7:00am: Wake-up! Gave myself a bit of a treat, as I apparently needed sleep (as evidenced by yesterday’s late wake-up).
7:30am: Head out for Carnegie Mellon. Finish up the episode of Science Friday about meteorites from Mars recovered here on Earth. Apparently Morocco has a big market for selling these things…who knew? Also started listening to the latest episode of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. I chuckled a bit when I inferred that the first caller, who played “Who’s Karl This Time”, was definitely not a fan of President Obama. But I give props to folks who don’t like Obama but still listen to NPR shows. In my opinion, it reveals a mind with more than a single track.
8:00am: Hit the gym! 30 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 5000m on the rowing machine. There was only 1 rowing machine working (probably because this guy broke the other one!), hence elliptical first.
9:15am: After some hip exercises (as PT “homework”), started some stretching and cool-down. Inception’s “Time” is perfect for this.
9:24am: Out of sheer curiosity, I weighed myself on both scales in the locker room. Even fully clothed, drenched in sweat, with my iPod, both scales concurred in putting my weight at 221. That’s down from the reasonably-stable 225 I was for the majority of last year, and way down from my height in late 2009 at 245. Coupled with my performance in some of my most recent running workouts, I may very well be in the best shape of my life right now. I certainly can’t bench 260 or squat 365 as I did eight years ago (football does that to you), but I’m still hitting solid weights workouts twice a week–I can bench my weight–and I’m pushing sustained 7-minute miles on shorter runs, 8-minute miles on much longer ones, which is the fastest I’ve ever been, period.
9:27am: I love the hot tub in the locker room. Mmmmmmm.
9:45am: Arrived at my surrogate GHC office (it belongs to Devin and Aaron, but we second-years tend to congregate there). Caught up with Devin for a bit before Jose arrived and Devin left for class.
10:00am: Jose and I started going over some of the Cell & Systems homeworks, devising an informal grading rubrick. Some of the mistakes we discovered are going to take a very long time to grade: for example, some of the questions have several parts, each of which depends on the answers to the previous ones, so if a mistake is made on the first part it will trickle all the way down. It’s never been my philosophy to dock points for the sole reason of getting the final answer wrong, but that means I’ll need to trace through their calculations to see where they made a mistake.
11:15am: Lunch break! Also, Daily Show time!
11:45am: “You’ve confused war on religion with not always getting what you want.” -Jon Stewart
11:56am: Awwww, from two of my favorite actors (Dave & Kate Hewlett):
12:13pm: Every time I listen to this song, I suddenly expect zombies to come pouring out of every hallway, and I instinctively reach for my trusty M-4.
12:30pm: Our incoming class of 2010 has a Google mailing list to keep in touch and work together on assignments, but I’d say only 10% of the total material is work-related; the rest is just goofing off. Check out our stats:
We have a “song of the day” thread where we post links to various bits of music we’re currently enjoying. There’s quite a taste for the classics among us, but I kicked it off today with the above Midnight Riders tune. It was quickly followed up by Jose with this total gem, and Aaron–who is srs bznz when it comes to music–posted this link with the tagline “OMGZ BEST SONG EVAR GUIZ” in apparent protest. I haven’t stopped laughing.
12:35pm: Started reading this paper for journal club. It seems reasonable, but frankly it’s not particularly interesting to me. The other second-years have echoed similar sentiments, particularly around the phrase “time-interval stepwise regression” which I summed up with “tautological tautology is tautological”.
1:00pm: With StarSchmucks™ coffee in hand, I went to Cell & Systems lecture (the instructors specifically requested the TAs be present at lectures, so we know the specifics of the material presented when the inevitable flood of desperate emails hits).
2:15pm: Finished reading the aforementioned research paper and submitted my critique. The biology of it is extremely interesting and well-done: it’s an attempt to improve the current understanding of the signaling pathways involved in cancer, which is not only a noble effort but a much-needed one. However, I really didn’t find the computational analysis very well-motivated or particularly interesting; it felt as though the researchers found a black-box “Generic Analysis Engine”, plugged their data into it, and crossed their fingers that it would spit out something useful. Also, the figures made my brain hurt. Figures should be the nail in confusion’s coffin, not its panacea.
2:45-3:55pm: Met with my advisor via Skype. Long, yet informative and immensely helpful. Main topic of discussion was the paper we want to push out before I leave for Morocco.
4:47pm: Left Gates for home; had to make a side trip along the way…
5:15pm: Becoming genuinely concerned about having time to get work done this week. We need to get that paper pushed out before I leave in early March, and if this week is any indication it’s going to be extremely difficult at best.
5:30pm: Got in a few minutes on the phone with my parents, wishing them both a happy Valentine’s Day, and thanking them for the box of delicious goodies I received yesterday. Also sent Danimal a text message thanking him for his 11/12ths Pi Day pie; HOW DID I FORGET ABOUT THIS ARRRRGGGGGG.
6:00pm: Finished a few last-minute things before The Lady arrives for dinner + movie.
6:23pm: The Lady has arrived! I think I’ll sign off this entry here Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. And have a wonderful evening.