Archive for the 'work and school' Category

Trip - 11:58PM, 2010/03/25

Looking back through posts, I haven’t written much about day to day life lately. I used to do that a lot more, and it’s those posts that are the most interesting to read over again — especially the vacation posts, which bring back memories the more detailed they are.

So: work has been busy. I have about a dozen different projects that I need to finish, but somehow I never seem to make a great deal of progress on any of them. Part of this is due to an experiment that I ran in January and February. Every night I worked during those months, I held a computer workshop (on various topics). Based on prior experience, I figured that there would be quite a few nights where no one showed up and I’d be free. I was wrong! People showed up to every single class. This is good (people in the library!) but bad (it consumed a huge amount of my time and attention).

I cut down to two a week in March and April and that has been better.

On top of this, I’m retaking a class for school. I had taken most of it in the fall of 2007, but with Dorrie in the hospital I just couldn’t find the mental power to finish the final project, so I ended up with an incomplete. Unfortunately for me, this particular course is probably (with the exception of Classical Mechanics) the single hardest course I’ve taken in terms of time and effort needed to finish the assignments. Yes, that is what I’m saying: this library course on Reference Resources is MORE WORK THAN QUANTUM PHYSICS.

So this past weekend was my Pitt weekend. Hopefully the final Pitt weekend. Before Dorrie, these weekends had some variety to them. I would walk around Oakland a bit and once my mom came with me and we had a fabulous time being tourists when I wasn’t in class. But the past three visits have all been extremely similar. I flew out of Logan instead of Manchester so I could have a direct flight. I reserved my hotel room through the hotel rather than through Priceline, just in case I had to cancel at the last minute. I stayed at the hotel closest to the LIS building, because a) then I could go back and take a nap in between classes and b) I’m so freakin out of shape right now I’m not sure I could handle walking back and forth as often as I used to do.

Friday morning I drove down to Logan Express and took the bus in to the airport. My flight was mid-afternoon, and the airport was pretty much dead at that time of day. There was NO line at security — I walked right through with zero wait. Even though I had tried to minimize my waiting time at the airport, with the lack of security line and the fact that I’d printed my boarding pass at home, I ended up with an extra hour anyway. So I had some lunch. Or tried to, anyway. Non-English speakers were running Sbarro and they clearly had no idea how to follow the instructions to cook the food properly. One guy even thought ‘Mountain Dew’ sounded like “Orange juice”, because that’s what he tried to hand me.

The flight was fine, a much larger plane than usual (still 2/2 of the seats, but they were wider and it had normal overhead compartments) meant no angsting about those stupid tags they make you check your carryons with. Got a snack for later at the airport and ate some dinner (the Pittsburgh Sbarro is good…), then crowded into the bus to ride into the city.

I like the Holiday Inn Express where I’ve been staying. The rooms are clean, they’re large, the bathrooms are nice. But the internet at that hotel is complete crap. The last couple of times I’ve ended up in the lobby using the (slowass) wireless because the wired connection just wouldn’t work at all. This time the problems were new. The wired connection worked, but would freeze up every few minutes, often forcing me to log in to places all over again.

It’s always my plan on these weekends to get lots and lots of sleep and also be super productive and accomplish all kinds of things. It rarely works out that I do either, but at least this time I was semi-productive and I didn’t get less sleep than I would have at home. I spent Saturday afternoon at the library, meeting with my group and the prof and then doing some work I wouldn’t be able to do elsewhere. After dinner, I went back to the hotel and even got our taxes done.

Sunday I went over and filled out the form for graduation(!), then headed back for the return flight.

So I was gone for a bit more than 48 hours. Mom stayed over for the weekend while I was gone to help out with Miss D. She supposedly behaved herself well, and I’m glad they sounded like they had a fine time. Since this was probably my last visit to Pitt, I’m not sure when I’ll get another long break like this… but it’d be nice to have a long break that didn’t involve multiple bus trips, airport security, and too small airplanes.