Two Weeks and Counting

Someone recently made a casual reference to the fact that there were less than three weeks to the end of term and exams and I nearly fell out of my chair.

This means that two weeks of classes and one last exam stand between me and graduation, and that’s just… incomprehensible. This is how everyone else must’ve felt last Spring. I feel more than ever the regret of not staying back for my friends’ graduations.

I feel like a lot’s happened this month, which for once is actually true. For one, I now have a job, my thesis is almost done, I have a new camera, and my new laptop is on the way. More minor things include the purchase of my first dress and a side note about Wired and Allure.


For the next few years, I’ll be a code monkey at a software company in California — well actually what other kind of company is in Cali? — and will be actually making enough to support myself and leave some over for … whatever it is I want to spend it on (I’m working on drawing up an impressive list right now. It includes things like “a big comforter” and “all the books, ever”. Watch this space).

Let’s pause for a moment and savor the feeling of sheer relief. Relevant details: job, software, California, earning power.

I’m excited, because I get to learn a lot of new things, and I’ll be working with software which, given my obsession with the thing throughout college, is probably a good path for me to channel my neuroticism into. I don’t regret doing Comp E instead of CS at all because I liked all my embedded classes, but in the end I just want there to be a comfortable distance between me and actual circuitry.

The first three months of this year, I dreamed about the day I’d greet my family when they landed in the United States and say, I have a job now. I can do this. Now I can!

Now my only problem is to get HR to respond to my queries — my very valid queries about some very complicated visa issues — in a slightly less than glacial pace. HR seems to be deliberately staffed with the world’s most incompetent people, so I’m going to have to just cross my fingers and hope for the best.


In another two weeks I will also have no reason to talk about my thesis ever again. It hasn’t really hit me what a long — all right, if you want to get cliched — intellectual journey it’s been. The topics my thesis covers include science fiction, artificial intelligence and robotics, US military funding, Japanese anime and manga, US sci-fi blockbuster hits, the psychology of two entire cultures, Japanese history and politics, and some literary theory thrown in just for fun.

And last Sunday I had to give an eight minute presentation on all of this.

I actually thought it went rather well and I got asked some very nice questions by the audience. To be honest, I’m really very smugly proud of my thesis because I think it’s truly interdisciplinary in the real spirit of Plan II. A bunch of other students are examining just one novel or just one idea and I’m glad I’m not really doing that.

Now I just have to write about 10 more pages to hit the minimum 60 page mark, and I’ll be good to go. Piece of cake, right? But then there’s citations and formatting and all the rest of that glorious mess. I’m thinking of adding pictures as well to — well, round out the whole thing and add more pages, but also to make it look prettier.

I’m hoping I can sort of talk about the thesis here because I really think it’s a fascinating series of ideas, but I suspect that I’ll be a bit burned out by May 6. I am, however, looking forward to giving my parents a copy of my bound and embossed thesis 😀


It’s a Canon A490, it was under $100 and until my laptop arrives, it’s the love of my life. I’ve never owned one before, so of course I’m really excited. Maybe a bit too excited, because there are pictures of my watch and books and my toast in the morning and things like that. My excuse is that I am testing out the photographic capabilities.

But really when I graduate I want an entire album of all the quiet little spots on UT that I won’t see after this, or at least for a long time. I wonder how odd it would be to photograph ENS. I wonder if I’m sentimental enough to stand its ugliness.


On March 25, I ordered a Lenovo ThinkPad, because my HP had essentially breathed its last. The motherboard had clearly had enough after a particularly rough trip to California and back. Replacing it costs about $400 and I was pretty much done with the screen flickering and the Vista OS that I was too lazy to upgrade.

2.66 GHz, Windows 7, Microsoft Office 2010, 4GB RAM (free upgrade). Pretty sweet deal I think. And then I’m actually, really going to double-boot it with Ubuntu, and then it will be the most perfect laptop ever.


I always thought I hated shopping. Now I’ve confirmed that theory. The ridiculous number of dresses (to me) I tried on to find one that I wanted to buy and fit me properly was mind-boggling. I mean, here’s the thing — I like dresses, I just haven’t had much experience with them, so I liked the idea of them. But ultimately they’re just clothes! How much time can you possibly spend on them?!

Apparently dresses do work on me, so now I have one that’s not quite graduation material but will probably come in useful for… something else.

Wired + Allure

I don’t understand why, if I’ve ordered Wired, I would be induced to also read Allure. I mean, what kind of — what is the intersection between irreverent geekery and makeup samples? Are you telling me I should be that kind of girl? Are you imposing your gender stereotypes on me, is that what’s happening? Because I reject the hell out of them, Conde Nast!

But today, I think, takes the cake. I got a Victoria’s Secret magazine in the mail.