Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My day of reckoning

It usually only takes one thing to go right or wrong to turn a day from good to bad. Ive been battling the light at work the last few days. After recovering from a bad case of inflamed tonsils, I returned to a pile of work to be done in two weeks, before I head off for my big OE - and as fate would have it nothing worked like it used to.
So with low energy levels, im still pumping iron supplements and Multi-V capsules, and absolutely no inclination to do the hundred odd things that I have to do during one day - I continued to fight. Finally I gave up and pleaded with my supervisor to provide the experiment with the one thing that is guaranteed to make it work - his magic touch. In doing this I was expecting that he would find no mistake in what I had done - after all I had covered my bases twice over!
Alas! I was let down by a stupid camera! A camera!!! The shame of it all - oh well each day is a learning experience and this is why two heads, four eyes and four hands are better than one, two and two respectively.
A bit of introspection never hurts, nor does a bit of sing-song while walking the corridors for that matter. Keeps things interesting.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A PhD can go one of two ways. I dont mean rather well vs. terrible failure. I mean two ways for the person doing it and their notion of the world of academia and the, hitherto thought of as, big bad corporate world.
All my life, previous to the last year and a bit, I have wanted to be an academic. Not just because that is what the family did or wanted me to do. Not even because I spent a rather large part of my time as a child scribbling on the walls of my home and pretending to teach a classroom. Ok, maybe largely because of those things and partly because I think that if you can teach something - you know it!
One might fake knowledge to a certain extent but there will come a student who will ask 'why?' and will not rest in peace till the question is satisfactorily answered.
So post the Bachelor of Technology and Honours, a PhD seemed like the obvious next step. I had hopes and dreams that upon embarking on this utterly honorable doctorate, the noble and exciting world of academia would welcome me with open arms. I would walk the harrowed hallways where genius resulted in inventions. Where age, gender and identity melted off into nothingness in the wake of discovery and basic truths that created the world and that make it go around. Unfortunately it was a, rather rude, shock.
What makes this world and any other world go around is money. Even academia is no longer about doing the work but rather about showing the people with money that the work can be done - by you and so they should fund you!
Some college drop-out type in a government job who got stuck with a stack of papers and knows nothing about the science in them, now governs what gets the moolah and what gets the sack. Pity really.
So I might get a move on it. Finish with it now. Move ahead to, what now seems, like greener pastures.