Jason's Blog

A stochastic thought repository

Summer Goals

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As a brief school news update, my spring semester has finished, I finished my finals on the 7th of this month, and have taken somewhat of a break this past week. I spent it trying out the games which I bought from the Humble Indie Bundle earlier this month. I bought it mostly having recognized World of Goo, but have been pleasantly surprised that most of the other games are good as well. I especially have enjoyed Aquaria, a sort of side-scroller underwater.

This summer, I would like to do several things.

  • Professionally / Academically, I would like to have a paper submitted, and hopefully starting the peer review process. The would put me roughly on track with the unwritten standard of one research publication per year that seems to be expected of grad students. It would also improve my chances of getting one of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship grants which I applied to earlier this school year.
  • Recreationally, I need to at least attempt to get back in shape. Over my first year of marriage, I have enjoyed many wonderful meals thanks to my wife, all far superior to whatever I tried to do on my own. A side effect, however, has been that I’ve gained in excess of 20 lbs, which I will acknowledge that I did need. I’ve always been a bit of a stick. However, I’d like to transfer some of that weight from my gut to elsewhere in my body. So, I’m considering biking and other activities that I can do without having to go to the school gym, which I don’t think I can use in the summer since I’m not enrolled in classes.

    Also, I’d like to get back in the practice of playing guitar more often. Most of my playing seems to happen during AWANA, and my skills have been eroding along with my callouses.

  • I’d also like to dabble in contributing back to open source software somehow. I saw an article featured on Slashdot recently talking about OpenHatch.com, a website attempting to make it easy for people to find ways to do just this, be it through coding or documentation writing. I’m not sure that I’m proficient enough in the actual coding, but I probably know enough about data compression and encoding techniques to do something useful in that domain.

So if I can find time to do all this, plus continue to spend time with my wonderful wife, the I will have a very busy, but fun and rewarding summer.