I begin school again on January 5th. The reality hit me when I realized that I needed to order my textbook last night to ensure I receive it in time for class. I have to admit, I wouldn’t mind a little more break. It has been relaxing, even though I have been working on many things.

I am getting like everyone else and looking at everything around me. What I’ve done, what I need to do, and what the future has in store this year/quarter. Because I’m feeling a little short-sighted, I’vew been thinking about this break and how good it was to do so little. I originally wanted to choreograph, make costumes, etc., but I needed a break more than anything. I’m glad that I did that.

In terms of the present, I really must have my applications completed by the time school begins. Although I probably can complete them during the school year- why chance it? I’ve been steadily re-editing my personal statement, and that will be completed by today, at least the bulk of it. Although I enjoy writing, personal statements are not my forte. I’m so glad I began early with mine. I knew I would keep editing until the bitter end.

Another task at hand that I must complete is reading all 48 papers for my research/thesis. The ones from earlier times (1920s or so) were very tedious to read. Stylistically- I can’t figure out what, but they were difficult to read because of that. As the decades progress, the papers are much easier to read (and also more enjoyable). I have completed 12 of them so far and I would like to have completed all 48 by the time school begins. When I have had the time and motivation to read, I have read 4 papers or so in a sitting, so I’m optimistic that this will happen.

My TA schedule- I have to admit, I’m not looking forward to it. I suspect it will be easy (intro labs only this time), but I also prefer something new. Intro labs are a challenge, since many students are not interested in physics, but I feel like I have done a pretty decent job in motivating them to be vaguely interested. I like the labs this quarter, though, since they involve optics. I’m a sucker for light and color, and I think most people are, too.

What I look forward to most is beginning my research. I love doing research, and I am pretty excited about playing with equipment. Table top experiments are exciting, since you can actually see (on some level; you might need a microscope) what’s going on. They always seem more hands-on to me. I also have not worked on a table top experiment, except for labs (and I don’t regard those as experiments), so this is going to be a very new and exciting experience.

I hope the weather behaves itself from now on, though. It’s hard to be excited or motivated by much when it’s so cold out.