New term

So the new term has started.

Tuesday was a day full of classes. Each of my 3 courses for this term has a session on Tuesday. And it is nice that the term started on a Tuesday, as I had a taste of everything on my very first day. And the taste was great. I certainly love learning (just a reaffirmation).

No class on Wednesday, but there was a welcome reception for all students, faculties and researchers. My team won the treasure hunt game. After the game, the faculties sat down, one at each table, and students can choose someone to talk to. I sat down with whom someone I really like really likes. And I could understand why. They are both bright and think along the same line. Here are some pieces of advice that I received:

  • Distinguish clearly working time and off time, so that you fully work during the working time and fully relax at the off time. It is better that you work with full concentration for 6 hours and play for the rest, than half-work for 8 hours and half-rest for the remaining time. Now, when I ask him how to do this with a baby, the second piece of advice came, which is a harder one to do.
  • With many commitments, it is hard to find a long block of time to work on a problem. But, it is quite likely that we have small chunks of time in between commitments. The art then lies in learning how to break your problems down to smaller chunks and solve each of them whenever you can. This is not the first time I hear this (I heard of this way back in NUS at a seminar), but it is time I learned to practice this.

Of course, certain tasks are not possible to break down, but requires full attention for a decent stretch of time. After reading this article on Science, I figured out that my solution would be to wake up at around 4 or 5 am and ave a good 2–3 hours working on my big problems. Certainly, this also depends on how my little one slept the previous night, but it is doable. I’ve done this 4 times over the past 10 days.

I also received good feedback on my writing skills—really appreciate that. What a good morale booster that was.

To the new term we roll.