It's been exactly three months since I've written anything for this blog. There are a number of reasons for this: I was busy, I was anxious, but most it's because I'm starting to feel like a second-class graduate student without anything to say---or that anyone wants to hear. I try to write about my work, but the more I do, the more I realize I really hate working on contracts, so instead I write nothing and life goes on.
I'm going to use effort, though, so here's my best shot.
We moved in August, into a larger apartment. Moving was expensive and time-consuming, but it was fun to be in a new place. Then, two weeks into living here (actually, a week and a half), we found out we had bed bugs. They had been left by the previous tenants. This meant that everything we had just unpacked needed to be repacked into plastic bags for fumigation---twice. We spent $500 on our end, and (thank the heavens) the apartment company covered the exterminator's fee of ~$900.
In all of this, I was still trying to finish my qualifying exams. It went poorly, to say the lease. My qualifying exam date got pushed back and back and back and back, but in the mean-time I made good on my promise to buy an apple laptop and got a paper on rkanren accepted to the Scheme and Functional Programming Worshop.
Next, I successfully finished and orally defended my qualifying examination.
Then my semester got weird.
I owed Amr a lot of work accrued during my quals. A lot. So I started to do it, vigorously. My work went from about 15 hours a week to about 30, and I started getting results. I found a huge bug in our contract system's operational semantics, in which is was possible for contracts to not be checked, but that's a discussion for another time. We also did some work on effect handlers, which may or may not ever see the light of day. It seems like they are a good fit for contract monitoring, however.
My grant is up at the end of the year, so I started flailing around for ideas for write for a grant, and finally I found one that seemed to stick: writing a self-hosting Idris compiler. I have no idea if a month is enough time to write a grant, and I suspect it isn't, but that won't stop me from trying.
While all of this was going on (I mean all), I was also playing in tabletop games in a group that can't seem to decide what it wants. Most of us sitting at the table want rules-light, and a different, intersecting subset wants "too cool" situations, and a different, intersectings ubset just wants a good story. We're almost pulling ourselves apart, but we've taking a hiatus over winter break so we'll see how it comes out on the other side of things. (Meanwhile, I've been involved in a lot of PbP on SomethingAwful's forums, so I'm still getting my fix in).
I'm just really worred about the grant: I don't know how to write a grant, or how to focus a grant, or what I'm doing. I don't have a ton of guidance, so I'm just going to try my best and see how I land, I suppose. Going back to teaching classes wouldn't be the worst thing ever...