Saturday, February 04, 2006

Between Good and Evil

Wow. So much has happened to me lately I don't know what I should talk about. I'll give it a shot.


Neuroscience
So on Thursday, I got an invitation for an interview from the INS (Institute for Neurosciene) at UT. This is a good thing (obviously) because it means I made it past round 1 of the applicants. From the faculty and students I talked to in INS, there were about 150 applicants this year, and they typically only invite about 30 for interviews (so I guess that means I'm in the top 20%?). Of those 30, they only accept 10 people into the program. So statistically speaking, I have a 33% chance of getting in without knowing anything else about my competition. Not bad I suppose, but not all that great of a probability either. >_> Interviews take place all day Friday and Saturday next week, so you can be sure I'll blog after that. :)


Work
I had a meeting with my boss last week and he was pretty adamant that I needed to make a decision about this whole neuroscience thing *soon* (like, within a week or two). He's kind of convinced me to just work for him for a year, and then start doing NS next year (meaning I have to apply and get accepted all over again). I'm thinking of taking his suggestion, because I really like the work I'm doing at FSL (Freescale) right now and I want to continue on it past May. Plus I could really use the extra cash since I still owe my dad like $3,500 from a tuition loan last year, and I have almost no money at the moment. :(

Scammed!
Yeah so, I got scammed. :( It happened last December when I was in my weird depressed state. I got tricked into giving my bank account info over the phone number, and on Monday I noticed that this company called Star Communications had made fradulant withdrawls from my account. I immediately called them and was like "WTF!?" and the Indian guy with a thick accent over there said I never replied to some package that he said they sent me (only they didn't) and because I didn't reply they "assumed" I wanted to enroll in some program where I pay them a shitload of money and they give me just shit back. Needless to say, I was pissed. I tried to get the guy to refund my money, but he said I had to write (as in, a real letter) to their HQ and gave me the address. Well I drove straight to my bank (Chase, formerly BankOne) and sat down with a guy there who was really cool. He told me what I needed to do, had me fill out some real fancy official looking paper work, and then canceled my old bank account and started a new one for me. All in all I lost about $400 to these jerks, but the banker said that he thinks they'll be able to get it back without any problem because these guys are proven scumbags.

Well, I guess we all make stupid mistakes in life at some point, so I just need to learn from it and move on. And make sure my mom never finds out, because she would be pissed. ^_^


Superpowers and Injuries
So I haven't talked about running in a long time I think. Back in mid-November, I abruptly stopped running because my spirit just gave out and I didn't have the drive to do it (or anything else) anymore. I ended up taking off 6 weeks total and finally started running again once the semester started back up. I sucked really bad at first (of course) but some miracle happened on Monday. I was able to hold a 6:30 mile pace with ease for over8 miles. I was like OMG, how did this happen? It was crazy, I'm usually never that fast without at least 4-6 weeks of solid training, and here I did it on my 6th or 7th day back into running. So just based off of that run, I decided to race the Freescale Austin Half-marathon. I was originally training to do the full-marathon last semester, but when I stopped running I thought I wasn't going to race at all. The race is in two weeks now, on the 19th of February. It should be fun, even if a little painful since I'll only have about 5 weeks of training in. :)

Speaking of pain, I'm really feeling it lately. For some reason, my shin splints came back just as fast as my speed did, so running is very painful right now. I need to go buy new running shoes I think. Second, I have RSI (repetitive-strain injury) in my wrists from typing too damn much for school/work/thesis/Allacrost/translation. @_@ It sucks REALLY bad, and I'm going to see a doctor about it ASAP (hoping for Monday next week). For someone like me, not being able to type without pain is like for most people being unable to walk without pain. :( And to top it all off, I have excema on my palms really bad. It recurs about once every year, usually in the winter, and it can get really really bad. I mean to the point where you can see the actual muscle in parts of my hands because there's no skin left there. O_O It's genetic and there's no cure, so I just have to tough it out and wait for it to go away. I have some cream I got from the dermatologist, but it doesn't do a whole lot to help.


That's all I have to report tonight. Check back next week. ^_~

2 Comments:

Anonymous Sean said...

(1) Congratulations on the interview!

(2) Assuming you get accepted to INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service...?), can you defer your entry for a certain period of time?

(3) I've been thinking of running again. There's no way I could get up to that speed in 5 weeks, but I'd like to get back into shape. How do you find the motivation?

10:24 PM  
Blogger Tyler Olsen said...

(1) Thanks. :) I still need to get fully accepted though, so next week I've gotta fire up the old "Tyler charm" ;)

(2) I asked the coordinator of INS this and she said no. :( I believe she said I'd have to pay the fee again, but they could retain all of my information (which is good, because I hate having to worry about letters of recommendation).

(3) Join the UT Marathon team (not everyone runs marathons, some people just run a few miles a week with us). It is almost impossible for me to run on my own. There's people there who are really fast, really slow, and everything in between, and it's also fun running with them. I highly recommend it.

We're running at 5:45 PM on MTTh. See the team website at:

http://studentorgs.utexas.edu/marathon/

1:12 PM  

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