Wow. It's been forever since I updated, and so very much has happened. Where do I begin? I suppose I'll start with the nearest and dearest, namely school.
On Saturday, I walked with my graduating class, and received my diploma -- I am now officially full of B.S. ... err, I mean I am now the proud owner of a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. I only got an hour of sleep the night before and slept through half the ceremony, but I walked across the stage with pride and firmly shook the Dean's hand. Hurray! So, that's done. Four years. Four long, hard years ... busy, too. And this semester has been absolutely crazy. Just crazy.
Speaking of crazy, I started working for one of the Professors here at the beginning of the semester; I was his undergraduate research assistant on a few projects he and his PhD students were working on. So I did random coding, testing, and helped use a variety of devices, projects and the like. Well, at one point in the semester he asked me to cover for him in giving a talk to some prospective students, as he'd be out of the country. Seeing an excellent opportunity, I agreed to do it. After I previewed the speech to the Dean of Computer Science, the dean followed it by offering to sponsor me in a Fellowship application. And if the fellowship fell through, he'd give me a research assistantship, guaranteed. Just like that, I was headed for graduate school. I was so shocked at the time I told him I'd have to think about it, but a day or so later I responded most enthusiastically "YES!" Over the next few weeks, the fellowship bid worked out, and I am now the first recipient of a very awesome new fellowship at my school, which will give me a whole bunch of money to study computer science at a PhD level. So here I was, about ready to enter the job market, when SIKE! Now I'm headed back in the fall as a PhD candidate.
I am so excited. I'm registered and everything. The fellowship covers tuition and fees, and provides a stipend for living expenses. I'll be working with some absolutely awesome people (especially my faculty adviser, who I already work with) and as soon as I figure out what I want to do, I'll be working on my own research. Very cool.
Also, I graduated with a GPA of above 3.93, meaning I received Summa Cum Laude -- highest honors. That's been my goal since this whole process began, and I am so excited to have achieved it. It's really a huge personal goal that I met. The future is rather exciting, folks!
Since I accepted the fellowship, I had to contact the company I was to work for and inform them of a change in intent. I was sorta sad about that, but to be honest, the closer I got to the 9-5 grind, the less excited I was about it. I'm not ready to be done with the education scene just yet; the work-a-day world and I have unresolved issues, and we are not ready to move in with each other just yet.
So instead, I'll be working two or three jobs this summer; two officially, and the third I'm working with a group of friends on a variety of self-interest projects we have on the back-burner. As for the other two jobs, 24 hours will go to my father, and 24 hours will go to my adviser. It's going to be a busy, but hopefully productive, summer.
As for life, I took a semester off from women. For the most part, anyway, I've been successful. But it's time to move on, and I think I'm re-centered enough to consider myself "back in the game" so to speak. It was the best idea I've had, though, to take a whole semester off from the dating scene. It's been invaluable to focus on my work, on my interests, and on rediscovering some of what I'm all about. I've been crazy involved on campus, doing tons of clubs, activities, and taking on new and bigger responsibilities, and I love it.
My main man and close friend John and I are being roommates again; this time just off campus in one of the fraternity houses. We aren't brothers; we're just boarding at the house. The guys of the frat are good peoples, so there won't be any problems there. I'm excited about that too, especially since we'll have a full kitchen and are getting a bigger fridge to store all our lovely foods and desserts. I'm also upgrading from a twin size mattress to a full size mattress, another thing I'm very excited about, to say the least. It's going to be a crazy summer.
Also, there is possibly a woman in my life. Maybe. We'll see what happens, there's no pressure and no rush. I'm certainly in no hurry; I've got another four years minimum of schooling, and plenty of time to live life and enjoy life. And I intend to.
I wish I had more to say, but I do have exciting, very very exciting news. My parents got me a Rebel XSi for a graduation gift, and it is so very awesome. They also, knowing me so well, got me a macro lens. I spent almost two hours last night just laying on the living room floor, playing with settings and taking pictures. It's amazing, and I've fallen in love with it. I can't wait to take some awesome pictures in the near future and share them with you. It's going to be a process getting used to the camera and it's settings, but I'm very excited about the whole thing. Hurray!
I'm also going to try to get back into music, perhaps even into composing. But I have some prospects for teaching the violin again, and I'm very excited about that. It'd be great to have a student again, it really forces me to focus on improving myself as well.
Well, I think that's about it for now. If I think of anything else, I'll update again. Adios and good luck to you all. Have a great summer!