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So this week I have been have great fun coding up a optimization algorithm that makes use of Genetic Algorithms. The result will be a code that works out all the parameters for me automatically. This is rather big improvement on how it is normall done i.e. making the changes by hand in a very tedious fashion. So things are looking good for the next week when all of this falls into place and the last 6 months will finally spawn some results.
Also this week I have booked myself in for my graduation ceremony, the 17th of July at the Whitworth hall. The colours of my gown will be something like this.

So yes black floppy hat! Otherwise the rest of the week has been very good. Great weather, the hamsters making themselves at home, and of this week there has been a conference at the uni on the subject of Molecular Dynamics. This has meant that I have had the joy of talking to Matt who still works in Manchester in the Popelier group, and who inherits my old work, and Dr Richard Henchman, who gave me a good reference for my current job! This has meant some good conversation, some new ideas, and a bit of a tour about the uni.
Otherwise, last night was the end of story 1 of Unhallowed Metropolis, and I have learnt that I need to make the setting more dangerous. Next time I'll push them all to the very bitter end.
Today I met up with Sam who was having fun in the park with her friends, many of whom are final year students at the uni, and then going for a cheap dinner at Prezzo with James and some of his frineds from work etc.
This weakend should be some fun as we have a bit of a bbq/piss up at Prof Rob Deeth's place to celebrate 1) Rob getting promoted 2) Me getting my PhD 3) one of Rob's PhD students passing his PhD 4) and a whole load of other good reasons.

dr_ether: (Default)
      So about this time 4 years ago I was finishing my last exams and my future was not so certain. It had been the best part of a year since my relationship with my girfriend of 3 years (and of course through most of uni) ended, and well as far as my final year of uni was concerned it was not great. Since I was the only person sitting my specialization, Chemical Physics, I was not able to sit the course that would have suited me. No I had to make do with typical normal chemistry. This of course was the reason why my grades were dropping and I came out of my degree with a 2.i. It coud have been better but alas no. But of course my old supervisor could see my aptitude for the computational side which he was fully aware was not being taught. So of course my project work was fine.
      The end of uni was good though. I had learnt I had friends where I had least expected. To be honest then end of my 3 year relationship was not easy. I had to remove myself from certain circles of friends which I found left me quite alone. However, to my surprise, the people who I knew in my year at uni held me in high regard, and so I found that I had more friends then I initially thought. Together we all stood the the edge of the future as none of us were convinced we would be getting the courses we wanted. However, nearly all of us had been offered a PhD in the uni, and mine had the clause that I just had to get a 2.i. Thus the next 2 months were quite nail biting and I was already making preparations for the worst. Of course this was made all the worst because no matter how much there wasn't competition I felt that I had to for the sake of my parents. My sister had straight A's at A-Level and a 1st at uni. Myself, well I was more the rebel it seemed. I had only an A and two B's at A-Level and well I was doing so well at uni.
      July though was to determine my future. After a nervous walk into uni and a double take at the results I found that I got my 2.i. I was congratulated by the my class mates as it meant we were all still together in the coming three years. About a month later or so I quit Games Workshop. My manager was beign an ass, incompetent and well I had no reason to be there. I was being nice. I was clear that I was starting my research early. But no. He crossed a line and I quit.
      Now of course doing a PhD, having a lot more money and meant I had new freedoms, and found many new friends as I discovered the goth scene of Manchester. It was music had liked or a while but for the first time I felt myself. It was good as many of the people I met at Sin City soon became some of my best friends and friends that I respect and in time would be people who would make the effort.
      Now almost 3 years ago I went down to UCL with my old supervisor and some people from the old group to apply for hours on a super computer. It was a farce as I remember and well it didn't amount to much. It was also about this time that I was about to move house to live in Withington.
      2 years ago around about this time myself and Sam, now a fairy new item, headed off to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3. This was still early into our reationship and it was intoxicating as I had not felt this way about someone for so long. Also about this time I was was the filming of the zombie short film. This was the film that myself and Dan had spent some time writing and now was the chance to use expensive BBC equipment.
      1 year ago was not so good though. It was half way through the final year of my PhD. We had got back from Venice about amonth ago which was the best thing ever in my whole life. I was engaged to Sam, but then it all seemed to have nearly fallen apart. I don't need to go through the gory details but lets just say things were on a cord ready to snap, and Sam was hurt and it has now taken a year for her to now be fuly better. But it still means that there is some pain that will never go. We had just started getting a new flat together in order to ground us and repair ourselves, rather more apart. But the worry, pain and unease I had caused now put both my life with Sam and my PhD in danger. I was a wreck, and it seemed that I couldn't turn to some friends as they were being so nonchalant, or because of their own incorrect opinions, or in fact that they seemed to not see it from Sam's perspective and yet understand how I felt her pain. I was angry because I seemed to not be able to turn to anyone because it seemed to me that they thought I would be fine and that Sam was just someone passing by, an unimportant plaything, or a little melodramatic girl. Or that we were both over reacting. Well it's funny how it all turns out in the end. I'm glad that I can say all that is now over, but over the following year, and of course during my final few months in Manchester and my wedding gathering there, you come to realize who you can depend on.
      So thats whats kinda come to pass. Ups and downs yes. Plus a number of papers and here I am now with a official piece of paper with saying I am a Dr of Chemistry. I now have a nice new set of friends down here who also form my new roleplay group. Also we now have more of a chance to see Dan and Stacey and others in London. This last six months have really shown me that I have been right to stick to my guns, and that I have made the right sacrifices. And in some ways I am now happy to have left Manchester behind me, after 7 years of being there I think I am glad to leave it and fine and forge my life with Sam.

    So this week has seen my fourth and third paper get accepted/published on the web. Also today we went for a long walk, almost into Warwick as I got us lost, to the pet shop to look at Dwarf Hamsters. So looks like we are going to get some and fuck what the landlords say. Hopefully won't be long before we can move out. Sam got a job interview at Warwick this week which is also good news.

      In the end it all kinda works out, regardless of what some people may think.

Back this time 2008 I had black hair!

Back in June 2007 me and Sam outside Manchester student union waiting to see Mechanical Cabaret

I think in 2006 my hair was red.

dr_ether: (Default)
Got onto the long list for the Warwick postdoc. Not totally my best possible post but still good. Just got to answer some question for it and hope I make it to the short list and get to interviews.

Today was the deadline on the UMIP submission, so that has now gone in and we wont get to hear anything more until Paul goes for the Q&A session for it on the 4th, so finger crossed on that one.

Tomorrow is my interview in Essex. This postdoc is totally in my field of expertise so I am looking forward to this one. I have to give a 15 minute presentation on my research, so today I have been updating my final year presentation. I have given it twice so I know I can fit it and plus I know it like the back of my hand and hvae had the chance of updating a number of the figures and tables since I last presented it. Plus it's only going to be to a few people so that should be well easy.

Now just got to hear about the consultancy job in Surrey, the job in Yorkshire and the postdoc in Venice.

November 2011

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