Fly to the sky

Monday, May 22, 2006

The big day of my life: Graduation

I took almost 2 years to finish my Masters, could have chosen to finish it up in an year and half, but never bothered to try that...always thought it was a cool journey, did put in some effort, some night outs, some big fights and arguments but never felt any pain, hehe...okay, some pain but a lot of fun! Made the best of friends here without whom CMU would not have been the same for sure, the profs with whom we fought, those we bitched about, those we really loved and respected, the researches and the crib about funds, the ever soporific lectures, the assignments, vivas, endless presentations and the ever lasting demos, our constant excuse for the clients whenever the demo fails, 'O, it just ran fine in my system...must be some version or compatibility problem', and all the free food we managed to get in the campus, haha. Will never forget any of these...

Mom, Dad, brothers, friends were there for my graduation ceremony. Wow, never did I imagine I did such a great deal by graduating from CMU....could feel the sense of pride as we marched towards the Gesling stadium from Wean hall, only then was the sense of achievement and pride sinking in. I told myself, if everybody says so, yeah...must be true, I must have done something truly remarkable :) Cant say about everybody else, but Mom/Dad were on the seventh heaven...I could see the excitement and delight in their faces. Qutar highness, the keynote speaker was a drag...but the rest were bearable, hehe. The student representative lecture was quite inspiring...others said so, I slept thru all the lectures, man...havent been to a single
lecture in life that had kept me up and 'listening' :) If breakfast was good, lunch was even better...desserts were just amazing!

Our degrees were conferred upon at the Carnegie Music Hall. Wonder why these Americans ask for Phonetic names, they make a mess of the names anyways...wouldnt necessarily blame them, if Indian names are tough, south indian names are a big time tongue twister:)

At the end of the day, lot of photo sessions, some sob talk, some happy memories...and some special intimate moments to cherish :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Too many things happening too fast...

Grades declared...A+ in the project! So, finally all the hard work payed off! Wow, so we faked the metrics, faked the process blah blah, whats with that...the fact remains that the product is functional, system is up and running, deployed for the clients to demo, gave countless presentations already, some to the research group, 1 for Cylab, 1 for Boeing, 1 poster presentation, hehe...not that these were rocket science, it was easy and we enjoyed the stuff, more so we learnt so much stuff!

This has boosted my QPA to 3.99! Wow, am I proud of the achievement? No, am the most humble and modest person on earth, or so I would like to believe, hehe. The graduation ceremony is a few days away and am so excited, well...for a number of reasons, this being one :)

My H1 has got its approval for 3 yrs. Thats one colossal issue resolved, all the running around I had to do for the paper work involved is finally looking will be cool to start work now in June end...

Amazing food at Tamarind, our mentor treated us for one final time now at Pittsburgh. Gorged and stuffed ourselves like the ever hungry, ever starved grad students :) Rasam for soup, idli for starters, spl rava dosa, bisibella bath and ras malai! Long live the Acme project that had bagged now so many treats, hehe. Our mentor seemed so good now, anybody who feeds me to my hearts content is a darling, haha. Some good discussion on the topics of industry work, American culture, mannerisms, our future work, the whole CMU experience filled in the rest of the evening. The drive was enjoyable as well...spring has never seemed more welcome...

On a different note, slight health probs, the cold and cough has been troubling me for over a week now and its beyond comprehension why this virus hangs on to me for such a long time, hehe...will be good by tomorrow. And the first tiff with the guy in my life over some silly happenings...surprised at how I over-react at times......and now, amicably resolved as well :)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Last week of work at school and Mom/Dad's visit

Break from school for a week, wow! Slogged like a dog in the last week and finished up all work before I left for Columbus. All work was wrapped up, integrated the performance and security simulator with Acme version 3. The only thing left was to create the plugin and deploy. Some metrics to fake and the presentation content.

Mom/dad's visit, oow, was I excited or what! Their first visit to the US and they r gonna see me after almost an year. Was expecting the usual dialogues of my parents, 'U have thinned down, don eat well? U have gotten so dark, r u out in the sun a lot??' hehe, all this and more. Mom and Dad had loads of stories to tell me, it was so much fun...

This is what I did when I was with them: Eat-sleep-eat-sleep infinite loop, and desserts...Maaladu, mysore pak, muruku, adharsam and some more than Mom got along...the idli, dosas, apalams and vethals, vethu kozhumbu, arachiutta kozhambu...the tastes of which I almost forgot in life, all brought back was like a dream. Not to mention about the regular desserts: Chocolate pudding over butter peacon icecream, some banana and apples, grapes over it with chocolate sauce sprinkled over!

My initial plan was to learn to drive and look for apts at SFO , done neither.... not many movies either...was too bz in eating and sleeping. Pampered to the core, being fed food and hardly moving from the couch could have easily put on some 20 pounds! Oil massage by Dad, Mom making my hair, listening to Tamil devotional songs all day brought back my childhood times in Bombay.

Nice jog in the evenings while my parents walked along, enjoying the scenary alongside the nearby park were the very small things that made my day and nights.

Mom still cribbed about my odd sleep habits, I cant sleep bfore 3, cant open my eyes to the daylight bfore 10. She tried hard to make me change that. Dad tried real hard to find out who the guy was, whom I talk to for hours together, hehe. Neither of them succeeded, but had an amazing time at my bro' s place at Columbus.

Back to work on wednesday. Had the final presentation on the Thu, 11th And we rocked the place! People loved the presentation and the demo was smooth and nothing broke loose! All was good...the stories we made up on the metrics, the blah blah on reflection, data and lessons learnt...and the demo of our system. Some were shocked to see the system up on Acme 3 and performance and security together for the first time, some were awed, some were confused...but all in all, everybody loved the presenter, hehe.

The nice things about the presentation here at CMU, we have some real mean guys in the audience who throw the most perplexing questions, there are some real smart people who make u think and wonder over the correctness and rightness of the working on the system, there are some HCI experts, there are architecture experts, and some people I dislike the most, the process experts, the risk mgmt experts, the management endorsers...but all were good to us this time around. We dodged the trick questions quite well, and yes some were real good bouncers, haha.

We have different kinds of presenters from different cultures, varying accents and distinct speaking styles and personalities. All agree that Indians are fast, "Pls slow down" I have
been told since I remember, but I guess this time they said U were good! In fact, one prof came along, 'Did u guys take some capsules to slow u down?' :) There are Koreans who can barely talk in English, but they try hard and man, they r good. There were these cute guys whom I met on my way to the audi here...and they went, ' Hello, the shirt u good' I said ' Sure, it is, thanks'. And he goes, ' It is.... uhhh....hmm....traditional', I laughed and said, 'Yes, very Indian, we call it the Kurta'. Hehe....they are not very tuff to comprehend. But, yeah...they r so cute! ;)

Always wondered how the Americans manage to maintain that 'Am the coolest' attitude even in the most formal occassion. They seem confident, but cannot deny the arrogance that comes along. Heheh, I wish i could get some of that confidence. I get damn nervous befor I talk, I fidget all times anyways, but u cant imagine the speed when am nervous, hehe. I might have had a full bottle of water before I got up to present...but once I start talking, am all good :)

All done now, will kill time for a while and then party hard in the evening, no plans as of now....but am sure, something will come up soon...will it be a repeat of the wine tasting at Highland Park, nah...dont think so:)