2003-08-31 23:09:20

RA cracks first. This entry is for him. :)

The month of August was eventful: saw tons of movies, went go-karting, went to the Ekka and progressed somewhat on my Ph.D.

Started writing my actual thesis, even though I’ve still got a lot of design work to complete. I’m determined not to leave all the writing for the last months of my Ph.D. Most of my work is done at home now. I only go in to uni for meetings, and this strategy is working a treat. I get more work done at home. Anyway, I’ve got a very unrealistic goal in mind for my thesis submission date, but I’m going for it anyway. I’m burying myself in my work, screw everything else. My Ph.D is enjoyable, but I need to finish fast so I can get the hell out of here and go, well, anywhere else really. I don’t care. Just need new surroundings, and the further away from here the better! My extended family in England were half expecting me to do my Ph.D over there, so perhaps I’ll try to set up shop in the UK for a few years or longer. Mum’s always wanted me to live in England so that she has an excuse to make the long trip from Australia. She loves the west country almost as much as I do, and she can urge Dad to come along too, who would happily tag along so long as it wasn’t winter! Dad’s stated reason for leaving England to come to Australia is that England is far too cold. If England doesn’t work out, then perhaps Spain. Perhaps somewhere else entirely.

I’ve also got plans for the period between thesis submission and acceptance (or Heaven forbid, rejection). That ought to be about a six month block, during which I want to go to South or Central America to do some aid work. If not there, then India. All this planning doesn’t seem like me at all, but times change, situations change, people change. I need some big goals to aim for in order to expedite my Ph.D completion. If the goals turn out to be too big, well, at least I’ll have finished sooner than I might otherwise have done.

Tutoring will take up a bit of time again, but most of the COMS3200 material is fused in my head from having tutored it for the past several years. So I find I don’t have to spend much time preparing. Assignment marking will consume most time as usual.

I’ve been spending an hour or so each morning in the garden. It helps clear my head, and the garden has fewer weeds than it did. :) It’s looking very nice at the moment, because all the flowers have started to bloom now that we’re coming into spring.

My parents are down for the weekend. We went to Southbank for Riverfire on Saturday night. I think Riverfire was attended by more people than ever before. It was packed! We got there at 4.30pm and all the prime spots along the river bank were already taken. By 7.30pm, when the fireworks actually started, there was no room to move. Two F-111s did simultaneous dump-and-burns. It was spectacularrrr! The only stupid thing was the political propaganda played over the air by Triple M during the fireworks display. Could have done without that.

I now also own a Tai Chi sword by way of my parents. They got it for me a couple of weeks ago. There’s a dragon and a Chinese inscription on the blade which apparently says something like "The number one sword in the world!" It’s not quite the Green Destiny (from Crouching Tiger) but very beautiful nevertheless. Of course it’s purposely blunted. You could do much more damage with a cricket bat (trust me, I’ve been cracked in the head with a cricket bat before, and it doesn’t tickle!). I still have to finish learning the Short Yang form, and then perhaps I can learn the sword form.