Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thesis Fears and Sunsets

I think the last few days have been really interesting. I went flying Sat/Sun and had three more lessons Tues/Wed. I spent a lot of time sitting around working on my thesis at the airfield, but I still feel somewhat scared about it. I realized that, come next Friday, I need to get a draft to Karen. Then in the following week, it's got to go to the rest of the committee. Basically, I'm here. D-Day. And what do I do? Go take pilots lessons. Hang out with Anne. I really can't tell whether it's just dumb confidence, damn-the-man reactionism, or a simple excitement about flying & friends, but I can't seem to turn the lessons or hanging-out down.

I do feel like my draft is coming along quite nicely - it's at 247 pages and all I feel I'm missing now is an interpretive section on one theory just before the conclusions. But there's a part of me that worries - the draft I send out will be the only one that gets read by committee. This same draft will be the one used to consider my graduation - to PhD or not to PhD.... You'd think I'd be in a state of work-a-holic panic right now. I don't know what this says about me, I'm no psychoanalysit (Nick?), but the immediate thought of flying, launching a business, and having a friend visit pulls me away from it. I still put in many hours per day on it, but I feel that I must maintain balance and that a few hours here or there won't really sway the outcome.... Anyways, though I should be near panic right now, I have some awesome tidbits to share about flying and Anne.

Flying..... I suck at it. It's hard. The plane steers with the rudder, and only the rudder, on the ground but up in the air, it's the stick too. I have to remember on take-off to wait to use the stick till we're going fast enough - the twilight zone between slow and lift-off. And the response is funny - it's not like a steering wheel. Since we have a tail-dragger, before take-off the back of the plane lifts up to level before we have enough lift to go up. It feels like the plane is taking a nose-dive into the runway. Before going up, you must point the nose down to get the tail off the ground. Freaky. I did my first solo take-off Wednesday though. It felt good.

Also - Steve took me gliding on the Ko'olau range one day. Damn it's goregous. He flew the whole the thing but it was good to see what to do in turbulent, near-cloudy, rainy, windy as all hell, near-sharp-mountain-range conditions. Sooooo beautiful though. And lift, my god the lift. We had to pull the air-brakes all the time cause we were going up to quick (no engine). So green, and sacred falls is just a giant slot canyon - I had no idea we had a waterfall like that on this island... Anyways, I can't land worth crap. To my credit, it's always been 20+mph winds and gusty, but I suck at landing still. I feel super shakey and have giant pit-stains whenever my lesson is done.

Anne and I had some time watching a sunset at Ala Moana last night. The sunset itself was unspectacular, but the city in twilight was great. After a long philosophical discussion about rationalsim versus emotional decision-making, we decided that "a yardstick is a yardstick", but Liz speaks French and I speak English. Confusing, I know, but that's exactly how I feel about it.... Anne was fond of saying "but the flaw in your logic is.... you speak English and other people speak French" throughout the discussion. She's a persistent one. Funny to think that just a few days ago she was hanging out with my brother in San Fran and got to pet his "wings" too.....

Ala Moana Harbor

A fun little extension of a sub-routine. It was actually nice to do math again.

More squiggles!! And they agree!!


Blogger Jesse said...

When push comes to shove, and you have to choose academic work, or fun in real life, which will you choose? Which would a typical Post Doc choose? Which would a Post Doc trying to get a job at an elite university choose? Which would someone working 40hrs a week be able to choose?

12:12 PM  

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