Being a second year grad student brings in some joys and some sorrows. The main joy being, you know for sure this time that once you are done with the course work, it truly is the last exam you've ever had to write. But that joy seems negligible compared to the sorrow. Oh, I am sorry, its not really sorrow, I think the word I am looking for is STRESS...... S.T.R.E.S.S......... S.T.R.E.S.S
That's because second year in grad school ushers in the qualifying exam, fondly called "quals". And in my university, quals has to be on a topic that is not related to your thesis project. And it has to be a novel research idea. Meaning, nobody else should have worked on this stuff before :-/ Its hard to motivate yourself to think outside of your thesis project.... why is that you ask? Well, let's see, you went through the trouble of going through several lab rotations, most of your rotations revolved around this same topic in science, and you finally picked this lab, not just because the prof and the people are really nice, but also because you are absolutely in love with the science they do. So you are pretty much married to your thesis project... it's like a long term commitment to science in that field.
So now I guess you can understand why I was not happy to have to explore outside to find a topic for quals.
Luckily for me, I am doing a course this semester that requires me to write a term paper on an original research idea, separate from my thesis work. Best part, I can use it as my quals topic if it works out well!!! :D Yay! \o/
Anyways, an unwilling MG sat down to pick out a topic. I figured, "Hey, the whole world is worried about obesity, why not think of anorexia!", and lo behold, I found a nice research topic.
So I collect all the research papers, go through them, file them neatly and get organized, open a blank word document and type in the word "Introduction". At this point, I realize I would like some music in the office. So I turn to Pandora to supply me with some good tunes.
The first song to play as I type in the initial words of my term paper....
APOCALYPSE PLEASE.... by Muse....
Is somebody trying to hint something at me???? X-(
I can haz some positive motiwayshun naow plz?