Lauren's Diary

"So this is the foundation for my
internet diary - searching for the
truth and seeing what else comes
along on the way."
05.19.99 diary entry

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Another Week
Saturday, 02.07.04

Quote of the Day:
�Where is the horse and the rider? No, seriously, where are they? That was my favorite horse.�
Very Secret Diary of Theoden

Monday, 2/2
Since I left campus early this afternoon to wait for one of my lamps from Target to arrive, I took the lab copies of Indy�s thesis and Caesar�s thesis to read at home. Considering I am planning to write one myself in the next five months I wanted to get some idea of what the finished product will be like. After just glancing at the previous papers on my research project I wonder, how am I going to write something like this? I decided to choose the thesis option for my Master�s degree instead of taking the Ph.D. preliminary exam because I feel like I have more control over a paper than a test. And the fact that the exam needs a month�s worth of preparation and only half of the students pass.

Tuesday, 2/3
After several days of frustration I am happy to say that the floor lamp I ordered from Target finally arrived. And I love it. I am expecting the table lamps to arrive tomorrow so let�s just hope that delivery is a bit smoother. I will have eight lamps in my apartment when the new table lamps are added to the decor. That�s far too many for a studio apartment, but one day I hope to have a residence with more than one room. Then maybe these purchases will be justified.

Wednesday, 2/4
My advisor and I went through three iterations of alterations to the wafer holder for my research experiment today. As soon as we decided on one modification it was thrown aside in favor of another. I had at least three sketches of the wafer holder on different pieces of paper with measurements of every dimension filling up all of the remaining blank space. We finally settled on the simplest possible alteration with the hope that it will make everything else fall into place. Cross your fingers.

Thursday, 2/5
The Week in Books:
1) The Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien (finished February 3)
2) A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin (finished February 4)
3) The Foundling by Lloyd Alexander (finished February 5)
4) Zel by Donna Jo Napoli (finished February 5)
5) The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke (currently reading)

Friday, 2/6
2:00 PM
So this is what�s it�s like to work together with your advisors. At my research group meeting today I had them backing me up when I reported on this week�s work instead of attacking me. What a refreshing change. Usually I am doing my best to avoid their criticism, but today they were on my side. I haven�t felt this confident about my research in a long time.

2:30 PM
Combustion Lab Definitions:
1) Note to advisor: I am going to "run the experiment" after our group meeting, but I'm also going "out to lunch" for the rest of the afternoon.
2) �Run the experiment� = do something not remotely related to my research
3) �Out to lunch� = gone for the rest of the afternoon

5:06 PM
My favorite time of day is when the setting sun reflects off the windows of the apartment building across the street and right in to my room. It only lasts a few minutes, but it makes everything brighter.

8:49 PM
With any luck I won't have to wait around for UPS again. I have wasted more time doing this than I could have ever imagined. I am not ordering anything else as long as I live in this apartment complex. But I do truly love my new table lamps. Let there be light.

Last Week
Sunday, 03.07.04

Quote of the Day:
�Jack Sparrow: Oh crap! Am I in Lord of the Rings?�
�Will: No...I would have blonde hair, then.�
Pirates of the Caribbean Hand Puppet Movie Theater

Saturday, 2/28
It�s probably a good thing that my favorite Harry Potter fan fiction author hasn�t posted the latest chapter of her story yet (although it�s long past due) because I am using any excuse possible to avoid writing my AIAA paper. Most recently I�ve been watching the National Geographic Channel, reading Bagenders, and doing laundry. But if I�m going to finish the first draft of my paper by Monday, when my advisor is expecting to receive it, I had better start focusing my attention on it instead.

Sunday, 2/29
Since Dan is out of town I am going to tape the Academy Awards rather than watching them tonight. That isn�t going to stop me from watching the red carpet arrivals (on both on ABC and E!), though. I�ll have to come up with something extremely entertaining to avoid the temptation to switch on the Oscars. Writing my AIAA conference paper won�t be enough to hold me attention for four hours.

Wednesday, 3/3
1:08 AM:
this paper is more like snoreway�

This was the entire content of an email I received from Sevan while we were both spending sleepless nights finishing the first drafts of out AIAA papers. The first line refers to the Badger cartoon that has been a favorite in our research lab for months. The second line refers to a Kenya cartoon, from the same website, that has been our amusement of choice in the lab recently.

6:30 PM:
I went to the grocery store for the first time in more than two weeks. On Monday I ate the last two pieces of bread and drank the last of the milk I that was left in my apartment. But there wasn't time to go to the store until the first draft of my paper was finished. It was a mistake to go grocery shopping when I was that hungry, but at least I have milk, bread, and frozen pizza now.

Thursday, 3/4
3:45 PM:
I didn't wake up until noon today. After finishing the first draft of my AIAA conference paper and giving it to my advisor, all I could think about was sleep. I spent so many nights sitting at my computer rather than sleeping that I wasn�t tired at a normal hour. A student�s sleep schedule is very erratic and bedtime is usually around 2 AM. Or not at all when there�s a deadline to be met.

7:00 PM:
In general, paying attention in my class this quarter hasn�t been a problem. In general, this isn�t a quality held by every class I�ve taken. I am fortunate to have found a class that is understandable and interesting at the same time. But today was a different story. My mind was wandering as I tried to scribble equations in my notebook as fast as the instructor wrote them on the board. Then she introduced a new theory, Cole's Law. Suddenly my focus was drawn back to the chalk board. Did she just say coleslaw? No, it was Cole�s Law. A legitimate engineering principle. I laughed silently and wrote it down in my notebook.

Friday, 3/5
Lab computer screen saver:

Saturday, 3/6
Last weekend I was raving about the cute and cheap flip-flops I bought at Wal-Mart. This weekend I take it all back. While wearing said flip-flops and carrying some clothes to the laundry room, I fell down the stairs outside my apartment. Just a few stairs, but enough to bruise and scare me. A word to the wise, be wary of cheap flip-flops. Mine are going in the garbage. Now where�s that ice pack I borrowed from the manager?

Sunday, 3/7
Things sitting on my bed right now:
1) Laptop
2) MAE 250B class notebook
3) First draft of AIAA paper
4) Assignment notebook
5) LA Times crossword puzzle
6) Television schedule

-Lauren Gleason