Will and Beyond

Archive for the category “Grad School”

Doctor Will

Defense Date Scheduled

Thesis: Done’ish

As I’ve said, thesis writing is slow, but now mine is mostly done’ish. Still going through a few rounds of revisions, but the bulk of the work is done. Writing a thesis isn’t hard, it just takes a long time; you’ve done all of the work already. Hopefully you’ve published along the way, then you get to do some fun copy/pasting “with permission from the author” of course. (Cause that’s you!)

thesisAlong the way, you’ll think of some new experiments to do, more figures to make. Some of those you’ll be excited to do. Some, you’ll grudgingly do. Others, you’ll think of, but say fuck that, only if my committee tells me to. But the writing isn’t hard, it just takes a long time.

Motivating yourself to write a thesis? Harder. (This obviously depends on your circumstances, but I think…) Grad school is fun; there’s definitely a part of me that doesn’t want to leave. On one hand, I’ve done the work, I’ve put in the time, I’ve earned this. On the other hand… school is all I know. As such, forcing yourself to write when it will result in you leaving sooner? Exactly.

Somehow I managed to force myself to do a lot of writing while I was job searching, long enough before anything was remotely an option. I really wanted to have a stress-free writing experience. What I didn’t want was to get a job offer, have a start date in place, and be frantically writing up, and having to talk my committee into letting me defend with short notice.

It worked out that way. At this point, the only stress is figuring out what to do with my life, but more on that later.

[Photo: Flickr]

Thesis Writing

This is how fast it feels.

Aqua regia


Because we work with a lot of different metals, to avoid contamination, we normally clean our stirbars with aqua regia. But we also use normal stainless steel tweezers for retrieving them.  Here’s what happens if you accidentally leave them in solution…  We should really start using teflon tweezers for this.

(This was from a while back; I wish I had a less fuzzy picture, but those tweezers are missing about 2 inches…)



That’s a great technique for washing your forehead and nose at the same time I suppose…

Abusing Librarians

I have 47 pending interlibrary loans requests. My apologies, librarians.


Inputting all of those took forever. But not nearly as long as it will take them to find any of those articles. Thanks! (I hope!)

Article not found
Maybe cause it’s in Russian…
…and from the fourties


Boston ACS: Day 4

expoAnd that wraps up ACS. (Technically it’s still running Thursday, but not much is happening at that point.) Fun times. Nothing interesting was happening in inorganic today so I just went to a bunch of assorted talks.

  • Multiscale simulation of proton exchange membranes*
  • Preparation of polymers conjugated with p-extended quinone: Optical and redox properties of the polymers
  • Redox-driven structural folding and unfolding: Electronic communication between TTF units anchored onto a C2-symmtric aryleneethynylene scaffold
  • Conjugated polymers that respond to oxidation with increased emission
  • Bitter, twisted truth of the hop
  • Dry water: Can we still make waves?
  • Nano Letters 10th Anniversary Reception

*This was actually meant to be a talk on carbon nanotubes, but apparently Grand Ballroom C and Commonwealth Ballroom C are different rooms. Sigh.

You can see above that they shut down the expo today, that was around 2pm (after I got some free lunch and more free swag thankfully). Tomorrow I plan to wander around Boston, hopefully the weather will cooperate.

At some point I might do some sort of wrap-up post, but we’ll see.

Goodbye ACS
There were many many talks
And now I’m burnt out


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