11 October 2006

Figures, I'm just a Tool

Over the holiday weekend, me and my wife went back to our hometown to eat gobs of gobble-gobble, and gobbled we did. But on Thanksgiving day itself, we decided to go for a walk through the university campus that we both went to. We walked behind the civil engineering building where I did my masters, and I looked in to see if they still had some of my old, used (read: horribly broken in a hydraulic actuator) specimens lying around. Of course, this being a mere 1.5 years since I finished my masters, they were of course still there. But as I was pressing my head up to the window, I suddenly noticed my old grad student colleague Amr there working on his stuff. I guess since he's Muslim, he doesn't really care at all about Thanksgiving. Amr is doing a PhD with my supervisor, and we've helped each other out countless times. He saw me, and we went out front to chat and catch up (his wife is pregnant, and he thinks he's got about 3/4 of a year left).

Anywho, it was nice catching up with him, but lo and behold, I get to work Wednesday morning, and what do I find but an email from my old supervisor, asking me to write a paper with him for a seismic engineering conference based on some of my old research. My guess is that Amr talked to my prof on Tuesday, saying that he ran into me, and that jogged my prof's memory. "Hmm," he though,"I haven't used him in a while... I can squeeze yet more blood from that stone. I'll email him tonight." And, hence, here I am with an email on my computer asking me to write a paper.

So will I do it? I don't know. I don't really want to go to a conference again; it's just in Ottawa, and I don't know where I'd get financing for it. Conferences are expensive: $850 for the conference + accomodation at about $160 a night. I don't want to go to the effort of writing, especially since I've got a job to worry about, and very little free time as it is. And frankly, I don't think my research is even all that applicable to the topic. Sure, my system I studied in my masters has potential seismic applications, but I didn't really study it in a seismic kind of way, so other than the concept, I really have little to talk about. Plus, it's been over a year since I've even looked at any of my research, so I don't remember a thing about it.

I asked my brother. He said I should demand money.

I guess I'll have to email him back sometime today. I'm just afraid to because it never ends with this guy. When it comes to finding more work for his students to do for him, he's like the frickin Energizer bunny.

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