Friday, February 27, 2004
Breaking up large slabs of dry ice with a hammer has never been what I’d call a "pleasure" – "pain" would be a better description. But today the dry ice level in the chemistry storeroom freezer was such that I didn’t have to numb my fingers leaning inside to hammer the blocks into little pieces. What a "pleasure." Unfortunately all other elements of today’s research experiments would definitely fall under the category of "pain." And since I’m already planning to spend the weekend running more tests and writing the first draft of my AIAA conference paper things won’t be improving any time soon. What a "pain."
Posted at 11:22 PM, 0 Comments
Monday, February 23, 2004
After submitting the abstract for my AIAA conference paper I thought I would have a chance to write on a topic other than my graduate studies. Considering that, besides recent birthday wishes, my last seven posts have concerned my schoolwork, I thought a change of subject was in order. However, I haven’t been so lucky today. I spent the afternoon and evening finishing the “impossible” homework assignment that was originally due last Thursday and my solution ended up to be thirteen pages long. And now all I intend to do is clear the textbooks and papers off my bed so I can go to sleep.
Posted at 11:33 PM, 0 Comments
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!
Posted at 8:32 AM, 0 Comments
Friday, February 20, 2004
New additions to the lab dry erase board:
1) “I crashed this morning” (Marcus)
2) “What did we learn today?” (fluids website)
3) “Here comes the Thnikkaman!” (Homestar Runner)
4) “I have to go lift weights” (Marcus)
5) Jet experiment definition (Sevan)
Jet experiment = Time * Money
Time = Money
Jet experiment = (Money)^2
Money = (Evil)^1/2
Jet experiment = [(Evil)^1/2]^2
Jet experiment = Evil
Posted at 4:27 PM, 1 Comments
Thursday, February 19, 2004
In class today I discovered that the average on the fluids midterm was 58/100. Maybe my score of 72/100 warranted the "good" comment after all. However, all aforementioned celebration has been cancelled. Besides the fact that the homework that was due today turned out to be impossible, I am worried about my research group meeting tomorrow. Fortunately I got an extension on the assignment, but the meeting will take place as planned. With two upcoming conferences my lack of encouraging results from this week won’t be well received. And the lack of acetone to run more experiments doesn’t help the situation.
Posted at 11:12 PM, 0 Comments
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
If I was to forget that my head is pounding from working on homework that's due tomorrow, the jackhammer outside would remind me. After tearing down one of the old engineering buildings, the foundation is now being laid for a new one on the same spot. This makes our lab environment noisy and tremulous. We wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between construction and an earthquake if it hit. Fortunately my experiment is not dependent on quiescence, but others in my research group aren’t so lucky. And, since I have a choice, I’m doing it at home from now on.
Posted at 4:03 PM, 0 Comments
I ran out of acetone for my research experiment today so I was resourceful. An outside observer might substitute “resourceful” with “misusing equipment,” but a graduate student with very limited resources would understand. I picked up a large polyethylene bottle from the chemistry storeroom to steal acetone from the Nanolab until I can order some more. I used a screwdriver and pliers to break up the dry ice into small pieces for my low temperature experiment. Then I used a beaker to scoop up the pieces and dump them into the shallow acetone bath. And even with all of that “resourcefulness” I didn’t get the results I was hoping for. Next time I’ll try “conventional” and see how that works out.
Posted at 2:02 PM, 0 Comments
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
I’m dreaming of a turkey sandwich. Not exactly the phrase we’re all familiar with, but true all the same. After an annoying, but ultimately rewarding day on campus, the thought of a homemade sandwich with honey mustard dressing and lots of onions makes my mouth water. It will be almost as satisfying as today’s successful research experiment or my instructor’s "good" comment on my midterm paper. I haven’t earned a "good" grade on a midterm in at least a year. Now that’s something to celebrate. Maybe with a turkey sandwich.
Posted at 6:01 PM, 0 Comments
I got a copy of my TA evaluations today. It seems there were at least three people in the class who thought I did a lousy job. That’s actually gratifying since I figured they all thought I did a lousy job. To my surprise the rest of the comments were complimentary. In fact, one of the students called me "sweet and charming." That’s not exactly the response I was going for, but at least they appreciated me. I realize that only the most dedicated students (about half of the class) were present to fill out the evaluations during my last discussion section, but those are the ones I care about the most.
Posted at 1:00 PM, 0 Comments
Friday, February 13, 2004
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAN! I’ll see you soon.
Posted at 4:04 PM, 0 Comments
Thursday, February 12, 2004
“YOUR HEAD A SPLODE!” That was the first thought that came to mind when I walked out of my midterm tonight. I already had a headache from studying when I sat down to begin the exam and it only got worse during the next two hours. After much mental and mathematical struggle I completed the first problem, but I had only the slightest idea of how to start on the other two. And they were not more forthcoming the longer I stared at them. At least it’s over now and I don’t have to study tonight. If I wasn’t so tired I could do something I actually enjoy. (Quote courtesy of the hilarious Strong Bad emails)
Posted at 9:28 PM, 0 Comments
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
In order to keep myself from getting too stressed about my midterm on Thursday I decided to make some frivolous purchases. I bought one DVD (The Lion King 1 1/2) and four CDs (too many to list) at Best Buy on the way home from class. Then I ordered two pairs of shoes (black slides and silver flip flops) online from Delia’s. Now I need to get back to studying. Unfortunately American Idol is on TV tonight and I must watch carefully to decide who to vote for. And I have another diary entry that I would like to finish. With all of these distractions I’m never going to get any schoolwork done.
Posted at 7:50 PM, 0 Comments
Monday, February 09, 2004
It took longer than expected, but I finished and posted a diary entry today. I started it on January 27 and then proceeded to neglect it until this afternoon. Now I should turn my attention to the one I started on Friday. But since I have homework due tomorrow and a midterm on Thursday it doesn’t look like that’ll happen too soon. Until then, check out the lab pictures I posted this weekend. You’ll learn how my name is spelled in Armenian, Farsi, and Hawaiian. At least our lab’s version of Hawaiian.
Posted at 8:35 PM, 0 Comments
Friday, February 06, 2004
I am violently tired. And while I’m trying to come up with a suitable description for this particular sensation I’m compiling a list of things I need to do tomorrow. I had a fairly productive day and I need to have an equally productive weekend. But right now I’m going to read a book and go to bed.
1) Plan Dan’s birthday surprise
2) Study for my midterm on Thursday
3) Finish at least one diary entry
4) Post lab pictures I took today
Posted at 11:18 PM, 0 Comments
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
It’s not for lack of topics that I haven’t posted anything in a few days. I have four webpage updates and a diary entry in progress but in need of completion and/or perfection. Recently the thought of writing seems stressful. Maybe this weekend will be more relaxing.
Posted at 11:41 PM, 0 Comments
Sunday, February 01, 2004
“The only reason I would watch the Super Bowl is the chance I would catch the movie trailer for ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ or ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ mingled with the other high budget commercials that will air during the game.” (01.28.01 diary entry) During the Super Bowl this year I posted pictures in my photo album. I added 31 pictures to the “Catalina Island 2004” album and 6 pictures to the “Big Bear 2004” album, all taken by Dan. On Friday I finally remembered to download the pictures from his digital camera. The new photos are labeled in all caps to distinguish them from my own. Also, I added 6 pictures to the “Long Beach Marina 2001” album from one of the first dates I went on with Dan. They make me smile.
Posted at 9:40 PM, 0 Comments