I’ve long strongly discouraged my friends when they’ve said “I think I’m going to go back to school.” Grad school seemed primarily a place to go to incur debt and delay making real decisions about what to do with your life.
I started grad school a year and a half ago, and (with eight months remaining) I am living the cliché. I am in a state of constant confusion and anxiety. I avoid situations in which I might have to talk about “what I’m up to these days,” and when I gather the confidence to try to describe to someone what I’m thinking of doing for my thesis, out comes a hideous garbled mess. I am incurring debt, and worried that I won’t have time to read the books that I’m (still) buying.
But I’m having a good week. Good, in that it feels like the fog of confusion is lifting. Yesterday I transcribed (into Evernote) the notes I took (by hand) at the Dan Saffer talk at OCAD, the Conversations in Design event at the IDS, and the Strata conference. (I’ve yet to do the same for the EWB conference.) It was great to go back over the notes; all three of those events were great. (I had never before considered that a benefit to handwriting notes is that I’m forced to look over them again in order to be able to discard the physical notes.)
I had Chinese food and drinks with Michael Lenczner, the first person who responded to my “so, I went to this conference called Strata,” with anything but a blank stare. Au contraire, his eyes lit up and he then spent a while telling me about how that was exactly the right conference for me to go to. It was kind of a turning point.
Today I went to the MRI/ONE event at MaRS, chatted briefly with the Minister, and was glad I stayed for the whole announcement, the second part of which was about the establishment of “a core strategic resource centre to assemble, and make accessible, data that have not previously been brought together to support innovation and public policy development.” [link] Cool.
Then I had lunch with Eli Malinsky. (At The House on Parliament, which moved!?) I’ve known Eli for a while, but not very well; he was very open and supportive, and gave me lots to (transcribe from my handwritten notes and then) think about.
Then I fixed the wifi at St. Lawrence Market (argh) and had a meeting with Judith Doyle, the faculty advisor for two of my research projects. It was quick but went really well. Yay.
So, I’m feeling a bit better, for now.