Last few events, including graduation

April 16, I had my SEASTARS poster presentation for my project, which I guess is basically like UWF’s science fair. The main annoyance about it was how early we had to be there. Set up started at 7am. Trouble with early things started when we moved in with Brad. It seems like Brad is a bit nocturnal. Julie’s gotten to where she goes to bed at 4am or so, working on her thesis. I go to bed the soonest, even though I go to bed around 2am or so. Anyway, Brad and I showed up around 8am or so, and I don’t think may people had really set up yet. There were some awards, including best in department, but computer science had the largest showing, and John had a robot. A robot in a competition is like a baby in funniest home videos. The robot always wins. Well, I guess that makes sense anyway. Judging was interesting, because one of my judges was a biology professor, and my project was based on biology work. Judging was at 9am and lasted until 11am. After John, Brad, and I had lunch together, we came back for public viewing. Some presenters did not stay for public viewing, but I stayed the entire time until the award ceremony. I had a ton of people stop by to present to, more than I can remember. I think I did a good job presenting. I remember how nervous I was when I first had to present something; it was terrible. I’ve really improved in public speaking so much since being in graduate school. I guess it really depends on how well you know your topic though. I didn’t win any of the awards, although I won a random drawing and won some star bucks coffee in bags. Too bad I don’t drink straight coffee.
That night was Lisa’s birthday party. Brad, Julie, and I met Lisa and her other friends at Tokyo (a Japanese restaurant in Pensacola), where we had some vegetable hibachi. Since Lisa does drink coffee, I gave her one of my bags of coffee. Normally, that would be cheating, but I told Lisa where I got it. She thought it was funny.
I turned in my project Thursday to Dr. El-Sheikh at the last AI research meeting. There wasn’t really much to that meeting. I had put all my deliverables on a CD-R and gave it to her. After that, Brad defended his thesis, which was pretty short. Other than the AI researchers and Brad’s committee, only one other faculty member and Julie came. During the AI meeting, Dr. El-Sheikh gave me my SEASTARS participation certificate, but I looked down at it and asked, “Who is Daniel Martin?” I think somehow mine got swapped with someone else’s. Perhaps mine got placed in the biology department’s stack since my project had multiple departments. I think I’m supposed to get a new one at work Monday.
Early Friday morning, Julie had oral surgery to get her one impacted wisdom tooth removed. I thought it was pretty odd that she had to get it removed now, given wisdom teeth usually come in sooner. She says that all of her teeth were that way. I had been warning her that the surgery itself isn’t a big deal, but that the recovery sucks. So, I had to be the nurse all day Friday. It wore me out a bit. Dr. El-Sheikh emailed me later that day saying that I had done a great job.
Saturday was the big graduation day. UWF is really weird in how it does commencement. They separate the undergraduates and graduates into two commencements. They also hood all their graduate students, not just the doctorate candidates. Although some other universities do this, it isn’t very common to hood masters students. Dr. El-Sheikh was the advisor that was hooding in my department, which was pretty neat. I was really disappointed as with the previous commencements. You’d think that grad school would have weeded some of the riff-raff, but there were still people at the commencement that had party whistles and acted generally like lower primates. Maybe if I have another commencement, I’ll actually have a formal event that adheres to tradition. I really don’t like how informal and inappropriate UWF’s commencements are. Oh well. They’re just the little things. To me, commencements are a little meh. I don’t really like them, but I don’t really like not going to them either. Something else that was funny was that some photographer came up to John, Brad, Johnnie, and I and asked us to sign digital releases for pictures to a website. The four of us signed it on our way into the commencement. Brad noticed that the photographer stayed around us and took a lot of pictures of just us. I guess somewhere out there, there will be a lot of pictures of the four of us.
I’ll be working at UWF for the next two months. Unfortunately, since I will actually be staff without graduate student funds, they’re going to be paying me a lot less. I’m actually pretty unhappy about that, but I don’t think I could find a job in this economy in such short notice for only a couple of months. Hopefully, I won’t get too disgruntled at work ;)
Now I shall be called Master!

One Reply to “Last few events, including graduation”

  1. That habachi was really good. Congratulations on graduation “master wells.” I hope to have my master’s degree soon too. I was planning to be Master Comerford, but will be Master Wells too when I finally graduate.

Comments are closed.