2½ Months at Stanford

Tue Dec 4th, 2001 23:07:10 PST

Diary Entry 63
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I've been at Stanford for about two and a half months. Now that I've been here for a while, I think I have a better perspective on my choice of schools.

Stanford was the right choice academically (or a right choicee, at any rate). The faculty are great, the school has lots and lots of money, and the San Francisco bay area is the center of the computer industry. Not least, my fellow Ph.D. students are all knowledgeable. I can actually talk to any of them about some random CS topic, reasonably assume they know what I'm talking about, and I'm not the geekiest guy here by a fair margin.

When I got here, I was pretty reserved about my computer science experience, because I was afraid that I was behind, because I was not a computer science undergrad and did not take computer science classes. I am happy to report that it turns out that my level of knowledge is just fine. I passed as many of the comprehensive exams as most of the Ph.D. students. So my fears about not being able to survive were unfounded.

As for fencing, Stanford is good and bad for me. It's good because there are many fencers here who are better than me, some of them much better than me, so I can learn from them. But it's bad because the club format is pretty much ``show up and bout'', so if I want to do drills, etc., I have to organize them for myself. There's a weekly one-hour group lesson by the varsity team's assistant coach, but it costs me $20. (Yow!)

Socially, Stanford was a mistake. It took me years at Michigan State to make a few good friends, and it was only in the last few months before leaving that I made any progress toward really meeting any women. Now everything is erased. I am starting to despair.

Last updated 03 Apr 2004 21:17. Copyright © 2004 Ben Pfaff.
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