A long-overdue update

An explanation for my blogging absence: apparently there was some WordPress security problem where people visiting certain WordPress sites that had been targeted by hackers were exposed to some pretty nasty malware. I haven’t seen anything about it recently, and it was months ago, in January, so I assume the issue is fixed.

As is my wont when I haven’t posted in a while, I’m going to try and summarize winter term so far in pictures with brief explanations…because I learned from writing blog posts for the 2013 spring classics FSP to Greece, the photos are what everybody actually wants to see. So…

Thanks to a cool class through January@GSAS before the start of the semester, I made a book!

Then it was a very warm winter with a couple of cold snaps.

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The ice skating rink on the Science Center plaza was supposed to be open 12-5 pm every weekday and longer on weekends, but it actually ended up closed most of the time because it was so warm.

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I was pleased to see after one of the few big snowstorms that somebody else watched Rocky and Bullwinkle.

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I tried a weird-sounding recipe for a Valentine’s Day treat and it turned out absolutely delicious.

Kristine, Bez, a visitor in Bez’s lab, and I went to the MFA that weekend! They’ve got some pretty nice stuff; above, a view from the museum and a few of our favorite works.

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On the academic side of things, I’m taking the second term of graduate quantum mechanics, classical electrodynamics (because grinding through Jackson’s E&M textbook is a physics grad school rite of passage), and just finished up the required “teaching practicum” course, in which we mostly had to prepare 7-minute practice discussion sections. For one of them, I did a practice problem with a yo-yo, which led me to borrowing one from the hilariously-signaged prep room.

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As G1’s, we also goof off a bit in the office…sometimes via “peep jousting” (the brilliant Delilah’s idea). I couldn’t figure out how to get the video off my phone and on to Youtube, unfortunately, but you get the idea.

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During a really warm spell at the end of February, I took some of my graphene-review-paper reading to the law school courtyard. That brings me to my research: I’ve been working in Philip Kim’s group since the start of the term, which has been very interesting and I’ve met a lot of awesome people…though so far, my success in creating working graphene-based devices has been non-existent. That’s the experimental life! 🙂

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Surprisingly, phones are allowed in the cleanroom, so I grabbed a selfie for the blog.

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Another cooking experiment: I confess to using boxed cake mix, but tried my hand at homemade caramel sauce for the very first time. It was pretty good, but quite time-consuming and resulted in some mild steam burns. Probably won’t do it again for a while. Nick and Sasha, for whom this was a birthday cake (their birthdays are a week apart, so I baked it in the middle), are two members of our fortnightly G1 D&D group! Sasha’s the DM, and he’s been doing a great job. I’m playing a dwarf cleric (classic), and we’ve got some tieflings (warlock and rogue), a drunken dragonborn monk, a psychotic gnome barbarian, a resurrected former NPC drow sorcerer, a trigger-happy half-elf ranger…it’s a big group, but working well so far, and a great way to unwind. Wish I’d taken pictures.

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One last thing from a few days ago: a huge turkey was walking around outside of Jefferson! Seeing it after spending several hours (out of many hours this week) working on a quantum problem set, I was pretty psyched. Thanks to Abby for the photo!

Well, that’s everything for now; or, at least, everything I have a semi-okay photo of. All the best from (next to) Beantown!

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