Thursday, March 5, 2009

Remembering stuff that was

On Wednesday March 18th, a very good friend of mine - whom I used to work on the same Ph.D. project as - will finally defend his dissertation, which in turn - higher powers allowing - will grant him his Ph.D. Although I'm not going to be able to be there in person to cheer him on, I'll definitely be there in spirit.

Me and - let's call him Joe, 'cause that's his name - go back more than seven years, to when I joined the project team he was on. At first, we worked on separate topics within this project, but after a team member, fellow grad student and very close friend of Joe's passed away (there are actual casualties in this project), we got paired up to "leverage our respective competence profiles to achive maximum synergy". That's not how anyone put it, thankfully, but it's essentially what happened. As it turns out, we worked very well together, and were able to churn out some really cool science, and we became good friends. Both Joe and myself have been through gigging with heavy metal outfits, although in Joe's case it was more successful, as his band ALMOST got signed by an L.A. label following their opening for Overkill in NYC.

THIS CLOSE to being signed, man...

These days, it's exactly six years since my wife and I left Raleigh, NCSU and UNC for Trondheim. A lot has happened since then, but we've managed to stay in relatively close contact the entire time. Every now and again I've perused the grad student listings at my old alma mater, and while the number of familiar names definitely has started to dwindle (the majority of my old department has even relocated to a new campus since then), I just now tallied five names that were in grad school with me or at least had started before I left.

Though I periodically miss good ol' NC and the people I used to work and hang out with, the thought that I might have still been in grad school is terrifying. Good luck, Joe!

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