I have advanced to candidacy. Now there are only two things standing between me and graduation: dissertation proposal (12-16 pages) and dissertation (many many pages). I am proposING to finish the proposAL by the end of this term (quarter system can suck my ass with its stupid ending in mid June when everyone else has been out for a while already) and then finish everything else by the end of next school year. My advisor thinks that this goal is both a) doable and b) necessary (for funding reasons), and since he's department chair when he talks about funding I believe him. He does think I can finish by next summer, but he doesn't think that I can get him a good proposal by June 13 (although he said he is very willing to be wrong about that).
Life is about to be very exciting - I am flying out on Thursday to North Carolina for agthorr
's wedding this weekend (can I drop my car off in front of some PDXer's house from Thursday AM til Sunday AM?), goteam
and I will be traveling around Holland on our bikes from June 17 to July 5 (and I am trying to learn Dutch in an effort to fit in), then we get back, have a brief downtime, and then I teach programming 101
I was at a party recently, and I proposed that people are now rooting for political parties the way they root for sports teams. Particularly now that everyone agrees that terrorism is bad and the environment is good and jobs are good, and so everyone promises to stamp out terrorism, save the environment, and boost the economy. Almost all the candidates say the exact same things - they may disagree on how we get there, but even that is not as true as they pretend. This led to me hoping that we could get politics to be as well-run and orderly as, say, the NFL, where teams compete (on a game-by-game basis) in pursuit a common goal (entertaining people and making money). And that caused people to look at me in horror - apparently this was found to be a depressing and cynical statement. But I contend that it isn't. The NFL is pretty well-run. It has its scandals, but by and large it works. It provides people with what they want, and they continue to support it. Wouldn't that be nice if we could get even close to what we want from the government?
Right now it's all circus and no bread. I'd like to think that a truly well-operating government based on a system of mutual competition and common goals could provide both. And by "circus" and "bread", I mean provide people with teams to root for AND successfully establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. The fact that we aren't getting both indicates, to me, that there's some inefficiencies in the system that could be exploited to someone's gain.