(That’s the title of a Faith No More greatest hits album, apparently.)
This semester has seen me transition from college-style work to grad school-style work. I’m not in five classes with weekly assignments; I’m in two classes with projects. And I’m working on this research project on my own, and I’m miserable. I don’t have class five days a week; I’m in class for six hours a week. Reading journal or conference articles is impossible! Or, it’s possible, but it takes me so goddamn long that I get really sick of it by about page 3. I can’t concentrate when I work; I think every hour is about 15 minutes of work and 45 minutes of checking email, reading other websites, getting a snack, reading comics, blogging (hi!), etc.
Am I dumb? Probably not. I’m in the top n% of the class here, honors, etc.
Am I lazy? Maybe. I don’t think I work more hours than anyone else. I probably work a lot fewer hours. But I complain more.
Do I have bad work habits? I guess, if that procrastination ratio is any indicator. I’m working at home a lot, and it’s driving me nuts. I feel like I’m sitting in a cave and I never see other humans.
Do I really just want to be done with school? YES. I want it to be summer. (Or, not quite, because then a lot of people leave my life, some of them forever, and that’s always sad. I want it to be like the week after finals, when everyone’s still around, forever. Well, you can’t always get what you want.) The point is, I’m really done with all this grad school-style stuff. I don’t care about natural language processing and journals and conferences and semantic parsing. It’s still all greek to me anyway.
Grad school must be TERRIBLE if you’re not into it, and I feel like I’m half in grad school, and I’m really not into it. I’m sorry. I hope that’s all it is… I hope I’m not just overall lazy.
Will I be miserable when I get a real job and have to work all the time, and can’t look forward to summer? I hope not. Man, I really hope not. I’ve not had tons of fun at any of my summer internships, and I’m certainly not having fun (work-wise) now, so I don’t know why I expect it to be any better, but I really hope it is.
Don’t let the impression you get from working now in grad-style type of work influence on your decisions later whether to go to grad school or not. It is impressive to begin with that you actually do that… Most undegrads cannot handle grad work anyhow given the little experience they have. If it all looks greek to you now, it is okay. It is also okay if it is greek to you during your masters. Just take your time… You will eventually catch on with the material, I can assure you. Reading papers for an undergrad can be pretty hard, even for grad students. Don’t let it get you down.
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