is very different then just a strict math course; one is a means to an end, the other is just plain difficult. 

The other day at Praise Team practice ((I sing in the band at my church)) the pianist asked me if grad school was like what I thought it would be. I just stared blankly at her, trying to remember what my expectations were. Yes? No? It's...different than I expected. I have more free time than I had anticipated, and labs are so much easier than I had thought. 

I was so worried my lab students would ask super difficult questions about the set ups-- derivations of the equations, etc. Ha, no. My lab students are algebra based which means they don't want to be physics majors. Most of them are there to quickly fulfill a requirement and then get out. 

I don't mind teaching the labs-- after a quick pre-lab lecture, I mostly just meander through the room, helping each group out. Grading the lab reports-- now that's a different situation. I have around 70 students total, which means I have 70 lab reports to grade each week, on top of my own homework and responsibilities. 

Taking three courses is manageable, but definitely not easy. I never feel that I have enough time to fully think about what I'm learning-- it can be a scramble to just get everything done. 

One thing I really enjoy about my program is that it is highly research oriented. What that means is that they are not too crazy about grades-- you do the work, take the exams, and you'll end up with a B. That's it. Classes are important, but research is more so. I'm already dreaming of the day when I'll be done with classes and can just do research. 

Speaking of research... When it comes to academics, I'm the type of person who throws themselves head first into a subject without looking back. If I could have signed up as a physics major before starting classes at Hendrix, I would have. I wasn't entirely sure what physics as a whole would entail, but I knew I wanted to major in it. I've no experience in the realm of biophysics, but I know that's the area I want to get my doctorate in.  I've meet with one the professors here already about research-- and now I have a textbook and tons of papers to read, which is exciting! 

It's almost November and it's crazy just how quickly the semester has flown by. It reminds me of my freshmen year in undergrad-- I feel like I blinked and it was Christmas. Not that I'm complaining-- I can't wait to go home for Christmas, see my family and my cats! 

I'm going to wrap this odd, slightly rambling?, post up by promising to post again soon. I felt like a brief update was warranted. Next time, I'll talk about the struggles and excitement of moving to a new city and starting over. 

See you then!