The Grad School Process (Part II)

So it’s been a year since I’ve been at UW for grad school. What’s scary is that I’m getting closer and closer to finishing up my “professional” master’s degree in computational linguistics and I’ll be back in the real world again with a new sense of direction as to what I should be doing. It’s kind of funny because about eight months ago, I would have been surprised to say the words “with a sense of direction as to what I should be doing”… Fall quarter definitely did have a few bumps beforehand, with some miscommunication on my part with my adviser as to what classes I did take and what I should have been taking. But through some conversations, a quick quiz on my knowledge on the material, and a few add codes from some of my instructors, I managed to get into the classes I needed to take for this quarter. Even in this quarter, I’ve definitely learned a lot of things and had a different mindset as to how to approach my academics with my master’s program versus my undergrad degree.

I guess the question here is what do I mean by my approach? What I mean is how I see my classes, my coursework, my instructors, and my peers/classmates, for example. It’s much more different than what I remember doing when I was doing my undergrad classes. You could call them words of wisdom or advice, but they seem pretty crucial (at least in this program, not sure how applicable they would be in say medical school or law school, where it’s a competitive program). Continue reading The Grad School Process (Part II)

Questioning

These past two quarters of grad school have been quite an experience. When I say experience, I mean both good and bad. In the three classes that I’ve taken, I’ve learned a lot. I give a lot of credit to my instructor for her help and loyalty to her students in assisting them when they need it. If it wasn’t for her, I probably would be struggling a lot. It forced me to ask for help when I couldn’t figure out the answer. It made me think differently about syntax and about linguistics in general.

At the same time, it’s been a rough time, especially this past quarter. I don’t think I went a week without bitching and moaning about the problems that I encountered in the class. How do I set up this rule to ensure that these arguments are working? Are the semantics for this sentence correct? How do I implement these features in order to ensure that I get the full realization of the phenomena that I’m working with in my language? How do I make sure that this rule works without breaking this other rule? I think you can get the idea.

But over the past couple of months, it’s left me questioning a lot about what I’m doing.   Continue reading Questioning