Soon I will beginning my fourth year of graduate school. The thought of that makes me a bit nervous. With only a single paper published and the summer rapidly slipping away, I am a bit apprehensive about my progress. While I do have a good idea of my research area and am at least getting a bit of stuff down for it, I worry that I will be slow in getting stuff done, and therefore not have time to do something I can be proud of. My hope, truly, is to be able to do something that matters. Otherwise, what is the point?
I have recently seen a couple videos which have gotten me a little more excited about things, though. The first was this interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson. He talks a considerable amount about how he has managed to get to where he is now (well-known astrophysicist). The other video is this one of Leonard Kleinrock (“Father of the Internet”) giving a talk entitled “My Life and My Work.” Really interesting and inspiring, in my opinion. (You can download it from here like I had to, since it kept stopping and restarting on me.)
I really wish to do “big stuff,” something that will matter. But it seems most of the people around me just want to graduate, get their degree, and get out of here. Of course, so do I, but I would like to be leaving while having accomplished something of importance, even if it is just a little bit of importance.