Quantum Mechanic

Content from 2011-06

Getting by

posted on 2011-06-30 01:26:18

I suppose it's not unexpected, but I have been plagued by a great deal of getting by lately. A summer internship in central New York wasn't something I imagined to be a social outing, but I still wasn't prepared for all of the car-damaging, mind-numbing lack of excitement Utica has to offer - especially when you know no one.

I think it's given me a much better image of what I hope to avoid in the next place I live. For one - I'd like someplace where it seems nice to walk outside. My neighborhood here is not only in the middle of nowhere, but doesn't look friendly. I'd also been thinking that a city would be nice, and perhaps it would, but living in a rickety place really doesn't make one feel good.

Mostly, though, I think the real lack of people around me has had the most profound impact. Only at work do I have people around me with expectations and habits of their own, so only there do I really have a structure. At home I can really do whatever I want whenever, and often that means not getting to bed as often as would probably be healthy. I'm also just starved for human contact.

Wir tauschen Zeit für Geld (und hoffen lass mich jetzt nur so weit sein)

posted on 2011-06-16 02:27:10

Man, I've had a blog for how many months and haven't included a song in a title in some way?  These first two weeks have been my introduction to the life of a working physicist -- specifically a government-employed physicist.  Even more specifically, as I found out today, most of whose co-workers are computer scientists.

The lessons I learned today are two-fold: Never go to a set of 5-minute talks.  You will not remember anyone who spoke (ok, maybe one or two) and 5 minutes of talking means nobody gets to explain anything.  Also, they will go over 5 minutes trying, but still not really manage to talk about much, and you won't want to listen because of all of the other talks lined up after them.  Those were some of the dullest 4 hours I have lived through, my friends.  Wow.

On the brighter side, I am doing work now!  It's a lot nicer than sitting in a cubicle all day doing nothing.  Now I read books and articles, and try and make octave do math.  I'm even getting plausible numbers!  Today, I also experienced my first research group meeting, which was new and neat.  Getting a bunch of people together who are working on a common project and hearing ideas, suggestions, etc, was rather exciting, and certainly made me feel more a part of something.  I think a lot of people come in and out of the group, so people don't really go hugely out of their way to welcome newcomers, which makes sense, but didn't make me feel very at home very quickly.

That said, everyone's very friendly and accessible, and it's fun learning new personalities and seeing how they interact.  Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be writing much about my day to day research, as sharing what I'm doing is discouraged, but I'm already looking for the next thing to do and I'll make sure there are no problems sharing it.  That's what science is about, after all.

Working for the Gub'ment

posted on 2011-06-06 22:36:07

Well, now I'm out of school, and the tradition is to find a job. One way or another I ended up with a job and now, much to my surprise, I'm working for the air force. This also makes for the first time I've moved somewhere for a reason other than to take a class. I've been to Germany, to Rhode Island, and Hamilton, but they were all for school reasons, now I'm in Utica for work.

It's been pretty strange moving into a city all alone. I only managed to find an apartment here two days before I moved in, and I was pretty lucky for that. That said, I'll probably have a roommate soon, which will be a little different. Especially since I don't get to choose who. The apartment feels sort of middle of nowhere, although I'm pretty close to the Matt's Brewery, not that that means I get free beer or anything. It's hard to express, though, how strange being here alone is. I'm very glad I know some people nearby, and that my friend Dan was able to come up yesterday. The first night was pretty lonely. There are so many new places to learn, grocery stores to find, neighbors to meet or become comfortable with not seeing, parking arrangements to sort out.

So far, the job hasn't been great either. I had my first day today, and felt like I got nothing done. I wasn't expecting much, but today was something especially dull. I spent all day trying to get my security badge, but was behind other people in line until late in the day, when everyone who could sign my forms had, apparently, gnone home. So, I needed to have people escort me all over the building, because I wasn't allowed to be un-chaperoned. I even needed someone to walk me to the bathroom.

That aside, I'll be glad to be doing some research work, and look forward to meeting more of the people, because so far, the scientists have been exceedingly nice.