Deep Breath

Eyyyy…. I’m posting! (The almost-two months between this and the previous post are a mute, but powerful, witness to the onslaught of the semester.) Three big news items for right now: Research (!!!!) , knee surgery, and car.

Many of my parent’s supporters/family friends/other friends and family have been praying with me as I went through the submission of a research proposal to NASA in February, and then waited for the grant decision to come back. I finally heard their decision in August; I hadn’t gotten the grant, and therefore needed to find another thesis topic, and probably funding as well. Fortunately my teaching assistantship from last year had been renewed, so at least there would be a way to pay the rent. In the first weeks of the semester, I talked to a professor, who had a possible computational project, and also to my advisor, who offered a data analysis project. I wasn’t superexcited about either, since my goal in coming to Purdue had been to do an experimental research thesis. After reading a few papers on the topic I went in to talk to my advisor, who then said something along the lines of “So… I’ve been looking at the budget, and … would you like to do experimental research? It’s with toxic, probably carcinogenic, propellants, so you might die, but it could be interesting.”

Of course I said yes. Who wouldn’t want to get paid to make fire?

God and my profs are kind of amazing. I’ll be continuing to TA this semester, and be slowly shifting into research mode; hopefully I’ll have my topic defined by Christmas. Check another thing off on the list of answered prayer!

Next item: knee surgery. I tore my ACL in a pickup game of ultimate about three weeks before classes began. It was … painful. Fortunately I have really awesome friends who scraped up all the broken pieces of me from the field and got me home; after the swelling went down I found out that yes, indeed, I had a torn ACL and would need surgery to fix it. The professor for whom I was working at the time was really great and got the parking department to give me a temporary handicapped permit while I was on crutches. Due to my TAship, I’m considered staff at the university, so my health insurance is pretty good – if I had to break myself, this was probably a good time to do it.

Surgery is tomorrow morning. For the following week, I’ll be stuck in bed to reduce swelling and hasten rehab (and study for midterms). My mother was kind enough to fly up for a week and make sure I stay immobile. I’m just terribly happy about all the delicious food that keeps magically appearing. Please keep her and the surgeons in your prayers, as well as my studying and homework. I hear that painkillers don’t do much for one’s focus.

Right now I’m feeling a little drained, probably due to the events of last night. Because it was rainy and cold, I drove a friend and his bike back to his residence after watching a movie at a friend’s. On the way back to my apartment, an SUV which was going round a curve in the opposite direction than I slid out of its lane and sheared a bit off of the front driver’s side of my car. Jeep Liberty vs. Honda Civic: Jeep wins. (Poor Percy. I liked him. I’ve put a lot of work into him in the past year and I’m kind of emotionally attached.) My airbags deployed and I have a little whiplash, but otherwise am in no worse condition than I was before. My car is a mess, though.

God is so good. The collision was such that most of the impact was head-on, which cars are more designed for. I was definitely protected last night – apparently I haven’t quite fulfilled my purpose for this present world yet.

My roommate, wonderful person that she is, will be driving my mother and me to surgery tomorrow. That’s about it – see you on the other side!

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