We're a little crazy, about science!

The second crunch

It’s that time again, crunch time! I think it may be easier to just blog about days that aren’t crunch time honestly, because at this point you could call me captain crunch (legally obligated to ask you not to do that). Grad school can be painful, but we’re close to the end and that may be the biggest problem. There’s just too much to do in the timeframe I want to do it all in. A lot of this cannot be automated, so late nights and long days are abundant. But tomorrow is the second finish line and depending on what I can get done today, we will at least cross it with a modicum of grace. Well except for the surprise demo that is.

Wow, what a week. So with everything going on I’ve been rushing to make yet another deadline to the point that I’m sort of worried about al the other work I’ve been putting off to keep up with this. Thankfully I’ve made a lot of progress towards the goal of graduating, but man does it hurt. Tomorrow is the first presentation I’ll be making to surgeon-PI since he saw my dissertation proposal and signed off on it. He’s pretty enthusiastic about it, unfortunately there’s a fair bit of work between where I wanted to be for this and where I actually am.

So let’s just cut to the surprise. I wasn’t aware of it, but school-PI wants me to demo how I setup the equipment and basically go through a mini-experiment with someone so they can both watch. It’s about as fun as it sounds and if that wasn’t stressful (or surprising) enough, it will be videotaped and the entire lab will be present to watch. I suspect I’m going to get a whole lot of feedback tomorrow and I’m only hoping that most of it is supportive and/or helpful.

I am happy to say that I have my slides done for tomorrow’s presentation. Mostly it was a rehash of the previous slides, but I’ve modified them to include the work I’ve recently done. Including the stuff I was excited about recently or at least the stuff that made me think that what I have is something real. I’m looking forward to some feedback from both school-PI and surgeon-PI because they both are experts in the similar fields, obviously surgeon-PI is a neurosurgeon, so he has a lot of insights that we may not think about coming at problems from the engineering side of things.

Once tomorrow is over, it’s back to work unfortunately and I have a poster and five slides to put together for my next meeting with the DARPA coordinator who nominated me. That will be a very exciting meeting for sure. I am looking forward to meeting with him and getting a chance to thank him virtually for the nomination and the support. I am hoping that between now and that meeting I will have a chance to get some of the more interesting stuff done, or rather some of the “flashy” stuff.

My final poster and slides are due in one week, so even after the meeting I will have work to do, but the end of the month is fast approaching and while I’ll have many other deadlines between now and then, I think that things will be less high stakes. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of work, but I suspect with the stress somewhat removed, it will be a bit more manageable.

Well, here we go. Another deadline!

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