Easily influenced – Week nine as a PhD student

Worlds worst train toilet

This was written well over three months ago, and I remember the next morning after writing this and thinking, that I would never publish this as it is quite weird. I think it is essential to show the process of improvement so it will be posted.

Week 9. I mentioned last week that I had a lab meeting this week, surprisingly, It went very well. To explain why I have to take you back to my first year at university. During the 1st summer holiday, I spent my time working as a paid intern at an olive factory. It was closer to my parents home than it was to my home, so during the week I would stay with my parents, and travel home on the weekend. I got bored almost instantly and the fact that I had stopped learning was grinding on me; I decided I should learn a language (One of my friend’s brother learnt mandarin and now is earning a wedge in China). I’m sure, that most people reading this are native English speakers. My thinking was to choose a language by-the-numbers, so Spanish or Chinese. However, I didn’t really want to learn either. Another one of my friends was studying computer science; I ended up choosing to learn a programming language instead. I must skip forward to the present day, as the nostalgia is leading me to become a tourist in my own youth (Sickboy). I am leaving the realms of beginner python programmer and am now touching the bottom of the boot of an intermediate programmer. I have previously mentioned that I have been working with ImageJ to analyse the colour of decaying plant tissue. I showed the group what I had been doing and got a fantastic reception. Now I am mid-development on my own program; it will do what I was doing in ImageJ but in an automated fashion. When I have finished writing this program, I will have something I can use throughout the rest of my PhD which should make things easier in the long-run.

In other news, I finally finished ‘Look Homeward, Angel’ by Tom Wolfe. I did not enjoy reading the book therefore, I will be switching back to non-fiction. With Christmas approaching I am feeling a strong bout of niggardliness coming on (if you have read the book you won’t be surprised by that word) I sensed this would be an issue now that I am more fiscally aware. I will just have to try and re-program my brain, a seasonal patch back to Self 0.5 when consumption was the well-placed hit that kept me on the ride. This week has been one of the better ones, but if you forced me I could not pin down exactly why that is, my guess would be a sense of progress. I earned £5 this week for being a participant in a psychology experiment; the true meaning of the study has eluded me, but the task was related to finding smiling faces among other facial expressions and then hitting the appropriate button upon seeing a smiling face. Half an hour of being a lab rat; £5 tacked on to my net-worth, I’ll take that over a real job all day long.

Next week presents us with a plethora of Christmas parties, my first exposure to partying with academics, into the fray we go! I am also going back to the lab to correct some of the work that was brought up in the lab meeting; the meeting was very productive. Another reason for getting back into the lab is that I am tired of staring at my computer screen. I’m running out of steam for this week’s post and am trying to wrap up. Choose a blog. Choose an error. Choose to work 9-5 as anonymous desk flesh because you’re too scared to do anything else. Choose to be like everyone else. Choose a mortgage. Choose a cat or dog, or both. Choose consumerism and a life filled with debt. Choose to read something else, by someone who can actually write. Don’t choose anything; rise with the tide and have your life be dictated by circumstance, there are no right answers.

P.S. I wasn’t high while writing this: I watched Transpotting2 last night.

Published by Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

13 thoughts on “Easily influenced – Week nine as a PhD student

  1. Choose to read “The Richest Man In Babylon” …

    George Samuel Clason
    The Richest Man in Babylon is a book by George Samuel Clason that dispenses financial advice through a collection of parables set in ancient Babylon. Through their experiences in business and managing household finance, the characters in the parables learn simple lessons in financial wisdom.
    The Richest Man in Babylon (book) – Wikipedia

    Quite old fashioned now, but still a wealth of advice. Good luck~! And for a young busy person, a pet rock makes a great choice too.


  2. Future work, even if 9-5, will not necessarily be boring. You’ve already proven yourself different by learning a computer language. Besides, many people ‘look’ average because of society’s demands, but once deep within their hearts and minds, few people are ‘average’ or boring. (Maybe ‘some’ and not ‘few’?)

    When young (I’m 68) it’s the small, everyday choices that lead up to the BIG choices that seem so confusing. So trust in yourself to do the right thing: the small, everyday right thing.

    Avoiding debt is wise. Mental freedom is often better than financial enslavement. It’s really not that difficult – just call upon your rational mind – ‘Do I REALLY need that?’ before lifting something off a shelf to look at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for liking my ‘Tale of One Duckling’, Ljphd. I thought I would check out your blog, hoping I would find something to like in return, and I did. So have clicked the like button. (Can you imagine going back in time and trying to explain a ‘like button’ to your 2 x grandparents (or perhaps even your grandparents?)

    My one concern was that for a moment I thought I had slipped into a time warp – Christmas in March?? But then I skipped back to the first paragraph -which I must have accidentally speed-read and not taken in) and saw that you were posting about 3 months after the event. That will teach me to pay attention!

    Anyway, nicely done – I like your style. It has a tint of Douglas Adams-ism about it (which as the founder of the only official Appreciation Society for HHGTTG, I should recognise) for which I applaud you. I think I’ll follow your blog! Try explaining that to your 2 x grandfolk as well…


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