My First Ph.D. Venting Post

Reading time ~5 minutes

It’s been as while since I’ve written. I always mean to write more but I seldom, if ever, find something worth writing about. You see, my life hasn’t changed too terribly much - I’m still an overweight CS graduate student who drinks too much and works too little.

Actually, I think I might be suffering from impostor syndrome. I’m doing well in my classes, I’m starting in on research, and I’ve landed an research assistantship for next semester. So long as I can figure out how to pay rent this summer and replace my slowly-dying keyboard, I’m doing fantastically.

The only thing I’m really lacking is free time - I keep putting work off in order to find some free time. But even that somehow isn’t enough. I jumped in the deep end and I constantly feel like I’m trying to break the surface of the water for air. I get little sips but never a full breath - the tension never stops, it just lulls almost long enough to regain my composure. I’ve got some articles to read on the subject, though. Maybe one will help me.

In other news, Andy and I made more beer. The last batch, a nutty brown ale, came out okay (though incredibly weak, and it’s bottle conditioned itself almost perfectly for St. Patrick’s Day (with a nice flavor so there’s a nice silver lining. Our new batch is a Russian imperial stout. It’s in the closet right now, it’s got an incredible original specific gravity (1.080, and it smells wonderful. Assuming the yeast does its job, we’ll get about 8% ABV - enough to get well and smashed.

Making beer is a lot of fun and I think, even once Andy leaves, I’m going to keep going. Maybe a new graduate student next year will become my new brewing buddy - it really is a two-man job, if for the company more than anything else. And it’s fun to watch such a short-term project come to fruition and yield something I really enjoy (beer.

The other thing I’ve taken to enjoying a ton recently is Batman comics. I, ahem, acquired most of the Batman comics run. I have read about 20 from Legends and I’m most of the way through Gotham Knights. The stories are enjoyable and so purely, well, Batman.

I’ve watched a lot of Batman television shows and, of course, played the games, but I have never gotten such a stark, continuous, and true-to-character look at Batman. I don’t know why I never thought to read them before - they’re amazing.

On the topic of reading, I am going to start reading CS papers and writing about them again (on bithacker. I took a break because of Dan Friedman’s Advanced Topics in Programming Languages (to avoid spoilers, but it’s high time I get back to doing what I need to as a successful graduate student.

And on the topic of papers, Rebecca recently submitted one to ICFP. She is, I believe, the third author. But even so, getting’ published! Well, the paper hasn’t been accepted, but it’s been written and submitted and Ryan Newton has some sweet street cred to that end.

I think that this post has now gone on long enough - I’ve provided a nice write-up of how my life is going and now I’m going to go watch some X Files - the show I think I’m gonna get into now.

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