Category Archives: Living

Why PhD Students should Blog (Part 2)

– Week 6

Ok, the engine has started. I have to move forward at the final straight road with full speed now — the straight road to become a PhD student. Well, in fact I have been wandering at the starting line of the final straight road for some time now, long enough for me to realized that I should have started my engine long time ago.

And I am those people who need to perform the “move” within a special “mode”. If I am not in a mode, I am “unmovable”. I would just still keep wandering around for nothing. And when I am going into the mode, I have to announce to myself and to others.

And so here I am: now I have to tune myself into this “Student-to-be” mode, starting from today. And things are just all happened with such a best timing. As you can see, yesterday I have started writing my blog as if I were already a PhD student, thanks to the Blogger-Idol link. And today evening I just attended the class held by the University’s Library showing us how to search the research database. Oh, also this morning when I do my second round of GMAT, the topic of the second article I got to write is “Why Education, not Property or Money, provide the best individual opportunity in today’s world”. By writing this little article, it helped me to reassure the reason why I was sitting there doing the stupid GMAT for the 2nd time with 2 months.

This is why PhD students should Blog. By writing to our own selves, it helps to reassure that we are (still) walking on the right track, at the right pace.

Why PhD Students should Blog

– Week 6

I am not a PhD student myself. Not yet. I would like to be one very soon, but I still have some hurdles to go over before I could become one (and applying for it should be one of the big hurdles). In fact, today, a beautiful Sunday, I am trying to focus on my GMAT study because I am going to have my 2nd round of GMAT exam tomorrow morning, solely for my PhD application…

Anyway, let me get back to the subject. Why Blogging is good for PhD student? And first of all, I know the topic here says “Why ((any occupation)) should blog”, and some might say PhD is not really an occupation. However, anyone who is already a PhD or studying for PhD now should know that being a PhD student is in fact a full time occupation, but a very low paid one…

Anyway, once again let me get back to the subject. There are two to three main activities (beside the personal one) that a PhD would perform on his/her day to day life: doing research for his/her dissertation, teaching (assisting) for his/her supervisor(s) and perhaps doing a part time job(s) to earn the school fees. Blogging should help to enhance the qualities of all these three situations, because “writing” as a profession should be one of the key skill of a PhD graduate, and writing blogs, in a way, should help.

Blogging should also be a good platform to record the research notes, and to dispatch the research findings bit by bit. Others (people all over the world) could help to provide comments on those notes and findings.

And of course I would imagine doing research would be a very lonely and boring job. So, it is very important to find a way to express one’s thoughts and to get away boredom, and writing blogs should be one of the good ways (especially those scholars who do not fancy in doing sports with thick glasses).

Well, it is about time for me to get back to my boring GMAT study. Best of luck to myself tomorrow…

Potato Farm

This is an old story, forwarded to me recently by my friend Fiona. It is one of my all time favorite so I would like to share it once again.

An old man lived alone in Minnesota. He wanted to spade his potato garden, but it was very hard work. His only son, who would have helped him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son & mentioned his situation:

“My Dear Son,

I am felling pretty bad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my potato garden this year. I hate to miss doing the garden, because your mother always loved planting time. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here, all my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me, if you weren’t in prison.

Love, Dad.”

Shortly the old man received this telegram:

“For heaven’s sake, Dad, don’t dig up the garden!! That’s where I buried the GUNS!!”

At 4 a.m. the next morning, dozen FBI agents and local police officers showed up and dug up the entire garden without finding any guns. Confused the old man wrote another note to his son telling him what happened, and asked him what to do next. His son’s reply was:

“Go ahead and plant your potatoes, Dad… It’s the best I could do for you from here.”




Applying for a Job at the CIA

A few months ago, there was an opening with the CIA for an assassin. These highly classified positions are hard to fill, and there’s a lot of testing and background checks involved before you can even be considered for the position. After sending some applicants through the background checks, training and testing, they narrowed the possible choices down to two men and a woman, but only one position was available.

The day came for the final test to see which peson would get the extremely secretive job. The CIA men administering the test took one of the men to a large metal door and handed him a gun. “We must know that you will follow our instructions whatever the circumstances,” they explained. “Inside this room, you will find your wife sitting in a chair. Take this gun and kill her.” The man looked horrified and said, “You can’t be serious! I could never shoot my wife!” “Well,” said the CIA man, “you’re definitely not the right man for this job then.”

So they brought the second man to the same door and handed him a gun. “We must know that you will follow instructions no matter what the circumstances,” they explained to the second man. “Inside you will find your wife sitting in a chair. Take this gun and kill her.” The second man looked a bit shocked, but nevertheless took the gun and went in the room. All was quiet for about 5 minutes; then the door opened. The man came out of the room with tears in his eyes. “I tried to shoot her; I just couldn’t pull the trigger and shoot my wife. I guess I’m not the right man for the job.”

“No,” the CIA man replied, “You don’t have what it takes. Take your wife and go home.”

Now they only had the woman left to test. They led her to the same door to the same room and handed her the same gun. “We must be sure that you will follow instructions no matter what the circumstances; this is your final test. Inside you will find your husband sitting in a chair. Take this gun and kill him.” The woman took the gun and opened the door. Before the door even closed all the way, the CIA men heard the gun start firing, one shot after another for 13 shots. Then all hell broke loose in the room. They heard screaming, rashing, and banging on the walls. This went on for several minutes; then all went quiet.

The door opened slowly, and there stood the woman. She wiped the sweat from her brow and said, “You guys didn’t tell me the gun was loaded with blanks. I had to beat the son of a bitch to death with the chair!”

Second Day of 2005

早晨。今天是2005年第二日。天氣仍然很凍, 我家只有8度。從窗口望出去一片灰暗。我希望今天我可以靜靜地看看書。

It is really a bit too slow to type in Chinese. I hope eventually I could manage to type faster. Because I believe after all I could express myself better in Chinese, but not with this typing speed.


Look at that. Cleveland, 2nd from Eastern, could only come in 8th (at the time this is written, Dec 23, 2004) if East and West are placed together!

And O Neal should be very happy because without much effort he could lead the winning team at the East! (placed it back, it could only be forth after Seattle).

The learning behind the story is, you don’t have to be a great man to be ok sucessful, you just have to pick the right environment. But of course at the end if you want to be really really sucessful (to win the final champ), then you still have to be great, otherwise the team from Eastern would beat the shit out of you when meet. Perhaps O’Neal could make it to the final, and God bless to him also to win the Champ at the end.

Roundabouts (Comment)

That is my problem too…the problem is not just picking up an exit….the problem is we are afraid of picking a wrong exit which could lead to a dead end. However, I think that life is full of advantures. Somtime, you can’t count and calculate too much. Just like the game theory you always methioned….somtimes, it is good to close your eyes, listen to your heart and then take a deep breath and kick off your first step…….you will never know until you take the first step. Also, road is walked out by people =) Let us try it out! just don’t think too much … can never gain and grow until we learn how to hands-off at the right moment….let go those things which are not in our wish list….in some senses, those could be obstabcles to our destiny ~.*