Just a perfect Sunday afternoon.
In the most rewarding 21,1 km of my life, yesterday I ran – and finished – Lisbon Half Marathon. Running an half marathon for the first time, I set the goal of finishing and doing it below two hours; secretly, I believed that maybe I could reach something aroud 1h50’00”, preferably one second below that. But I ended up with 1h40’18”, a time I could not even think about when I register for the race. Nevertheless, the best part of it is really finishing it, after running through all those places we only do by car, including the 25 de Abril bridge. It was great fun!
Yesterday I was in my first meeting with the research group on Transport Infrastructure, Systems and Policy (NISPT), our unit within CESUR (Center for Urban and Regional Systems) research centre.
The agenda dealt basically with the election of the new group coordinator and the discussion of NIPST’s new strategic guidelines. For me, it was a good chance to understand how the group works, to meet new colleagues and to catch up with friends I already haven’t seen for a while. Furthermore, I managed to snatch a fruitful crash-meeting with my supervisor, which is always a must.
Real work, not those scattered readings.
As you may have noticed, news here have became an endangered species. I was expecting that closing the issue “research proposal” would invite me for a more relaxed period, but I was not thinking about complete stoppage of production. But that’s what has been happening, which on one hand is normal, on the other hand is not recommendable.
I haven’t been working in the thesis nor in the paper I must finish. Apart from work at my office (which has been a lot), I’ve been basically practicing sports, with sailing on Saturdays, basketball on Sundays and running everyday competing for my date. Running is taking the lead, as I’m preparing to run Lisbon Half Marathon in late March. It will be my first attempt at such a long distance, but I’m taking workouts seriously.
For my defence, there must also be said that during January there were still many season events going on, especially lunches and dinners that didn’t fit in December calendar. And theather – I’ve been enjoying going regularly.
Only thesing is missing.
I’m in! My paper for WCTRS-SIG2’s conference on “Key Developments in the Port and Maritime Sector” was accepted. This means now I just have to… finish it!
It was my first abstract submission and it will be my first paper presentation at a scientific conference. I’m curious to know how I will handle it, both at writing and presenting.
All’s well that ends well. And even though this is just the beginning, my admission to km 0 of a very long road, at least I succeeded at my first checkpoint.
The session lasted for two hours. I managed to comply with the 20-minute limit for my presentation and all the rest was spend arguing with the jury, a fantastic chance to receive input, suggestions and contributions to improve my work and explore different paths.
At the end, I was very happy with my grade and looking forward to continue with my research. Some days are just great!
I’ve been trying to have things sorted out on time for tomorrow, but I guess I’ll only call it a day once I’m asked to start my presentation. For now:
- Power-point presentation: too long, there’s a long night ahead;
- Mock presentation: tried, but must do it with the right number of slides;
- Summary report: check!
- Discussion plan: check! It has framing questions, trained answers, rebutalls & justification brainstorming, and a presentation checklist with everything I’ll need, from cables to suit to water to watch to everything!
- Readings about Viva preparation: been there, done that, bought the soundtrack.
See you in a couple of hours. If I survive, obviously.
Uploaded. Again, at the very last minute. But it’s done, now let’s see whether it is accepted.
Is is being a busy end of the year. Not content enough with research proposals submission and discussion presentation, today I accepted a challenge from my supervisor, proposing presenting a paper for WCTRS-SIG2’s conference on “Key Developments in the Port and Maritime Sector”. It will be held in Antwerp between May 21st and 23rd, 2012.
At the same time, it will be good to keep track of time and make me work with defined deadlines.
I’ve received the instructions for the thesis project presentation and discussion, which will take place on December 21th, 2011: 20-minute presentation followed by the discussion. The jury will comprise Professor Luís Picado Santos, from “my” department at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), as chairman; Professor Tiago Santos, member of IST’s Centre for Marine Technology and Engineering (CENTEC); and Professor Alcibíades Paulo Guedes, from University of Porto’s Engineering School (FEUP).
The time is coming.
Sex Pistols, it was 1977
Sub-mission accomplished! I’ve just submitted my thesis project. If everything goes well, I should have my project viva (I think I can call it that: it will be the public presentation and discussion of the thesis project) scheduled still for 2011.
Now it’s time for a not-that-big breath and start preparing the presentation.
The last drops of sweat. The spiral of sleep deprivation.
I’ve got new feedback from my supervisor and things should be approaching its epilogue. Some fine-tuning is needed, but no major changes. The goal is to submit the final version until the end of the month, in order to have everything done (for now…) until the end of the year. I guess I won’t be sleeping that much during this month.
I never had a “computer” at home. Many years ago, a friend offered my mother one as a Christmas gift. I knew a machine was coming, I just didn’t know which one would be. When we opened the wrapping, we found a first generation iMac. I immediately hated it, as I longed for a PC and the chance of playing games at home and exchanging them with my friends. Now I just had that flashy, useless big thing.
After those negative first impressions, we all had to get used to it. And we did it so well, that we – myself, my brother and my mother – never owned another brand of computer since that date. It has been a lifetime of Apples.
Yesterday, the man that masterminded the company behind this keyboard died, after a long fight against illness. His legacy, however, is and will be around us for many years, both in the products Apple keep conceiving, as in the example of entrepreneurship, vision, and daring spirit, inspiring the crazy ones to keep thinking different.
Steve Jobs, R.I.P.
Yesterday there was a welcoming / networking dinner with all students from the PhD and the CTIS MSc course, introducing the new students starting this year.
It was a lovely dinner, and drinks afterwards allowed me one of the few relaxed, leisure moments with colleagues. It’s the cost of studying part-time together with living and working away from Lisbon.
Yesterday I sent draft version #6 to my supervisor. I’m not completely happy with it, but it’s my first complete, full version. I have the impression several versions will still be produced, so time allows.