Saturday, August 28, 2010

Present and Future

The week is over... Overall it was a good week, academically, I finally stated to make a good advance on my thesis, taking two courses while working on it is, so far, a piece of cake... Yeah! I can hear the "Tell me that after four weeks!" screaming inside my head... But being overly optimistic is necessary in my case if I want to cope with all the things I might need to do during this semester...

I've been searching like crazy for prospective universities that might consider admiting me in their programs, and I'll keep doing that for the rest of the semester, I have to study for the GRE test, and in the worst case scenario I'll have to take the TOEFL again. Of course lack of money and time is the perfect seasoning for something that I refuse to call bad but that I'll certainly tag as problematic semester.

Certainly the road to PhD is not the easiest road for me... This is exemplified by the fact that when I uploaded my resume to a few job websites I started recieving job offers by e-mail since the first week, and even a phone call! Man... . I have to admit that getting a job (at least) seems easier than getting accepted in a PhD program, and that the word "research" scares me a little and fascinates me at the same time, but I've fallen in love with teaching, so this is the path I want to take, and I'll not give up until all the windows that I see in front of me are closed. But I really hope that by the end of the year (the academic one) at least one stays open.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Time for some Action!

The new semester begins, my thesis is slowly but smoothly advancing, interesting things to do in the lab, and the thing I more glad about... The students!

The noisy (in a good way), happy and carefree freshmen that just arrived and see everything as a new world… Those slightly more levelheaded sophomores, some of them starting to discover that they came to the university to study and not to play, some of them already with a clear idea of the things they want. The juniors, some worrying about the many paths that can be taken and the different futures available for them, some worrying that they didn’t invest the past years in a better way, others, worried about their GPA and their grades. The seniors, some of them worrying if they made the right choices, some of them worrying about where to go from here, some of them, the luckiest ones, happy that everything is coming to an end, they have a juicy job already waiting for them and the university was like a hell made out of books. And finally, the graduate students, most of them hold the value of knowledge as one of the most important things in life; some of them reached the conclusion that to increase the amount of their paycheck it becomes necessary to add a few more lines to their resumes; and there are those who want to discover new things, either to help others, to make a contribution to society, to get money for their discoveries, or simply for the sake of discovering something that nobody had discovered before. I love those guys, no matter their drives they are here to learn.

I had the opportunity to teach some of those guys last spring, it wasn’t exactly as a teacher, more like a laboratory instructor, but I really enjoyed it. I discovered myself happy to show someone else what I knew and to share my knowledge with them. I wonder if it’s something that runs in the family… My grandmother was a teacher, my aunt is a teacher, and my father is a university professor… And this past semester I found out that I want to be a teacher too!

And here I’m thinking of continuing my studies to get a PhD and teach in some place, while working on my thesis and working on the lab… Sending resumes to professors in some universities while at the same time I’m doing to same with job seeking websites. And the moral of this story is that if I had studied more when I was an undergrad, I wouldn’t be wondering about which university will be interested enough, not only to accept me, but to fund me as well. I’ve been an outstanding grad student, but my undergrad GPA keeps me wondering… I will have to do great in the GRE to make up for that… The people who read this… Which me good luck, if you believe in god, then pray for me, I’m doing that every day.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Summer Break

This gives me a déjà vu feeling, I could have done more things this week, but really didn't do as much as I'd like to. I complained about this before, but at least this week wasn't that critic.

"The heavy chains of worry are forged in idle hours"... This phrase might have many meanings depending on the context, but for me it basically means that when you are wasting your time, you will eventually have to pay the piper.

Fortunately, the solution for my problems came down from heaven, or at least I hope it was from heaven. Nevertheless this is a temporary solution, and probably not the best if I consider things carefully. At least I'll be busy for a month and receive some income.

Probably my biggest problem comes in terms of dealing with loneliness, it's going to be a year since I came here and I still don't have anyone to hang out with... There are many people I know, many people I meet, many people I speak with, many people asking me for help, but nobody has established a link of friendship with me... And here I find a new meaning for that cursed phrase... It is in idle hours when I have the time to remember that, and it worries me...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cooking with Ransom - Salvadorian Quesadilla

This is a recipe you probably didn't know about.

El Salvador might not be a very famous place but it doesn't mean that it doesn't have its charm, one of the good things it has is its food, pastries and confectioneries, as well as other types of Criollo Food (Not the Louisiana Creole, but Latin-American criollo!). Here is a traditional pastry that is usually eaten with coffee for dinner, I substituted many ingredients with an equivalent you might find in any supermarket.
Salvadorian Quesadilla.

½ pound of Feta Cheese
2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
1 ¼ cups of sugar
5 eggs
1 cup of flour
¾ cups of Sour Cream
¼ cup of Half and Half (Or milk)
½ Bar of butter.
1 tablespoon of baking powder
Sesame Seeds

Grate the feta cheese, mix it with the Parmesan cheese, the sugar, the eggs and the butter. Mix the cream and the Half and Half so that the consistency of the cream is softened and add it to the previous mix. Then you have to sift the flour together with the baking powder and add it to the mix while continuously beating. Put the mix on a greased mould, approximately ¼ of the height of the mould because it has to grows less than an inch, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Put the mix to rest on the moulds for 15 minutes. After that, put in the oven pre warmed 325 ºF for about 25 to 30 minutes. Put the oven in broil mode for 3 minutes at the end for it to gain its color.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wasted Time.

Spring break...

I wish I had made the most out of you, it the end I wasted my time dreaming and losing myself in the unreal. The worst is that despite this, I still can't feel the least remorse; I just have the longing and the empy sensation that I could have followed a different path... The only words that come to my mind is "Whatever comes..."

A part of me really doesn't care, I managed to rest, read some stuff I liked, and even did some exercise, but academically speaking I didn’t accomplish anything. If my duty is to study, then I didn’t manage to do anything. But a question comes from this. Why call it break if you don’t change the things you usually do?

Some people think that procrastination is the worst thing they could do, while in my case I cannot manage without procrastinating… Well, I better start thinking about the schedule for this coming week…

Friday, March 12, 2010

Third attempt...

Don't keep your hopes high... This is my third attempt at blogging, and probably my last one.

The reasons for my previous failures?

It wasn’t because I couldn't keep the readers entertained… In fact, I think there were no readers to begin with, and I couldn’t care less about that.
It wasn’t because I didn’t have the time… It is said that if you want to do something you will always find the time to do it.
It wasn’t because I didn’t have anything to say… There have been many things going on in my life in the last couple of years.
It was because I forget… And I wasn’t committed enough to remember.

But I've decided to change that this time.

Considering that, I hope that things will go better this time, I’m hoping for the best, but I don’t want people to have high expectations… Still, if you happen to find something that catch your attention, leave a comment, just to let me know that there is someone there, and I will dream that I’m writing not only for me, but for you as well.