Posted on December 22, 2009.

So it's the Christmas holiday - unfortunately, it's the shortest holiday that I've had for years: a scant two weeks. The Ph.D. is certainly going, though not necessarily where I originally thought it was. That's not anything out of the ordinary though, so I'm not going to dwell on it.

The work I've done so far doesn't really lend itself to being discussed succinctly, but it's been pretty satisfying so far - I've come up with a particular procedure that was needed, which is quantitative whereas the procedure that it'll end up replacing was only qualitative. I have a depressingly large list of things to do that I only ever seem to make modest headway on - but again, based on what I've seen of other people, this is fairly standard.

One of the most surprising things so far for me are the supervisions that I'm giving. The first few at the start of term did not go as well as I wanted them to: I wasn't explaining things as lucidly as I knew they could be; I didn't really feel like a supervisor in the supervisions. Then, one week, I found myself looking forward to it, and then after the fact I realised that I actually enjoyed it. I'm not sure what the difference was - whether I just got more comfortable with a novel situation, or something actually changed, I'm not sure. Either way, it's excellent money for something that I now quite enjoy. Here's hoping it continues.

I'd be lying if I said that everything went according to plan this term, but that's life, really. What isn't a lie is that, in spite of such things, I've still enjoyed myself immensely. I'm enjoying the differences between Clare and Churchill and, mystifyingly, I seem to have found more time to do social things, despite the fact that I'm (ostensibly) working more. I've made a relatively satisfying collection of new friends, though notably most of them are only doing M.Phils, which means that come next year, there will be a considerable exodus.

Still, that's future Alex's problem. I hear that guy is awesome, though, so I reckon he can probably deal with it.