Driving through rough roads!

This week has been the toughest week in many years. Of course, final semester weeks aren't going to be that easy which I know quite well, but never expected to be that bad!

The undergraduate research (aka senior year research or senior design) was the culprit who took away every bits of my life. Just last Thursday, my research advisor Dr. Tenali, sent me an email about the research presentation which is to be held on the coming April fools day, and the poster was due today at 4pm. It was just a week's time frame to develop the poster, and necessary details. It was just not enough a time given the fact that I have other academic requirements to meet with six courses under my belt for this semester!

I ran to his office countless times by now, and I am already feeling pretty tired of seeing him (lol). All he does is give me the paper, and leave everything for me to figure out, which I did to the best of my ability. However when I get stuck, he is of very help to me. He was totally helpless with the very problem that made me sick. When it comes to coding, he is of absolute helpless. He knows very little about coding, and none of us know how to get the graph that is very crucial for the poster. I ran into his office only to get a few useless words, and whole thing left entirely for me.

With the little knowledge that I have, I wrote a matlab code, spend whole night on it-debugging-only to fail miserably. I sought some friends' help, but who cares about other's work? They weren't showing any signs of urgency despite my repeated requests. A couple of friends did, however, spare their leisure time on helping me, but at the end I was still with the same old problem-without a graph. I have never felt the time flying away that quick; it wasn't cooperating with me at all. While I waited for somebody to look on the code that I wrote, I worked on the abstract and the poster slide. The worse is yet to come. As the night falls, I left the college campus for my apartment to continue with it. Riding a bike alone at night is not a good thing over here with so many crazy people around ready to pounce on you anytime! There was just no time to cook fresh food, so had to gobble up the mirowaved-leftovers. Back in my room, I opened the Microsoft powerpoint to edit the slide that I left half done. How wonderful, the powerpoint kept crashing!! Only option I was left with was to ask my roommate to drop to the college campus, but he was not at home. My stress level rose thousand folds, literally! Everything just seemed against me at that moment. With no other options left at my disposal, I slept around 2 am after sending an email to my advisor.

Early in the morning, I was yet again accompanied with a soar throat coupled with a terrible headache! After a quick shower, drank a cup of hot water and off I left to school. Nothing seemed to be favoring me, I almost got hit by a car at the busy intersection! My heart froze for a moment! Had to move on though. I worked on with the poster slide and after confirming that I wouldn't be able to get the graph, I shot an email to the advisor about the problem. At least I got a little breather when I saw his reply "OK. Pema, its absolutely impossible to get the graph now, just include the theoretical part, and send it to me..." Thank God!

As much as I feel defeated about not getting the graph, I have had enough of this drama. I just want to get it done. So I sent my first draft and he was to send me the feedback as soon as possible. The time was running out, but his feedback was non-coming. I felt so dejected, frustrated, and stressed out to say the least!

Finally I caught him at his office for a few minutes, he suggested a few changes and told me to add some more. "And come back to my office". Just a couple hours left, and his office door was locked. I waited and waited at the hallway leading to his office for more than an hour. I am pretty sure some other students and professors might have thought I lived at that hall way after seeing me repeatedly since last week. In fact a professor whom I took a class in my sophomore year asked "You still here, have a big big exam coming up?" I smiled (such a hard job to break a smile in such moment) at him and said I was waiting to see my advisor. Lately as if to say that I wasn't having enough problems, my tooth which I couldn't afford to get a root canal due to heavy expenses started to bother me. It gave me a terrible pain! I almost broke down at that moment, but had to stand still, act manly and look for the brighter side although I saw none!

Finally he pops out from the door down the hallway, and gestures me to come to his office. I followed him wearing a fake smile. He looked at my slide, and instructed me to 'submit'! Sigh! Yes, I was waiting for that word-"summit"! Finally finally, I could get rid of this stupid shit!

Thank god, I survived!


  1. Ha ha ....you have put every students suffering such beautifully....One disadvantage working under Phd holder is they leave all the work to you, Its pathetic...I have gone through all these things at different times...can't imagine how did you went thr all of these in a day, hats off to you. oi get to some doctor soon about your tooth , It really feels bad you going thr all the pain. When I get frustrated because of some professor I just keep telling, "this time is going to pass away soon"....ha ha funny that you had to give presentation on april fools day. Good luck with it....Take care

  2. Thanks Anu. I agree with you totally. It is never easy working with them. Regarding my tooth problem, I couldn't go see the doctor because of heavy expenses involved with it. My health insurance doesn't cover.
    Haha, yeah funny that my presentation is on April fools day, but this aint gonna be a joke. I will have to convince those PhD guys!


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