Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Another First Day

First awkward orientation meeting down. A few more to go.

Today was my meeting with the Pscyh Graduate Program director. I have now spent two nights in my apartment downtown, in order to make it easier to commute to school - my place is about a 10 minute walk from campus. Things are looking good, my furniture is nice and the walls are finally painted the right colours. I'll have some pics soon.

I seriously have taken air conditioning forgranted. Ho-ly jesus christ on a cross. The humidity is oppressive and poor lil spoiled me is definitely realizing it. We are getting the tail end of Hurricane Katrina now, and it absolutely pissed poured rain today. Obviously it's nothing in comparison to somewhere like New Orleans, but it still was not pleasant. Water was gushing down the streets in rivers, and I arrived to meet my fellow grad students for the first time with my shirt gone see-through. Loooooovely.

As for my Masters, it looks like it's going to be interesting, but a lot of work - apparently around 50 hours a week when things get underway. This is far from surprising. The program director basically spent an hour and a half saying "This is not your undergrad. You have to be self-motivated and structure your own time" and made numerous analogies to monsters and food.

What's interesting is that we're discouraged from taking outside jobs. This is considered to be our job, though we are first and foremost students. Thank god I'm fully funded.

There's soft-ball and a BBQ tomorrow and I'm off to see an Alouettes football game on Friday, hopefully the weather clears. I now can't wait for the crispness of fall.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Back to School

Back to school commercials suck. We hates them. Your stress-free summer is going beautifully, you're finally starting to feel relaxed and comfortable, then you decide to sit down on the couch for some good quality time with the boob tube and everything is promptly ruined. You're reminded that your summer is basically over, and that you have to face another year of pressure, stress, and inevitable exhaustion. All because of one stupid commercial advertising a sale on pencils.

If you didn't already know that advertising is the root of all evil, you do now.

Thankfully I was able to spend a week on the beach in Maine before having to face the dreaded "Back to School" specials. It was nice to sit on the beach with a good book and a beer, and feel the ocean water and the sand in between your toes.

I officially start classes for my Masters degree in Behavioural Neuroscience on the 1st of September. At least I'll have a nice tan for a while, until being cooped up in the lab for hours and days on end brings me back to my wonderful pasty whiteness.

I'm feeling all the usual apprehension at starting at another new school - but with the twist that I think I might be over my head. My Masters thesis is going to revolve around studying proteins and their relation to memory at a cellular level. I am a scientist, but this is science nerd territory. Like petri dishes and assays and crap - of which I, of course, don't know how to do since I got a BA and not a BSc.

Not to mention the fact that I am the kind of person who detests meeting large groups of people at once and who hates ice breaker games with a fiery passion. I was fortunate enough to skip most of the lame Frosh Week activities for my undergrad, but I don't really have a choice this time around.

Hopefully it won't be too painful, and I might meet some genuinely cool people who have a similar disdain for orientation crap.

Let's go around the circle and say our names, and then something interesting about ourselves.

Hi, I'm Joanna - and I really hate ice breaker games.

Listening to: Tears and Rain - James Blunt