Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'll try not to whine... much

As I sit here in the "office space" provided for me, I can't help reflecting on my life right now. And the changes I see nearly everywhere around me, compared to my past life. Here are a few less-whiny aspects of being a PhD student in America.

1. Teachers here - no matter how senior - are more humble, down-to-earth, some-even-downright-funny, more in-tune with industry and they don't consider themselves to be superior to the students. Even though they are.

2. Students here easily use laptops while class is going on. Maybe they're updating their status on FB, but I've seen people make serious notes as the class goes on.

3. Classes here are intensive. They don't pamper you, they don't discriminate. They just are what they are, and nothing you can do can actually change the course plan which has been set by the faculty.

4. They allow new-Robotics wanna-bes in their high-level meetings [:D:D]

5. There is Starbucks coffee brewer thingie in my lab [:D:D --> I don't have to pay for this - awesome!]

6. We can get up, walk around the hallway, muttering to ourselves, or making random gestures, and nobody would notice.

7. Really (and I mean it) really fat people can walk outside on the sidewalks, hallways, etc, and nobody would stare at them as if they're somebody different.

8. There was a series of pictures in the hiring office - it showed a number of people hired in the university. So it showed faculty members, PhD students (hired for assistantships), AND it showed a road cleaner, and sweeper... in the SAME line. All were the same! (Do I need to emphasize this more? No).

9. If I walk into the office after hours, the light has been turned off (and automatically turns on when I walk in).

10. My professor replies to emails instantaneously. That's awesome (for a person who I think is closer to my Dad's age than to my age).

11. One of the most distinguished professors in this school is from Pakistan [:D:D]

12. Ground nutmeg is available (that means I don't have to get jaiphal {nutmeg} and have to chop it to a powder form)

I'll stop here.

It's not too bad. I still miss home a lot, but I thought it's great to actually pen down a few things that are really good about this country and this educational environment.

Considering my past ambitions, I should be jumping over the roof at being admitted to this particular PhD program in this particular university. I really should be.

It's hard to figure out how to get this excited, when so many duties and responsibilities have to be fulfilled and so much is expected from one human being. Only one example of that is: I attended a class yesterday, and the first assignment [which requires reading up 30 pages] is due tomorrow. For the same course, the first proposal [of three projects that we have to do in the space of 3.25 months] is due in three weeks.


Glow said...

best of luck hope u r managing things well :)

Umair said...

mashaAllah mashaAllah... Am so happy to read all.. InshaAllah you will manage things well, and would make your parents, bhanju (and now wanju) feel a lot of proud... Am sure your family is already feeling proud on you..

Wishes and Prayers.