And Now It Gets Real

For the past two weeks, I’ve been averaging around 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, of work on my thesis.  Based on the amount of work I’ve already completed and the realization of how much work it’s actually going to take, I seriously need to ramp it up another two or three hours a day.   How do people go to school full time (and possibly work part time) AND write their thesis in one semester??  I’m starting to feel the pressure a little bit already, especially since my professor apparently wants me to add in some other data, but I won’t be able to get that data until October.  To be honest, I don’t even know what kind of data it is, but he wants me to travel to this clinic that’s in a different city to meet with some people there.  I know it will be good to talk to them for perspective sake, but I don’t know if I actually have time to analyze someone else’s data set, too.

However, it’s not all bad.  I’ve read some really interesting papers over the last few days, and, even though I have a lot left to read, some really interesting trends are already starting to appear.  Also, I spoke with the main doctor at the clinic today.  It was the first time I’ve actually been able to talk about my research with her, but we had a really good conversation.  She had some good ideas and good perspective.  She also told me she thought my research was really important and that I should seriously consider publishing.  I was taken away and deeply honored, as she is one of the leading experts in the field and one of the leading researchers on several major studies on suicidality.  Plus, I have had a lot of great support from Alina at Open Arms.  Between the two of them, I’m starting to build a really solid (research) support system.  It’s great to have people who believe in your work and want to see you succeed, especially when they have not know you for very long.

All this to say, I have a lot of work and a lot of late nights ahead of me.  However, I have some new motivation to help me get through the long hours.  As much as I want to explore the city more this weekend, it will probably end up mostly being a working weekend.  I want to make sure I get ahead of the game, especially since I am traveling back to the States for a few days (yes, days) next week for a wedding.  As long as I can make up for the days I’ll be missing and then really amp up the hours when I get back, I should be good to go.  It also means, though, that I may not be able to really develop a social life.  Don’t worry, though!  I will still have some fun (but not too much fun) here and there.  If nothing else, I have a long weekend in Budapest in October (you can start feeling jealous now) and seeing Dracula’s castle in November to look forward to.  Also, I stumbled upon a group of English speakers (of various nationalities) who meet from time to time, and I hope to hit up one one of their meeups sometime soon.

One other thing for those of you who, like me, love The Hunger Games.  There is a chain of restaurants/cafes here called Panemar, which sell pastries, coffee, and sandwiches.  I got a sandwich from there today, and it was delish!  It was only 8 RON (~$2.32…the dollar is kind of week right now).  Speaking of money, Romanian money is pretty cool looking.

Here is the 5 lei bill.  See that awesome music note?  It’s clear!  Each bill has a different shape that’s made out of some sort of translucent paper.  Pretty cool, huh?  For those of you who are curious, no, I don’t know who is on the front or what building is on the back of this bill.  If you really want to know, I’m sure you can find the answer on the internet somewhere.


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