Last quarter at UCLA

It’s been awhile since I posted an update, so I thought I should probably get around to it [while I procrastinate on an assignment due tomorrow, of course.]

This is a strange time for me. I’m back having taking classes as my primary responsibility, which is strange after two years of prioritizing lab work, and sometimes not being involved with classes at all. I like it fine — in general, I’m good at ‘being a student’, and my classes are surprisingly good given the small number of options I had — but it is strange.

The hardest part so far is that I had anticipated having SO MUCH TIME this quarter to work on writing, job applications, side projects, taking coursera classes even… and that isn’t really true. My classes can easily swallow all of my time if I let them, given my propensity for doing copious amounts of unnecessary background reading, and my perfectionism regarding written assignments. It’s been a battle just to get my coursework done, reliably show up to yoga class, and work on the few side projects I had already committed to. Exhausting.

Regarding side-projects:

1. Right now, I am STILL working on putting together a sample chapter for a textbook in hope of getting signed on as a contractor to do several more. It’s a great opportunity to the point of being intimidating, so I keep putting it off for fear of failure. But I can do it, it’s just HARD.

2. I recently signed on with a tutoring agency. I make $25/hour, the agency handles all my scheduling and payment collection, and I get to feel smart and useful because I can explain algebra II and high school chemistry in a way that makes kids go “oooooh, NOW I get it.”. This is nice for getting some recent tutoring experience on my resume and also for putting aside a little extra money.  Hopefully, if I don’t have full time work immediately following graduation, my main source of income will be tutoring high school and UCLA students while I work on…figuring shit out? earning certifications? scraping together freelance work?  In particular, if another better opportunity doesn’t arise, I hope to put on some AP Biology BOOT CAMPS a few weekends before the AP exams.

Oh, and all that aside, I’m also writing my thesis. It’s actually pretty close to done though–I have to fix a few things from comments on my draft, and then just do a bajillion little formatting things before submitting it. FUN STUFF.

Anyhow, that’s where I’m at right now. I’m hoping to post here more often–probably about once a week–but no promises. My science blog should start seeing weekly posts in February.  Those posts will be long-ish and well-researched, since that’s the kind of writing I find most satisfying and the kind that is most likely to prepare me for getting real work. I have a few ideas in my pocket right now, but if there are any topics you’re REALLY like to see me cover, I’m interested in your input.

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