I had a short meeting with Thufir today to check on how much progress I have made at reintegrating myself back into the flow of university life. The number of things I managed to check-off from my last to-do list was woefully short, but still progress of a sort. For example, retroactive intermission was granted. I now have until September 30th, 2006 to finish my DPhil. That required very little work on my part or my supervisor’s to put through. It was the fastest resolved intermission request ever. I also wrote up my 30 words and scrounged up a picture for the next HCT brochure. The only other completed task off my list was sending an e-mail to the Bulletin mentioning my Open University teaching award, about which I have yet to hear anything. As I only submitted that late last week, he figured it was still early days.
I met with my supervisor briefly this afternoon. Given that I’d just been gone for another 6-month period, his first serious question was whether I wished to continue with my Ph.D. or whether I needed an “easy way out.” I assured him that I still wanted to finish my Ph.D. and that I didn’t need an “easy way out.” That question once again settled, we then proceeded on to the practicalities of actually doing a Ph.D. With my recent long absence, he was all in favour of me applying to extend my last batch of intermission to cover the fall and spring terms. He suggested I write another letter to Phil Husbands, asking for intermission due to work.
As always, the issue of my health and medication was included. I assured him that my health had been good of late. He thought I looked a lot healthier, too. My medication usage, I had to relate, was not completely perfect, but it was a lot better. I explained how I was trying to balance my life a lot better, taking weekends off and suchlike. I have been aided in this quest by a dynamic to-do-list manager called LifeBalance. I showed him my desired versus actual pie chart and today’s to do list and explained how it was time- and place-sensitive. By trying to do things only in the time slots allocated for them and relaxing outside of work/research hours, my health has improved and I’m not quite as stressed.
Yesterday both Livingstone and I had mail from Linda saying that my application for intermission had been sent off to the powers that be at the end of August. By then we already knew as a letter had arrived that day. Intermission has been granted. My maximum period of registration is now January 9th, 2006. It sounds like a long time away, but it’s not really. I basically have two years to get myself out of the door, unless I can get an extension.
CSRP Technical Reports:
I had mail from Celia today. I’ve been assigned my own CSRP number of 565. I need to pick up a form to attach to the hardcopy of my paper. Before I do that, I need to some tweaking and Livingstone would like to review it before it goes. Once that’s all done, I can send it off to Frank Shipman at Texas A&M who has agreed to provide some external support for me thanks to the evangelizing of Jim Rosenberg.
I spent part of the afternoon purchasing and configuring LifeBalance for my Macintosh. The thery is that it helps you to more easily balance the different aspects in your life. It does this in several ways. One of the ways is by displaying a visual pie graph of how you spent your time versus how you would like to be spending it. It also allows you to define places, hours, and projects and I believe you can then use it in a mode which encourages you to work on the appropriate thing at the appropriate time and optimize your time usage.
Met with Kelvin Pope of Computing Services today to see why we couldn’t get my internal AirPort card on the network. It turned out that it was a MAC address issue. I had somehow twice obtained the wrong MAC address for my laptop, which is why it wasn’t getting an IP address. This is now all solved.
I met with my supervisor briefly at lunch today. We quickly reviewed my intermission status and I reported on my previous week’s efforts. I, of course, had to relate my “D’oh” moment about the X applications running on my Mac and then discussed running it off of rsunx versus locally. He wants to be kept informed on my progress in obtaining a license. There’s a possibility that the department might be able to buy/subsidize a license and I should let him know if money needs to change hands.