Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On a 20S Blog Swap with Neollectual

Recently I joined a blogging group, 20 Something Bloggers, and today I'm participating in their Blog Swap #9. 

We're given a swap partner, a theme, and a swap date.

I had the privilege of swapping space with someone who is as different from me as day and night--and I couldn't be happier. After reading this blog post, please take the time to check out Beyond the Horizon

You won't regret it. 

Plus, my daily blog post is there. How could you resist? 

Now, without further Ado... 

As I counted the days I have before summer officially ends in school and the Fall semester starts, I was back to what I do towards the end of every semester - wishing there was a time machine that would swoop me back, to June this time. I made a mental note to further dwell upon the time-machine nonsense with a fellow graduate student, in Physics. I've always loved arguments. I again made a mental note to fix my time management just so I do not feel the need for a time machine in future. I almost did that in a dream the other night.

Summer started out with three broad things to achieve.  I had to finally finish off my Master's thesis and graduate. I wanted to finish everything I had to do in school by the end of July so I could take a month's break in August- because the second thing that weighed heavily on my mind was the month of Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. It was going to be in August this year.

I would be fasting this August - staying away from all food, water and sexual activity (well, the last one doesn't really apply to me) from dawn to dusk every day. I would perform special longer prayers every night apart from the normal short five prayers at different times of the day. I would also be waking up at 4am everyday for special prayers in the last part of the night and for some food before the break of dawn. I would give extra alms; help the sick, poor, needy, hungry and homeless. I was going to make an extra effort to abstain from things like lying, backbiting in someone's absence, or hurting others' feelings. I would also be volunteering for a homeless women’s shelter. I was obviously not going to be at my productive best with academics.

The first half of August after July is past me, and I am in the middle of Ramadan.  I am still struggling with my thesis which is why I now want to use this time machine.   I am sweating it out to complete my work by the end of this month, along with the usual distractions.

The third worry I had was to figure out what I was going to do after graduation. I had to get a job, or decide to continue for a PhD. My advisor wants me to go for the latter, and he still thinks I will. It was an option I was seriously considering before my parents shot it down.

I got a break when a large company flew me to Seattle for job interviews. The three weeks after I returned were times when I felt suicidal for not getting my dream job. I was amply helped by a friend who pointed out how the parking garage nearby was high enough. 

I did manage to get two other unimpressive offers later on, and this is no longer my primary concern – graduating and making myself available for work is.  

Over this summer, I may not have made the same number of hiking trips as in the previous years, and I may not have pursued my other hobbies as much, but this summer is going to define the rest of my life like none other.

I am at the climax of a great spiritual experience and a giant leap from a life in school to the real big bad world. By its end, it would be the most epic summer I have had, for I would have conquered my greatest challenge to date. 

I would be a Computer Scientist, and a better human being, I hope.

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