How long has it been since I’ve posted one of these types of updates? There’s been a lot going on. Spring and summer, for one! Everything is green and beautiful now, and there are flowers everywhere, although it has also been raining a lot. I wish I had more time to enjoy this season, but things have been more than a little busy. A massive family vacation took a chunk of time, but was, of course, very worth it. Then, as soon as I got back, I learned that I had many deadlines, and all of them were due around the same time:
- a poster presentation for the LCT meeting
- a master’s thesis proposal for the “master seminar” course at Uni Saarland
- a presentation on the thesis proposal for my adviser at Saarland
- a report of the work done at my internship plus a ton of documents for Uni Trento
- a master’s thesis outline for my adviser at Trento
- edits on a paper for a conference that my group at FBK wants to submit to
This all, by the way, in addition to normal work, which should theoretically continue as usual. In practice I had been focusing almost exclusively on the reports and presentations, and very little on actual work, which is a problem because I really need to make progress on my master’s thesis research if I want to actually be able to write the thesis.
Speaking of the thesis, I had a bit of a heart attack last month, when I found out from a friend, who found out from a friend, that I had to fill out a “Title Registration” form for University of Trento. This was a simple form with some basic information, but we needed the signature of our thesis adviser on it. The problem is that my intended adviser was gone at a conference that week. He had told me he would be hard to reach, and he had warned me ahead of time to check deadlines and get signatures from him. I had checked the deadlines I knew to check, but not this one, because this was a situation of “I don’t know what I don’t know.” I got lucky and was able to contact my adviser after all, but I if my friend hadn’t told me about this requirement, I would have gotten all the way to September, and wondered why I couldn’t graduate on time for no apparent reason.
It’s hard being a foreign student, but I get the feeling that this is a difficulty even local students have to deal with. No one sends any emails about these deadlines. We have coordinators here at UniTN who should theoretically be involved with us, but they don’t seem to care that much about us. They don’t know our detailed situation, they forget some basic details about us as well, and they seem more concerned with their own work than anything else. It doesn’t feel like there’s anyone who is actually there for the students, in particular the LCT students, who are on the outskirts of the program at UniTN.
I’m also a bit upset because now that summer is here, my aerial classes have been cut down to just once a week, so I need to find an alternate form of exercise to avoid losing too much muscle. I’ve worked too hard so far to let myself atrophy.
On the plus side, the weather has warmed up, and we managed to get three hikes in, all with beautiful wildflowers, breathtaking views, and lovely company. These have certainly been the highlight of the season.
Ok so I’m going to cheat, and lump everything into one big pool over the last few months. I’m sorry I fell behind keeping track of this here by month.
- 705 – rent
- 165 – internet
- 100 – phone
- 600 – travel
- 300 – dining (also during travel)
- 300 – groceries
- 160 – sports
- 40 – fixing glasses
- 120 – clothes (for hiking)
- Total: 2,490