Category Archives: school


My department followed up on my delayed letter of confirmation, and they found someone at SGS who's willing to do it. So I can pick it up at 3:00 and get my application finally on its way!

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Out of my control

The person responsible for preparing letters of confirmation of degree at University of Toronto's School of Graduate Studies isn't around. I've called SGS every day to follow up on the letter, but no one else can prepare it. My transcript currently shows that my thesis is still in progress, so I can't request a paper copy and use that as proof of completion.

An international student advisor at U of T said that there's absolutely no way I can rush either SGS or Citizenship and Immigration Canada. She advised postponing my start date to three to four weeks after I send the application, which is dependent on when I receive the letter.

I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of moving my start date forward, but I don't think I can do anything about it. I've asked SGS if anyone else can prepare the letter. I've asked about my transcript. GWAAH!

Looking back, I really can't see how I would've done things better. This galls me even more than being late does. The tentative start date for my offer was based on a fairly reasonable time estimate after my thesis defense. I don't think I delayed a lot myself. Maybe I should have been more pessimistic, adding at least a 50% buffer to account for delays in communication, unexpected absences, things like that. I guess that's it: be much more conservative when estimating around other people's times...

I can't do anything about it now. I just have to wait.

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I survived my defense!

zomg, I'm actually done with the defense. I need to make a few minor revisions, but the bulk of my work is DONE!

This calls for a celebration. If you're in Toronto, join me at the Taste of the Danforth on August 11. I'm thinking of being somewhere in that vicinity around 11:00 AM on Saturday morning. Call or text to find out precisely where I am. =)

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Thesis defense is tomorrow

The end is in sight. In fact, it's in less than 12 hours. Whee!

Right. Shower, then pick out clothes.

Must remember following maxim: When in doubt, cut it out. Minimize speech!

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Preparing for defense

My thesis defense is just two days away. I've drafted my presentation and asked my supervisor for comments. The main thing that's keeping me sane is the reassurance that Mark wouldn't have let me get to this step if he didn't think I'd be okay. =) The thesis defense will be a good time to identify ways to improve my thesis. My examiners will ask me tough questions to probe my knowledge of the subject and my ability to think like a researcher. They want me to succeed. (Probably because it's less complicated than failing me.)

That's it, Sacha, think positive... =)

Tomorrow, I'm going to U of T in order to double-check all the arrangements. I should also make sure that I can project from my laptop using the supplied projector. Actually, it might be a good idea for me to go and borrow someone's laptop with Microsoft Windows or something like that...

Okay, I've posted my plan for tomorrow. I can get through this. =)

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If I don’t go and do something, I’ll go mad

My thesis draft has been sent to my committee members. I've also revised my CASCON paper and outlined my presentation. And if I don't find something else to do, some neat work-type thing, I'm going to go mad. I can't really give myself permission to waste the time idly surfing the Net. I get that itch to do something interesting and useful...

Tomorrow, I'm going to go to IBM. I think my laptop's just too slow for reliable VPN. If I go tomorrow, I can invest time in fully participating in the blogosphere. I can even do some of the story-collecting and analysis I'd been meaning to do forever. Maybe I'll start putting the slides together.

Ah, there's another thing I can do: update my literature review with older papers.

And get back into open source development, maybe with Rails.

This is teaching me a lot about my ideal life. I don't want to be retired-retired. I want to be doing interesting things. Twitch, twitch, twitch...

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