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Monday, June 23, 2008

School: The Beast That Never Dies

I just can't seem to put the lid on this last semester, it's as if it was intended to be never-ending. On May 5th, I submitted four copies of my printed thesis to the library binding office, so they could be hard bound. Those four copies each had a special purpose: One to the engineering library, one to the EE department, one to my advisor, and one for myself. Getting these delivered to the proper places is like some last requirement, and one that I would like to fulfill post-haste. I don't know if it's a real requirement per se, I don't need to get any signatures of receipt, and I didn't need to do it before I submitted my signed graduation plan, but it's still something that I am bound and determined to do.

I submitted the copies on May 5th, and was told that the binding process would take about a week or two. Later, I was told by a different person in the office that the process typically took about three or four weeks to complete. In either case, I was assured that I would receive a phone call when they were finished, so I could pick them up. Nearly two months later, having not heard a peep from them, I called and left a message. If somebody knows what the status of my thesis is, could they give me a call? Lo and behold that this morning I receive a call: They've looked in the pile of completed bound theses, and mine are apparently finished! I can come down to campus and pick them up at my leisure.

Temple moved to a system of mailing out all diplomas, instead of handing them out at commencement. Instead, students at the ceremony received a dummy diploma, with the real one to follow in the mail. Having not heard any details about it, I send an email to the graduate coordinator of the engineering school, and was told that nobody really knew when all the diplomas were to be mailed, but that if I hadn't received mine by June 23rd, that I should send another email. Today is the 23rd, and I'll be waiting diligently for the mail at 4:00pm. Maybe, if my luck stays consistent, my diploma was lost in a warehouse or mailed to the wrong address, or is being otherwise delayed for some unknown reason. If all goes expectedly, by this evening I should be sending out a relatively grumpy email.

Griping aside, I picked up a book last weekend at Barnes & Nobels, "Introduction to Dynamic Systems". The book, which appears to be a digital reproduction of an original from 1979, was on clearance sale for less then 3$, and we all know I'm a sucker for under-priced technical books. I can't walk past a math, science, or programming book marked "clearance" without digging instinctively through my wallet. What's more sad then my pathological desire to buy these books in the first place is that I read them also, for leisure. I can sit down with a good textbook and be entertained the way my mother is by the Oprah book of the month, or my brother by his latest fantasy/fiction epic. "Dynamic Systems", in this case, is really synonimous with the field I've come to know as "Control Systems". Since I've taken several classes on controls at Temple (actually, I took all the courses that they still offered), most of the material in this book is just a refresher. Some of the differential equations topics are a bit fuzzy, but well within the realm of my possible understanding. It's good to keep learning even when school is out, there is so much knowledge out there and I can't possibly have scratched the surface yet.

I dont know whether I am heading down to Temple today or tomorrow, If I go tomorrow I can both pick up my thesis and complain that I haven't received my diploma in person (I'm decidedly assured that I will not have received it by then). I can't go wednesday or thursday because I will be in MA. Friday, I will probably be at Dana's for the weekend.

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