Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bad hair day?

Man.. yesterday was one of those dreaded bad hair days. Went to get a hair cut, was wondering why this woman was praising my hair all along, "oh you've got such lovely thick hair, so long.. do you get headaches often?" I was thinking to myself "What on earth is this woman up to?" and alas I realized that she cut close to 8 inches of my hair!! My husband's hair is probably just an inch shorter than mine! But this woman kept rambling on "Oh.. that is such a cute style on you, if I had cut 1 inch more, I could have donated your hair to the local Cancer institute" Yeah right, had that happened, I would have needed hair donation myself. I look like a totally different person now, amazing how much a hair cut can change your persona! I guess all forthcoming days this month are going to be bad hair days!!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Me, doctor??

Today was one of those days when I accompanied my husband to the university and pretended to do work while actually reading, and (my favourite website for viewing photos of tamil cine events without subscribing). I just began happily drifting away into cyberspace when all of a sudden, a pile of work landed on me by email. Apparently the format of my output was wrong, so I had to reformat stuff, parse this huge ugly file, subconsciously aware that a single parse error could change these huge gigabytes of data into garbage :( That is the bane of programming, it is scary to think how much research is built on code that may contain some tiny treacherous bug somewhere waiting to challenge your results!! :( OK.. on to some serious stuff......

A couple of days ago, during one of my routine wanderings in the parallel universe, my husband called out "hey.. I forgot that you were an engineering undergrad, help me with something, what transform do you use to represent a 2D waveform, what do you know about up sampling and down sampling?" Sampling? I only know samplers, transforms.. transforms.. that rang a bell somewhere.. Fourier, Laplace.. Z transform.. I had heard those terms somewhere.. what the f$#% did I do with them? I had no clue, this yet again brought me to a sad realization that I had wasted 4 crucial years of my life "studying" something I couldn't care less about. I was one of those students who just followed the herd. I gave up admission at a prestigious architectural school and my dream of performing surgery to enroll into an ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING program. Why? Because, only idiots study science right? Only losers spend their life researching worms and flies, and here I am today researching tinier life forms. Where does this kind of prejudice stem from? Why do people from India look down upon those who are not engineers or doctors or lawyers? A PhD in english is sadly not equivalent to a PhD in computer science. I resolve that my children would never have to choose between satisfaction and money. Just as I was voicing my opinion, my friend Ray quickly pointed out.. "hey, but didn't you mention the other day that your kids would be doctors?" Silence. "Well, all I said was [clearing throat] when they are young, I would teach them biology and make them love the subject so much that they would eventually end up choosing medicine " :)

Oh.. do we ever change?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

College sports, boon or bane?

It's amazing how sports can influence your mood and behavior. Take me for example, I was never a big sports buff nor did I ever care for it, but ever since I started following football and more recently college basketball, I seem to have developed a dual personality. People who observe me watching these sports, swear that I am a totally different person. I scream obscenities, get angry and am a nervous wreck to a point where I have to start worrying about the fitness of my heart after the game is over. Is this all worth it? Maybe not, but the adrenaline rush that comes with such involvement is probably why people throng to games and sports bars. But by watching such college sports, people like me contribute to another unfortunate mentality that sports is more important than education. Think of it this way, when the US economy is affected by war and other natural calamities, how does the government try to recuperate from the loss? By cutting down research money. NSF is the first to suffer a loss followed by NIH. This obviously affects universities that solely depend on such sources for money. But then the sports departments, that are housed in universities continue spending millions of dollars on coaches and stadiums. The highest paid people in a university are the coaches, while a humanities professor probably makes 40-50,000$ a year (lower than the average US income, I am told), doesn't this seem unfair? I think that all sports departments should be forced to contribute a significant amount of money to the university (not just a meager 1 million a year to the local library). If not why are they part of universities, doesn't the reputation of the universities help them in any way? They should just go ahead and have clubs and leagues instead of living in the universitys shadow . Think about it!

A new beginning...

After a lot of "I am not the kind who writes blogs" and "I don't have the patience" statements, here I am, writing my first blog entry. I also happen to be on vacation so that definitely contributed to this decision. I have been so out of touch with my near and dear friends that I thought this would be an awesome way to catch up with some of them and a fun way to vent my anger and share my happiness (I know you are thinking by now.. "tell us something new, this is why everyone writes blogs!!!")