Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A PHD!? NO! Say it Ain't So!


Lately, fortunately, my brain has been working in over-drive. I've gotten 10 times further in my project in the past 6 months than I seemingly accomplished in the first year? Why? I changed my attitude about life, and got through a rocky spot in my life. Everything else went from there.

And now my life takes a different path --- this January, I decided that Dani and I should get married this August; when I told my supervisor today, he was shocked -- then I told him, remember, I've been engaged for 4 years already!

My idea: move forward, even if you don't have a concrete plan for the future (is there such a thing?). Hell, that's the advice I was given by people much older and wiser than I. If you don't, you'll never move forward.

Now my dilemma: I want to teach.. means teacher's college next year, of which I've already applied. I have an interest in physics; as really, engineering, especially electrical, is applied physics. Teaching high school physics or electrical engineering technology courses with a completed Master's was my plan.

However, I have my own place, want to get a bigger place someday, buy one within a few years, have kids within a few more years perhaps -- I need money, sooner rather than later.

So the problem is funding - I need at least $20K (as I'll have to pay for my schooling + living).

If I'm not in grad studies, I could still TA (less pay).

I'm looking for a full-time-ish (with flexible hours) job for next year to fund myself through teacher's college and get some experience at the same time. It's not easy, especially in the Windsor area, though I do have a few prospects.

Today I came across a fellow PHD was Master's level mechanical engineering student.. who got his scholarship transferred. I asked him why he decided to do umpteen more years of school, and he said "well I have it good, why would I want to leave"?

So... my supervisor and I both now have confidence in my so called "potential" ability - he would like me to continue to do my PhD if I like.

I have said no (not to him, only to myself), because it will take me 5 years, and I'm too late to apply for scholarships.
It seems that's not true if I "transfer" though, as my scholarship would "transfer".

This really seems the "logical" conclusion right now... it would solve all my money problems for the next 2 years. That would be my maximum amount of funding from NSERC (and I would imagine most other large scholarships).

2 years to get a PHD in electrical engineering.. no problem.. right? .... right? HAH. I'll have to discuss it with my supervisor.


At 9:10 AM, Blogger James said...

It's definitely an intriguing option...getting your PhD with only 2 more years of work. My supervisor gave me the same option a couple of months ago, and I gave it serious thought. In the end, though, I decided not to do it because of money. I would have made about the same amount I'm making now, which is enough to get by and put a little bit away, but I don't qualify for any of the big 3 scholarships (NSERC, OGS, OSSGT)...damn that C in 3rd year CS!

Of course, I don't know exactly what I'll be doing for money in 6.5 months (not that I'm counting or anything), but there's a pretty good job market for my field right now (some entry level jobs are going at $40K+) and I didn't want to wait two more years to find all those jobs gone.

I think we should start a side-business. We could specialize in geographically-aware torque sensors which use AI techniques for some bizarre reason. With your Costanza-ish attitude towards money, we'd be sure to make a profit!

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Medieval said...

Hey.. you never know about the side business. :)

If you ever have a good idea about something GPS related that hasn't already been done (though there's lots of work there), I'd like to hear it ;)

GPS is interesting -- I mean, even from a physics point of view. To get the right calculations of coordinates, you have to use special relativity! :)


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