Archive for ‘work’

September 11, 2013

Work for Money or Love?

by thebirdieflies

I had this conversation with A the other day, about choosing work that you enjoyed doing. To me, going for a job just for the money, but one that doesn’t interest you, is being a sell-out. But in A’s opinion, jobs are meant for earning money so it would be silly to not take that into account.

Another opinion I’ve heard in the past is that careers are but a small part of your life, and should not dictate how you live. So it is completely okay to work your ass off for a job you dislike. Just you know, do other things that interest you too. So you need not make everything you enjoy into a career. That makes sense too.

One way of looking at it is working not just for yourselves, but for others. If you enjoy your work, you’re more productive, and hence you’re producing a much higher output than you might have otherwise. In the end, our lives are not solitary, and the work we do is one stitch in the larger fabric of society. But to what extent would you consider this when choosing a career? Would you work for money or love? Why?

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August 27, 2013

It Has Been a While

by thebirdieflies

It really has, hasn’t it? I even forgot what to type into my browser today, when I decided at last to tell my blog readers that I am indeed alive and kicking.

A lot has happened in the past three, four, five, months.

My on again, off again relationship with A has finally stabilized to an ‘off’ state. And I found a way to be okay with that.

I have more or less decided on what I want to do with life. I have decided that perhaps pursuing a PhD is really what I want to do, apart from trekking and photography and baking.  Towards that end, I gave the GRE and did pretty well by most standards. But, maybe it’s not time for a PhD right now, maybe after a few years, once I’m certain that I can produce some original research.

I made a new set of incredible friends, and somehow fell in love with them. That also made me resolve to try hard to make my other friendships stronger.

I lost one of my grandmothers. I still haven’t come to terms with the fact that I will never see her again. I don’t know how to.

I stayed in a new city for two months, and fell in love with it. I’m back home now, but memories of the amazing times I had there will stay with me forever.

I don’t know if I will be blogging regularly. I am trying to cut out crap from my life, such as extended periods of Facebooking, in order to make time for more meaningful things. It will be my last year in college, and I want to spend it such that when I go away, I will miss the place. I realized recently that missing a place, or people doesn’t mean that you lost something – it means that you lost something that, for a while, made your life really amazing. It is better to love wildly and lose a part of you and hurt badly, than to move through life without feeling anything, neither hurt, nor pure happiness.

April 8, 2013

Confrontations

by thebirdieflies

I dislike confrontations. I’m not good at them.

Either I will become really defensive, or I will become really offensive.

Diplomacy doesn’t come easy to me.

Recently my applications for an internship at two places got selected. One is at an educational institute, and another is in the industry. One provides accommodation and a better stipend and the other doesn’t.

Doesn’t take much to guess which is which, but I’ll make it easier: The educational institute won’t provide me accommodation and will pay me a measly stipend.

So I had a “confrontation” with dad about going there. He ended up yelling at me over the phone that he dislikes that option entirely, that he dislikes that I will go somewhere without any support whatsoever neither monetary, nor infrastructural. Valid points for a parent, yes. But just because so far I’ve always stayed in the same city that I grew up in doesn’t mean I will always, and someday or the other, sooner or later, he will have to face this situation again. Of course, this confrontation has, since then, been making me feel sick in the pit of my stomach.

I thought I would at least be congratulated for getting through at a well known, well respected institute, but all I’ve met with is disapproval.

I’ll stop with the self pity for now and go do something useful.

October 18, 2012

Meltdown

by thebirdieflies

Too much work. I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew and I don’t think anyone is the slightest bit sympathetic towards it. Definitely not my parents. All my dad cares about is good grades and he probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid if I went crazy trying to achieve them.

I’ve been falling apart far too easily if things won’t go the way I want them to go. And lately, nothing has been going my way. I have to write a speech, and I’ve been trying to contact the person who did it last year but she’s not fucking responding. I can’t write a speech when I’m cranky and I want good food and I want to sleep without worrying about the next deadline. I can’t go home because the journey will cost me precious hours of either sleep or work and I need both. I wanted to play table tennis yesterday but nobody would let me have a turn and I had been waiting for quite some time and they just kept saying, “After this game, after this game”, and I know I sound like a crybaby writing this, and that makes me feel worse.

THE FUCKING TOUCHPAD ON MY LAPTOP IS NOT WORKING NOW.

Everything is so rotten right now.

I wanted to order in something, but nobody else would. I didn’t want to eat the food that is available here, so I’ll just not eat now because there’s nothing to fucking eat that makes me Want to eat it.

If A were here, he would’ve ordered in with me, but he isn’t, he’s sick, he’s home. He’s offered to write my speech for me, but we have more important fucking things to doooo. Why would anyone waste their time on a stupid fucking speech?

I want to be left alone. I’m afraid I’ll snap at everyone if they say anything to me. I want things my way, for a change. I want good food to be brought to me on a plate while I watch some TV shows, or a movie or two.

I wish I had transportation, and company, I’d go and buy a bottle or two. But there’s nobody who will go along with me, and I have no transportation and there’s nobody who I don’t fucking find irritating.

UPDATE: It seems like this post and the one-hour-long cry accompanying it was cathartic, because after writing it, I started feeling much better, so I went ahead and completed the speech because I was certainly not upto programming shit or reading research papers again (the stuff that I said is more important than writing that stupid speech). I ate something too, although it was more out of easy availability than actually wanting to eat it. It’s like eating a lot of chips. After a point, you’re just mechanically stuffing your mouth without really relishing what you’re eating. I also had a long chat with a good friend. I’ve still not completely recovered, but at least I’m not as frustrated, irritated, crabby, cranky, sobby and ready-to-combust as I was earlier.

March 3, 2012

It has been long

by thebirdieflies

It has been ages and ages since I last blogged.
I feel bad about that because it’s only when I write regularly will I ever write well. When I first started blogging at the age of 12, I wrote a lot of crap, but over a year or two, I improved hugely and I believe that was my best period of writing ever. When I read what I wrote at that time, I feel very impressed with my younger self.

However, it has to be noted that I have been doing a lot of Important things in the meantime. What important things, you ask?

1. I have finally decided to take control of my life. Stop wasting time. Start taking time out for things that are extremely worthwhile, but that get lost in the never-ending flow of work deadlines. Things that most people relegate to ‘hobby’ activities, activities to be pursued only when free, not something that you strive to take time out for.
The decision to systematically include such activities in my schedule makes me feel important as well. Look at me! I’m so adult, so grown-up! I’m not wasting time on useless things like stalking people on Facebook (okay, I must admit I still do that) or playing video games!
I read an interview of Umberto Eco once, and he said that he manages to accomplish so many things because he fills in minutes that would otherwise go waste. So if he’s expecting a guest, and he’s waiting for them to come, he’ll still get something done in those few minutes. One minute at a time, and you end up saving hours!

2. So I’ve got Adobe Illustrator, I’ve got Adobe Photoshop, and I will learn designing!

3. I joined a photography game (complete with deadlines and all) so that I actively incorporate more photography into my life. Photography is important to me. I want to be good at it. It may come across as thinking too highly of myself, but I honestly think I’m a good photographer already. Where I lose out is on not practicing it more often. The more you practice, the better you become, right? I have a natural talent for taking good photos, a good eye for what makes a good photo, but unless I see others’ works, learn from them, unless I advance my current capabilities, I will stagnate. Photography isn’t just knowing how to take good photos of things that exist (that is a good thing to know though), it also involves designing a photograph. You don’t just capture beauty, you create it. I’ve seen so many good photos of absolutely ordinary things. It’s the way that the photo is taken that makes those objects a visual treat.

I must make most of the photographing opportunities that I get. In fact, I must create more opportunities for myself, they won’t come strolling around on the street, now will they?

4. I blogged previously about my IMDB Top 250 Movies efforts. I’ve advanced it slightly. Now that I have slightly more time, I will be able to advance it more, hopefully.

5. I applied for an internship in one of the most prestigious universities in the world. I worked quite hard for that. And if I may say so, I think I wrote a good application. It just remains to be seen how well it is compared to the other applications. This thing had been keeping me busy for the past few days. I would sleep at 4 am, try to squeeze in more work on that in the day, as well as keep up with my academic schedule. I’m really glad I’m done with it, and I’m happy with what I submitted. It represents a fair amount of work on my part, and I never thought I’d write it that well in the beginning, so I have crossed my own expectations already.
Even if I don’t get selected, I will still be happy with my application, knowing fully well that I really couldn’t have written it any better.

6. Baking: yes, I bake. I haven’t found time for it so far since it requires a good few hours free together, and recently that internship application had been keeping me very busy. Tomorrow, I leave for a college trip. But after that, I have 2-3 days off, so I will try my hand at that then.

7. Writing, of course. I haven’t blogged much, but I did write a short story after a very long time. It’s a good one, given how badly I was stagnating. Though obviously it’s not great. I’m not happy with it, just merely satisfied for having found time among everything else to write a half-decent piece that is, for a change, complete! I love writing short stories, I intend to write more of those. Fantasy stories with unexpected endings are what I like writing best.

That is all for now. I must bathe, then pack for the trip. We’re leaving at 3 am tomorrow! It shall be fun. A road trip. 😀

January 11, 2012

Lost

by thebirdieflies

Dear Future Me

I am lost.
I hope you aren’t.

I’m sitting on my bed, my phone to my ear, listening to A talk about why our college is Amazing.
It doesn’t make sense. Any of it.
It’s bouncing around in my head, his words. They don’t seem to be of any relevance to me.

I hope you manage to figure your way out of it.

Love,
Past Me

January 9, 2012

For Want of a Passion

by thebirdieflies

I’m tired.
I’m tired of just shuffling along, putting all my efforts into getting into a good college, getting a good education, getting a good grade, finishing that project, studying for that test, sticking to my deadlines, keeping up with my commitments, not sparing Any time to really try to figure out what it is that I’m good at, or that I have an interest in.

I chose to go into engineering because I saw it as an easy way out.
I didn’t have to figure anything out for myself, everything was clearly laid out for me. I didn’t have to sit back and think about what I wanted to do, or what interested me. If engineering turned out to not be my cup of tea, I could just do a post-graduation after that of anything I like. I assumed that I would have it all figured out by then.

I was just escaping the inevitable for the time being.

Now, at the end of almost 2 years of engineering, I think I need to reflect on what I want to do.
I need to look for opportunities to learn more in those fields, I need to know people, get in touch with people who can point me in the right directions.
All along I thought computer science was my domain. I am good in this field, I have sharp logic, I can reason on my feet, I understand concepts related to computers fairly quickly and I’m not too bad at programming. I was perfectly happy envisioning doing a few internships during my undergrad years, doing as many projects as I could, building my CV, a few years doing my post-grad in USA, a happy life somewhere or the other and hopefully money enough to keep me alive comfortably (and a bit more).
Then A came and told me about his friend who’s really interested in being a designer.

And I’m lost again.
I wanted to try my hand at designing too. I really did.
I want to do photography too, I really do.
I want to see if I’m good enough at either of them to be able to feed myself off my photos/designs.
I want to be passionate about one thing that I would take time out for and that I would seriously pursue.
I want to find out what it is that I should do. Is computer science really going to keep me happy? I’m good, no doubt; but is that enough?
Yesterday I talked to A’s friend. He showed me the resources he’d collected for himself. I looked through some old exam papers. I don’t know; people who did their undergrad in design have So much of a leverage over me in terms of drawing skills and drawing what they’re imagining. I haven’t even exercised that portion of my head for so long! I think in 2D, my spatial reasoning is something I struggle with in IQ tests. I didn’t even do mechanical/engineering drawing goddamnit. What will I ever do?

I am afraid. I really am.

I could take the easy way out again. But I don’t want to keep doing for the rest of my life.

December 2, 2011

Of GPAs

by thebirdieflies

I did mention how I’d write about the importance of GPA’s, remember?

In short, the two reasons GPA’s matter to me are –
First, it is just another achievement.
Second, it allows me to be good.

If you get a good GPA, you get all the praise, all the proud smiles and pats on the back that are associated with any important achievement of any kind. Now, this leads me to wonder, if people didn’t consider one of my achievements important, would I still be as proud of it? Or does part of the high get diluted?
I don’t know, honestly. I suppose part of the high does get diluted. But an achievement in Any sense will always have appreciators, and maybe in such a case, I would rather focus on those who understand the worth of my achievement, than those who do not.
Getting abad GPA is not the end of the world, but if it turns out to be good, I get to feel proud of myself.
It may not be indicative of my knowledge, or of my capabilities to others, but since I would most likely not have resorted to plagiarism to get good grades, I know it will be, to me.

Then, if I am doing well grades-wise, I don’t have to resort to plagiarism to get by. It is only when I am desperate to stay afloat, not fail a course, not let my grades drop below some minimum requirement, will I have to resort to that. If I’m doing well in a course and it’s a question of a few marks, I can choose to lose those marks (if I don’t know the answer myself), than cheat. This is because cheating doesn’t pay the price of those few marks. But to stay alive, one must do whatever one has to, and desperation more often than not, drives a person to do something they would otherwise not have.
I recently read Survivor Type by Stephen King, and the above statement rings true Loud and clear in that story. Don’t read it if you are easily freaked out.

That said, I got my first C a few days back. The shock of the first C grade was dissolved by the knowledge that I wasn’t doing too well in this course, that quite a few others who I consider very intelligent got C too, and that I had actually improved and learnt something in the duration between the mid semester exams and the end semester exams.
But yes, no more C’s; I need to keep my GPA above 8 points.
Sigh. Till last semester, I was trying to stay above 9 points.

November 30, 2011

Puppies

by thebirdieflies

Dear Future Me

I played with stray puppies yesterday.
My exams ended yesterday.
I found out yesterday that I got accepted for a particular winter school commencing this December.
I watched more Modern Family yesterday.
I had cups and cups of soup yesterday.

Today, I am finally home and I’m wearing ridiculously bright red tights.

I will make use of this December, I will.
I will write a post soon where I shall tell you why my CGPA is important to me. And why it is actually not some kind of an unhealthy competition bred out of high expectations.

Did you notice how my post has been neatly divided into the past, the present and the future?

Love,
Past Me

November 16, 2011

Too Much Work

by thebirdieflies

Makes me go –

Book Report – 1
Crosswords to design – 2
Tests this week – 2
Assignments due – 3
Exams – 5, a week away
Sucky grades this sem (y/n) – y
Save me – please.