I had a long meeting with my adviser yesterday. Long as in almost 4 hours. Most of the problems I have are those that I created. I prefer working for long stretches of time, rather than work at things for short periods of time, with many interruptions. I also tend to get started on things late, or get serious about things late, and my efficiency goes up as the deadline nears. But now, with the candidacy proposal, I am faced with a different problem, or different problems. Problems of a nature I haven’t dealt with before. I have to define problems, and then solve them if possible. I have to link quite a few ideas, concepts, or solutions, and compare and contrast them. I have to always remember that quantifying effects, or methods, and measuring improvements is important, even when it is hard to find a common baseline to compare things.
Now the problem is, when I sit to write something, I start with exploring a possibility, and trace it to its possible ‘end’. I see inconsistencies, and can see how I will have a problem if I go down that route, so I drop it and start thinking again, from scratch, with a scratchpad and pencil. So, after a few hours at worst, or two hours at least, I am still where I started with respect to writing the proposal. When I have a meeting with the adviser the next day, I sit down to frame my thoughts, and then I have little or nothing to actually write, that will make coherent sense! This will not do, and now I have the daunting task of using the next 2-3 days to write a coherent proposal, with some conclusions and a plan for future work. There are times when I admire my adviser for his patience and level-headedness. I would have shouted at Carthik quite a few times by now! I don’t want to think of the worst that could happen. Those thoughts are shut out, for now.
After the meeting, I went home, and did not have any energy, so I fell asleep in front of the TV, before actually going to sleep a little later, and for the first time in a year or more, I did not turn on my laptop after getting home.
I miss having a lot of fun, I miss my daily dose of browsing, chatting, and the WordPress work, but I will be able to get back to normal, and spare some time for my interests beyond the Ph.D. in a week at best, and after three weeks at worst. I miss life, but that’s only normal, or so I hear from others who have been here, where I am right now.