It’s been a while since we’ve talked – or at least, I have said something. I am sure you’re wondering how my days, weeks, months have been. Since you well know that I recently moved to another college town, there is nothing very significant to say. You know that I spent the last month of summer in Math Camp, trying to catch up to those people who already have their PhD in Theoretical Mathematics. A weekend after that ended, I started my very first year (semester) of graduate school. It’s been fun, really. Just very busy with the amount of work that they are expecting from us. Only problem is that I feel like I have been slacking. I mean, considering I just have finished one homework that is not due until a week from now, my statement does not seem to hold very much. Well, I guess let me put it this way. I feel as though I am very behind in all skills required to succeed in this program, at the same time, I am not really doing as much as I can to enhance these skills. Actually, the latter part of that sentence is false. I am working on my skills, it’s not just in a robust way that I feel like I should be doing. A big part of me thinks that what I do today is not enough, but at the same time, I have this new found philosophy that I can only do so much. Maybe deep down inside I really do believe that I am capable of greatness, which is why I expect much higher things from myself. I am not really sure. I can’t really bank on that. Anyway, enough talk about serious study stuff. Let’s talk about how I, apparently, got nominated to be the pseudo-social planner of our group (class). It’s very interesting to me, they say that it’s because I am pretty much involved in all (most) activities. At the same time, they think that I am up for this “challenging” position. Honestly, I find some sort of enjoyment from organizing events and activities. There is an odd sense of accomplishment that I find comparable to the feeling of finishing a math problem. Okay, maybe not a very difficult math problem that includes proofing, but perhaps to that math problem that just takes time and patience. Anyway, I just can’t believe that I have been “maybe” elected to do this. It’s very fun for me. We already have decided to have Friday social nights that we are planning to call VFI’s, which stands for “Vodka Friday Iteration.” For those math people, I’m sure you have gotten the pun of the Value Function Iteration – or maybe not. Either way, I think it perfectly describes our Fridays. It’s not that we talk about math; it’s just that we make a lot of math and economic jokes, which is closely followed by a “loop” of drinking. Funny, I made this joke about how our drinking pattern after a midterm will closely resemble the graph of sin(1/x) where the oscillation increases in frequency exponentially (geometrically) as it approaches zero. If you can’t quite picture it, I suggest you google an image of it. It’s a very interesting metaphor, if you ask me. Okay, I know I have been talking in a very nerdy way. But, I find very funny how I make certain jokes that is only for a targeted audience. The connection I make between me and that audience is just very interesting to me. Anyway, Stranger, I feel like I have talked (typed) a lot tonight. I think it is time for me to rest. I will tell you more about my days pretty soon – perhaps tomorrow.
With that, I bid you adieu.
Nothing gives me greater solace than the Harbinger.
I love that “beep beep boop” that goes on whenever I’m loading this page. I can just imagine some robot, like R2-D2, saying that. It’s pretty cute.
Anyway, as I have mentioned last night that I am trying to get back into blogging. So, let’s talk about today – or rather my thoughts on what happened today.
Fridays are the days where we (my cohorts and I) go to our mandatory review classes. And believe me, it was exhausting. I completely forgot we were going to have a diagnostic test in one of them, so that definitely kicked my butt. I just felt completely stupid on it. I mean, I tried my best, and eventually, I had some odd sense of accomplishment after it. But still, I absolutely forgot some concepts covered. I am beginning to realize how behind I am in my class, like if I were to rank myself in class, I would be very close to the bottom. However, on a more positive note, ranking does not matter once you start. You just have to make the extra effort in learning everything quick. I feel a little rusty with my Econ concepts while math skills are close to non-existent, especially compared to what the program is requiring of us. But, for some reason, I feel like I can still stick it through. I am really wanting to put in the extra time in catching up with the material. I mean, we haven’t gone in too deep where I am struggling. And no, I am not overwhelmed by any of it, as opposed to what my colleagues are experiencing. I don’t know why, but I have this sense of nonchalance when it comes to the amount of work we have to put it. I don’t have any negative opinions on it. I am just happy to be here. I am actually excited with the amount of work that we have to do. Yes, I know I said this last night already. But, I think that I want to iterate this thinking because when times get tough and I need something to remind me of how I got here, then this would be the best way to put it – in my own words. I think that typing all of these down would be a good investment, as a would-be economist would say, because this will serve as an affirmation in the near future.
Maybe I should start typing up a blog again. I mean, why not. I think it would be nice after a long, busy day full of math problems, equations, proofs (you name it). I am embarking on this journey where a person with basic knowledge of college math is expected to reach the same math status as a PhD applied math student in just under a year. How crazy is that? Talk about crunching numbers day and night. I mean, I can’t believe I studied for, basically, 12 hours today. Sure, there are breaks in between, but studying that intensely in the first week of school sounds pretty crazy to me. However, on a lighter note, I am actually enjoying this “hard work,” if you call it. There is a deep sense of fulfillment, or rather accomplishment, after studying for that long and then finding out how simple it really is. I know it is not that simple, but after internalizing the material and discussing it over and over again, everything just comes together nicely. It’s a pretty good feeling. Plus, I have amazing cohorts who kept pushing me to understand the material. I mean, they are not really doing that to benefit themselves, but call it “peer pressure” perhaps. It is some good peer pressure because I am benefitting from them by a huge margin. Not to mention, our group keeps on growing. At the end of the day, I feel like we are very coherent and effective where we are productive and we push each other to excel. I love this kind of environment. I feel like we are much closer to the definition of a team than what I had in an actual golf team. It seems very interesting to me. Maybe the age and maturity plays a factor in it. Also, maybe the competition isn’t all that cutthroat in out program. But still, I am glad to have such cohorts who help each other out. I just hope that we continue to be like throughout the semester. I mean, come on, we already have two more problem sets due in two weeks. Yeah, I know, you might think that two weeks isn’t that long. But when programming in a computer language that is fairly foreign, trust me, it is quite challenging. On top of that, it is definitely math heavy. Something that I am not completely prepared for. I have to take my extra time and practice math. I feel a little bit behind with grasping math concepts. Although, I am getting the hang of things, which is good. Although everyone has told us the horror stories of being in this PhD program, I am pretty confident that I can make it. It’s an odd feeling that I get once in a while. But right now, I know that I am in the place where I am meant to be. I am not scared of the future, at least not as much as before I started this program. But, I am certain that things will look towards my favor. Plus, I am really enjoying all this hard work. I am very happy. Then again, maybe I am just saying that because I just finished two problem sets already. We’ll see how everything goes.
Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with the feeling that I am very lucky, that nothing could go wrong. Like, I am on the peak of my happiest place – my Nirvana.
Right now, this is exactly what I am experiencing. This sort of adrenaline rush that pulses through my veins. It’s not that my heart is racing; it is more of being high and relaxed.
But then, things can go downhill from here. It’s as if I am on top of the hill where everything is nice and pretty, but then I look down and see the sharp thorns and jagged rocks down at the bottom where I have to cross to reach the higher hill next door. I suddenly feel the icy teardrop sliding down my spine. I know what’s going to happen next. I need to muster all the courage that I have to take the plunge. I know that I can never stay on top of this little hill forever. I must find higher ground. I have to embark on this new path. As I descend down this hill, things will run smoothly (I hope). Gravity and motion should be enough for now since I have to reserve my strength for the obstacles ahead. Right when I hit the lowest part of the valley, I am probably going to experience frustration and intimidation all the same time. I am going to experience what Barbara Krueger keeps saying in her Exhibit in Hirshhorn: Belief + Doubt = Insanity. So yes, I will probably experience that down there. However, I will most likely decide to climb up to the top of that tall steep hill because I have made a decision, and I hate quitting. I will have to go against the pull of gravity on this one. I have to reach this feat. I will never back down.
I know what I have to do to get to the next hill. I can already see it from where I am. I am ready for the bumps and obstacles in the path, even those hidden booby traps. I am ready for what’s coming for me. I have a plan. I am ready for this.
I guess there’s no one to talk to about this but you, the random public.
I am really missing something that I happen to lose along the way. I lost something very precious to me. I am dying to have it back. I have been trying to make do with what I have, but for some reason it’s not quite the same.
I guess that’s how life works. You have to go through it while losing things along the way. I never knew how much I needed the thing which I have already lost.
Maybe I am overthinking this again. But, I really think that I need that message now, if you don’t mind…