Our qualifier at UCLA is, instead of a comprehensive exam like most Ph.D. programs, is a mock grant proposal. The tricky thing with it is that it can't be a project that we're going to actually carry out, but something that we're interested enough in to (1) come up with a pretty novel question and experiment and (2) write 12 pages about how we would carry out said experiment. I think I like this format more than the comprehensive exam, but I am STRUGGLING to come up with a decent idea to work on. I DO think I have some decent idea for what I actually want to do my dissertation on, which is probably more important in the big scheme of things.
In happier news, my technical note/paper on my recontstruction software was accepted to Medical Physics the other day! I'll definitely post a link once it's published, which will hopefully be early in the new year.
Frankly, I'm really ready for vacation, really distracted for a number of reasons, and without a work project that I'm particularly interested in. The state of the news is bumming me out too. They canceled school for the entirety of the LA Unified School District (640,000 kids) because of a vague "terrorist" threat against "multiple unspecified locations" that had to do with "packages and backpacks." Really? I dunno, I guess put in the superintendent's shoes it's tough to know what call any of us would make, but it just seems more and more like the people in charge of the world around us (see all of the republican presidential candidates, and just about all of congress) are, more and more, playing into all of the pitfalls I just pray that they wouldn't.
Despite the tone here, things are going really well. I'm making good progress on a chair I'm building, which unfortunately I haven't been posting any pictures of, but I haven't totally screwed it up yet! As the design has actually taken shape, I'm not particularly happy with it, but there's plenty of wood present to shape it into something really nice. I'm really excited for that part. :-) I made the leg dowls two nights ago and just need to join them to the seat, then I get to shape the everything and finish! This way, each chair in the final set (I'm pretty sure there are going to be four when all is said and done) is going to be unique, which is actually pretty important for the set. I'll write more on this in a different post (ANOTHER post that will most likely take quite a while to get written).