Shiranne Gone

End of Spring Break, kind of! I dropped Shiranne off at SFO early this morning, and her plane in JFK just took off for Tel Aviv. Goodbyes were less tearful than usual, probably because I’m so dead set on Israel at this point that it’s just like we’re taking time off from being together, which is already in progress. A few months of break. Then we continue a few months of where we left off. Sounds kind of crazy, but I think the both of us can put up with it, given what we’ve gone through.

Oh and Shiranne and Eric and I are fucking sunburned to the max. My face is red and it’s finally starting to peel. There’s also an epic hat mark where the normal skin color abruptly stops across my forehead. Remember, kids, just because it’s below freezing doesn’t mean the sun isn’t reflecting off that snow.

In other news, I got my grades back from this quarter. Even though I failed my CS midterm (55/100), I ended up getting a 3.3 in that class, which is like the best thing possible. 3.6 and 3.9 in my other two classes. That gives me a cumulative 3.71 which means that as a grad student I am kicking the ass of my previous undergrad GPA. But more importantly, it means that there’s a greater chance of me returning to UW to complete my degree. I guess I really am kind of up for it.

But before that I really have to see what’s up with employment and lodging in terms of spring and summer. We’ll see.

Should I do it.

Next quarter is academically weird. I’m only taking one three-credit class, and auditing another one. Overall, it’s 4 hours of instruction per week, and probably the same amount of outside-of-class work. That will leave me a LOT of time to do… something else, I guess. Hopefully get a job. But I’m having some second thoughts about whether I should be doing this at all…

First of all, I think I’m going to hate the classes I take next quarter. One is a seminar about Computational Linguistics. I can choose from two topics: “Lexical Acquisition for Precision Grammars”, or “Information Extraction from Heterogeneous Resources: Special Focus on Linguistic Data.” Both sound pretty dull. But then again, so does my entire grad program. The other class I’m auditing (not taking for credit) is a stats class; a prerequisite to a statistical CL class I’d be taking some time next school year. I don’t like stats one bit, and the fact that I’m not required to do any work doesn’t suggest that I’ll focus especially well on the material.

Second, I want to spend time with my dad. My stepmom’s death is hitting him extremely hard. I haven’t been as available as I’d like these days (being a few states away and all), and I don’t think being home for the funeral or for Spring Break is really good enough for my liking. I also miss my mom, sister, and my Bay Area friends; it would be quite awesome to be around for them.

Third, I’m doubting the necessity of getting my degree in the first place. It would obviously be good to have a computer-based degree under my belt, but I don’t think CL is a line of work I would especially enjoy. I would really rather land some type of general job dealing with web technologies – design, backend programming… stuff like that. Surely not as high-paying as a more specialized field, but I don’t give much of a damn.

If I don’t audit this stats class next quarter, I will probably not have another chance to do so. I heard it’s only offered once every Spring. I mean… I COULD take a year off and continue my grad program down the road… I don’t know.

There are some other factors that tie in to me wanting to spend time at home sooner than later, but I don’t want to discuss that just yet. It has to do with summer plans.

If I leave Seattle, I’m leaving a great living situation (I love my apartment and my roommates – not to mention leaving might make them scramble to find another fourth roommate), some slowly growing groups of friends, a prestigious university, and the education I’ve received in these last two quarters. But I regain my family and friends. I’m really, really torn.