Friday, July 18, 2008

I am a strange strange person...

So I spent most of yesterday fighting with the complicated papers again. It's not often that I can say I spent an entire day on a single paper and not feel gulty for procrastinating - I worked hard and thought hard and wrote out pages of ridiculously long and scary equations which I think are almost starting to make sense to me! The rest of the day was spent helping my supervisor who is having computer issues after upgrading his referencing program (I could have told him that version 10 is evil, but he probably wouldn't have believed me, considering that he still hasn't changed back to the old version after a very horrible battle to remove a single letter from a reference...) It was actually quite entertaining, how it was almost a role-reversal day - for once he was trying to find ME! Excuse my grammar there, it's 8am and it's already been a long day...

So anyway, back to the title. As I drove home last night I realised that I was feeling completely happy and elated. I realised that I am currently working on something really difficult and I have no clue what I'm doing, and it felt great. I figured that maybe I've been so depressed lately because I've been bored. I work hard, but most of it is techniques that I've learned before (back to 2006 when I started as a postgrad) and most of it is boring and repetitive and as much as the results occasionally look cool and I enjoy working towards figuring out what's going on, what made me fall in love with academia wasn't getting publications or looking intelligent (or getting A's - although that was always fun). What I love about academia is finding an issue or a problem and grappling with it and discussing it and arguing about it and generally fighting until I figure it out.

Lately I've been thnking hard about leaving academia once the almighty PhD is finished. Now I'm not so sure. I really do love what I do, I'd just lost that for a while.

And today I went back to gym after a few months of not going (the Madagascans needed all my energy, I went on fieldwork and then I got sick from a diseased monkey). It was awesome! I might not be able to walk tomorrow, but I'm feeling great now, albeit a little bit tired fromoleaving home at 6am after sitting up late cooking for my dad.