Thursday, December 15

Third rule

Ok, so we've been through the first and the second rule. Now the third rule (remember, these rules are numbered by their discovery process and not their importance - this could be the most important one yet! ) is this: ALWAYS put your supervisor on the cc of every email that you send to any of the school's officialities, secretaries aso. If you do not do this, you could end up like me - The saga started when I realised that in order to apply for my student pass I need to complete a form that is downloadable from a web site to which (guesss what!?) I need an account. Account that is made for me by a faculty secretary. Just that, well ... all my friends got and I didn't. So I decided to write to the respective faculty secretary. When she didn't answer to my THIRD email I thought that it would be a good idea to put my supervisor on cc. And finally!!! She answered! Saying that I am late in completing the form!!! A couple of more intelectually challenged answers to my email from the same faculty member and I am now just one click, two ie crashes and one annoying ms office assistant problem away from getting my student pass!! And I got a Joel on Software ( newsletter also today! Life doesn't suck after all. I think.

Monday, December 12

Second rule

The second most important rule in order for one to complete a phd programme is this: DO NOT PANIC and DO NOT, whatever you do, LOOSE YOUR SELF ESTEEM. No, you are not an idiot because they think that you should take a "foundation in computer systems" course, a course which will most probably contain all the silly and useless things that you found out about in your first 5 years in college!! You are not a moron because you think that you will not be able to cope with all the coursework (3 graduate courses in the first semester, 4 in the second, 3 in the third, complete with one qualifier exam and one thesis proposal, with a special offer - on the house - a graduate research paper). Because you will cope. I'm sure of that. Hell, if other people did it, why can't you?! I mean ... there must have been at least a small grain of insanity when you signed up in the first place, so use that, stop complaining, forget about your life, your photographing plans, your climbing trips or whatever used to get you ticking ... and ... my friend ... STUDY!!! RESEARCH!!! And NEVER EVER think about the uselessness of the phd degree itself. Now go and get drunk. :)

Thursday, November 17

First rule

The first rule of a graduate researcher that wants to have a quite, relaxed, mediocre research life is this: NEVER EVER tell your supervisor that you finished what you had to do BEFORE your supervisor asks you about it. Because if you do tell him/her that you finished ... well ... your supervisor will not say "Good on you, take the rest of the week off!" but will definetly give you something new and exciting to do :).

Monday, November 14


winston smith. brain washing. terror and dictatorship. new language to prevent thought subtleties, also literature.this would be, in very few words, the impresion i got from reading that novel. But the most terrifying thought thatcame to me while reading it was the fact that the world pictured there is not utopic, but very very possible. And theeast european communist countries are living proof of it. Whether or not whatever happened there was a poor socialist experiment, historywill tell. But what remains sure is that the communist countries had everything: a new language to portray theparty's needs, a centenial plan to be completed (whether it refered to weapons or shue laces), food and clothes rations, and last but not least the dreaded secred police. The secret police was infiltrated on every street and every block of flats (everybodyknows the communist blocks of flats that housed over a hundred people in spaces that would fulfill the needs of fifty), the agentshad to write weekly reports about what their neighbours had been doing ... and the list could go on forever. This is only a very small pictureof the world of 1984 and that of the communist countries. The resemblance between the two is striking but that is not the issue right now. In the world of 2005, even though Big Brother is just a television show, and even though there is no evident secret police and the party terror is missing, the system remains the same. People are traped in their everyday routine, are constrained by the necesity (or obsession for not so few) of making money, are tv brain washed and alone. And of course, cronically bored. People do not live. Their society sucks. Their life sucks. And when you meet somebody that seems to be really living, he's definetly on drugs :)). Winston Smith's world is realeased in a new version in 2005.

Wednesday, November 9

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