Saturday, January 28, 2006

It is hard to tell I'm taking a class

After making it through a course on parallel numerical algorithms last spring -- a course I should have taken four years ago in order to learn anything from it -- I swore that I wasn't going to take another class. I've finished my course work and have four classes extra to boot. While there are a couple of new courses in the department I am interested in I don't have time to put into them. I'm finished with classes... or am I?

Enter my advisor. He has to teach two courses this semester to fulfill his contract for the year. He offers Supercomputing, a course I've already had -- one bullet dodged. Then at the end of the first week of classes his Special Topics course, where he teaches on a subject not regularly covered, is approved and I am instructed to register. I check the title... "Special Topics in Runtime Systems for Parallel Computation". Damn, haven't had that one from him. I've taken a direct hit and been sucked into a class with my advisor. Not something I like to think about, but since the format will likely be student presentations after reading current research papers on a topic it is something I will survive.

The course has been tolerable thus far because it hasn't met yet, here, after the second week of classes. It wasn't approved until the end of the first week, and my advisor was in Germany attending a workshop this past week. So Tuesday afternoon will be the first meeting. I'm sure when that time comes I'll be wishing I wasn't there, but this course too shall pass.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Another Crowded Semester

The first week of classes is barely over and I'm already counting the days to the end of the term when a majority of the students will pack up and leave town for three blissful months of summer. Crowds around town don't bother me that much... I don't eat out a lot, I don't shop a lot, and I've sworn at traffic on Texas Avenue so regularly that it doesn't really get worse when the students return. This weekend has come close to pushing me over the edge.

Yesterday I went to the Rec to swim. The motivation for my return to the pool after a seven month hiatus is that I've gained back over half the weight I had previously lost and a member of my research group is on a diet and on track to catch me. No longer are the lines at the Rec confined to the weight room. I tried swimming yesterday, but there wasn't a lane that wasn't already doubled up or had someone in it that I wouldn't be able to split it with. Last weekend I noticed an increase in the swimming crowd, but I chalked it up to students messing around before classes started. It appears however, that I was wrong, and that everyone's resolution this year is to swim more.

So for the next month my patience and determination to get back into a regular exercise routine will be tested as I wait for other's resolution to fail. Here's hoping they give up before I do and resort to trying to run them down as they drive down Texas Ave.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Child-borne Diseases: 3 Tim Smith: 0

That's right, everything Ana has caught at daycare I've come down with as well. It started with a simple cold, then progressed to the 24-hour stomach bug, and last week we reached the summit of bronchitis. Ana had the worst of it, even a little pneumonia in one lung... but that hasn't kept me from complaining about my coughing and stuffiness.

We've all just about recovered completely now. Here's hoping the first part of 2006 will be a little healthier than the end of 2005.