the most useless species on earth?

The grad student. Lives off of the benificence of the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and Giant Evil Corporations. Eats. Sleeps. Carouses with undergrads, pretending they still fit in with them. Carouses with professors, belittling undergrads and pretending to be adults. Produces papers that will never be read or used by anyone other than other grad students.

This is my life. I felt particularly like a grad student today, having spent 5 hours working on a project, then realizing that all my work was based on an incorrect assumption. At Apple, when that happened, it was still sort of okay, because whether or not I was right, I was still making $35/hour. Now it’s just like my time flushed down the toilet. Time that could have been spent playing Grand Theft Auto. Now, in some abstract sense, this was a character building experience. I know it. But damn. Talk about frustration.

First test of grad school: 76/100. Should be good enough. The class has about 9 people on a good day, and since I say things in class I’m not too terribly concerned. It was also my last test of the semester. The goals are certainly different now. Instead of just doing endless problem sets, taking tests, and getting grades, now I have to solve problems that haven’t been solved yet, that might not even have solutions, all while trying to meet some obscure goal of impressing a professor enough to take me in at the end of a year. I guess it’s a lot like trying to do well anywhere in the real world, but it’s the first time I’ve tried it so it still feels weird.

Tomorrow should be a stay-at-home-and-work day, but it’ll be chopped in half by an outing to SF to see my parents and their parents. I’ll try to bring stuff to read on the train so I don’t feel like the whole day is thrown off. I guess I should be more excited about seeing family, but I got to see my mom on Sunday, and my dad’s mother is not my most favorite person in the world. But it’s family, and certain things you should do for family. Sigh.

Doug’ll be coming into town again this weekend, which should be much fun–a rave has been scheduled for Saturday. Now I need to go learn what a subdivision surface is so I can teach it to my splines class next week… (wow, what a classically self-interested, content-free blog post)

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