Sunday, February 17, 2008

Relaxing, a little.

Just got some Hefeweizen, and sat down to enjoy the National Basketball Association All-Star Game. I don't care about the all-star game. But it's good to have a break.

Yesterday was a little absurd. First, it was cold. Damn cold. I had an interview with Nature at 9 am over at the AAAS conference. The interview was great. But the conference was in Back Bay, so I had to walk over the bridge in the morning, where it was an 8 degree wind chill. The temperatures had been much milder this winter, so I suppose we had it coming. After that I was mingling in a symposium about biofuels that turned out to be really helpful for my thesis project. Then, in the afternoon, we attended the main internship fair.

That was...odd. It was speed dating format, with about 18 interviewers and four times as many students. So they herded us like cattle and numbered us off, then let us sign up by number for other numbered slots to meet with recruiters. You got five minutes with each person, enough to give the same spiel about yourself and maybe get in one different question. I think I did well, but in five minutes how the hell are you supposed to know? Each of them met something like 20 to 25 people, so they're probably going to forget most people. Meh. It's actually all right, because it makes follow-ups and application materials that much more important. And I'm much better at cover letters than five-minute interviews.

Then today I worked on my thesis. For five or six hours. Actually I got a lot done in the vein of organization and structure, and rewrote a key section. But it's hard to feel like you accomplished that much when the word count really doesn't move over six hours. It's amazing how long it takes when you really care about quality -- I can bullshit pages of academic work in an hour, but it hurts me when I'm working on professional-type projects to put anything to paper that I know isn't that good. So I'm doing an interview in the morning and doing more of the same all day. It feels good, I feel confident that I'm improving in trying to throw together such a big project. The other thing that's really helping is that I've now moved to my own room. It's important to have private space. If you live in a double room, even when the other person is gone, some part of them is there in your mind. You're never truly alone when you live in a double.

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