I don’t mean that the iPad is a revolution that brings normal folks’ lives one step closer to the set of a Star Trek episode. That may be true and all, but it’s not the point I want to make.
Rather, this: I have been accepted to New Mexico State University‘s Astronomy PhD program beginning Fall 2010, I intend to accept, and it’s all I can think about since I got the news some 48 hours ago.
Never mind the fact that I’m defending my master’s thesis in less than two weeks, or that I have plenty of astronomy coursework in the here and now to deal with. No – I’d much rather spend hours perusing the interwebs for glimpses into NMSU, life in Las Cruces, and what it is like to be in their astronomy department.
I’m probably being too hard on myself – I am a planner, after all, and there’s nothing like an imminent new life situation to get me excited about planning the details. Stepping back a bit, though, don’t we all do this too much? Here I am, living in a great city with the love of my life and two furry kitties; we have good friends, we make enough money, we’re involved in things we care about, and we’re members of basically the awesomest church ever. I’m studying my passion, astronomy, and Mike is working with his, green buildings and energy efficient design. I could make a list of things we’re missing here in San Diego (central A/C, better neighborhood, ability for me to get a PhD, lack of a SoCal environ, a million dollars, etc.) but REALLY. They don’t call San Diego “America’s Finest City” for no reason.
But. (There’s always a “but.”) We moved here with the expectation that we wouldn’t stay much past two years, provided I could weasel myself into an astronomy PhD program, and it has been a wonderful not-quite-two-years. Somehow, with my terrible Physics GRE score (510, 12% – don’t tell me that’s not terrible), a single school decided to take a chance on me and open the path for me to get a PhD in astronomy. Wow! I’ve wanted this ever since I sat down and filled out applications the first time around, in the fall of 2007 shortly after returning from a semester abroad in Russia.
So it’s almost unreal, and I can’t help but throw myself into speculations about the suddenly non-obstacle-laden immediate path of my future. I fully realize that this requires five or so years of hard work and that upon completion I’ll be entering an equally competitive field – a field in which the expectation is to complete at least one or two postdoctoral positions before even thinking about an actual career. But it’s a step, and an important one. You can see there from here, and 48 hours ago I couldn’t see much of anything.
Once I accept NMSU’s offer and somehow throw together the rest of my research paper and a powerpoint and give my thesis defense on April 26, I will still have homework and projects and finals to contend with. But, for once, I have a general idea of what the next more-than-two-year period of my life is going to look like. Thus, I am going to make a concerted effort to live a little bit less in the future and a little bit more in the present.
In case you didn’t catch it: I GOT IN TO NMSU’S ASTRONOMY PHD PROGRAM!!! woooooo!