Monday, April 14, 2008

Serious and Personal Update


I've been living out if a suitcase in a chemistry lab or in a pretty and cheap hotel in downtown Riverside for the past three weeks.

It feels like a month.

Alright here is the thing... I am working on a Ph.D in chemistry at UCR. This consists of teaching, preparing for lectures, gradings, attending seminars, meetings, classes, designing experiments, doing them, figuring out what went wrong, adjusting, etc. I love the work, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it.

Very long story short, I need to be closer to UCR.

I'll be in Riverside most of the time, and in the historic core a few days of the week.

Yes I will live in both places.

Ever since I was an embryo, I have been riding in public transport. All my life, I have either walked, subwayed, or bused to work/school. Where ever you have to go as a pedestrian in LA, it often takes an hour. When I lived in a different part of downtown several years ago, it took me an hour to get to work on the Eastside via public transport, where as it would have been a 5-10 minute drive. When I lived in Hollywood to get to the same place on the Eastside, it would take me 65 minutes via public transport, even though it was a 20-25 minute driving distance. So I am used to spending an hour of my time to get from point A to point B where ever I had to go.

Then I decided to go to UCR, got my very first car to be able to do it (a used red honda civic) ....

Turns out, that it would only take about an hour to drive to UCR via downtown LA, as long as I go against rush hour traffic. -Which is precisely the case in the mornings when I go, and the late afternoons/evenings when I come back.

Don't even suggest taking the train because the whole commute (getting to union station + traveling on the train + getting to UCR and vice versa) would take about 2-2.5 hours each way AND the schedules are extremely inflexible.

I miss my pedestrian ways. I would prefer to be within a five minute walk/bike ride from my lab. I am on a 1.5 year waiting list for such housing.

In the meantime, I found a cheap room in a big house filled with science nerds I haven't met yet. Its not a sure thing yet, my application is still being processed. It is biking/driving distance. But it will do for now.

I have a lot of things to blog about.

Regular blogging shall now resume.


Big City Poz said...

I'm sure it's not your first time in a cheap hotel, UM. At least you had luggage this time!

The teaching will go easier after the first couple of years, but I know from experience that at first it's a consuming process. Just hang in there. You're young. You'll make through these early rough times and then it will be better.

Your students are lucky to have you for a teacher.


cindylu said...

I love PhD comics, it's always so accurate and I'm not even in science.

I'm not sure I could or would want to take public transportation everywhere. I kinda like driving.

meekorouse said...

you are missed but keep up & take the time when you can to pop in and give us an update like you just did.

=) we'll be neighbors soon enough.

Pearmama said...

So you are back in my hood for a good minute, eh? Cool!