Hectic. That is how I would describe this first semester at grad school. Hectic. There was always more work to do, another deadline approaching, another review due, another submission to be done. Though I shouldn’t be complaining I guess, considering that the course workload in Madison is half that of other schools such as Columbia, due to the increased emphasis on research outside the class.
The second adjective would be highly enjoyable – It has been a pleasure learning from and working under some of the best people in Computer Science. The classes were very good, and kept us on our toes all the time. Apart from the classes, there is so much to do in Madison that you can never do them all – Sailing, building snowmen, snow-fights, long walks in parks.. Madison is very diverse – I got to meet people from so many different countries, try so many different cuisines, and do so many new things.
Great moments in the semester ( Not in any particular order 😛 ) :
1. First snowfall in Madison
2. Making sambhar for the first time and having people actually like it ( or say so out of politeness 😛 )
3. Going to the Memorial Union and seeing the beautiful Library Mall
4. Sailing on Lake Mendota
5. Hunting for run-down cheap furniture at various thrift stores
6. Long walks in the night in the area around our house, during which we saw an actual badger
7. USA poiyum seeing tamizh films the day they release, even if they are as bad as Kandasaamy
8. The CS Holiday Party and Fall Picnic
9. Listening to classical western music by the faculty of the school of music
10. The party at Sankar’s house before Diwali, and the IGSA Bash the next day
11. Burning our stomachs with extra spicy Thai food at the end of the semester
12. The feeling you get when you work on a project for a long time and finally get it to work!