Monday, August 3, 2009

Reassembling the PDU

While I haven't written much lately, it has nothing to do with lack of productivity but rather too much on my plate. Since I've last updated I have:
  1. Manuevered through the craziness of shepherded papers
  2. Put together an elite team of peers to develop a NSDI 10 submission
  3. Began a P2P student discussion group
  4. Mentored a high school student
  5. Organized an Archer trip that will have me visiting 3 schools in September
  6. Started to learn how to hold my tongue when using it would bring no lasting benefit
  7. Learning to deal with significant disappointment
Academically, I'm not quite where I need to be. There is much work to be done and not enough time to do it all. I often spread myself too thin by taking on far too many tasks for many people. Over the next month, as these tasks complete, I will need to refocus on my needs and focus on graduation.

The biggest thing I've contemplated as of late is the need of allies or at least peers and elders that will speak well of you. One person that I can look to that has some interesting level of respect is my advisor. He rarely speaks, yet people seem to go out of their way to talk with him. Clearly he is at an advantage, since he gets to remain his quiet self and does not have to become overly talkative to obtain respect. There is probably a lot more to the equation than what I can see, but I feel that it largely falls under respecting the other persons work and their knowledge.

In terms of research, I am in the heat of the NSDI work and have hit a few milestones, but due to events outside of my control, I will need to redouble my effort. The individuals that I am working with are steadfast, and I am sure that their contributions will make the breadeth of the paper amazing. I think it will be a very good read and informative for anyone that is interested in VPN technologies. The only tricky part about writing such a work is that there are many fields that are interested in similar virtual networks (communication) and thus there is no doubt going to be overlap that will not easily be identifiable. I think the only way to really deal with this issue is to make sure that the committee members who may potentially review the paper are appropriately commended for their previous work as it relates to the paper. I will admit though, that I am scared with a recent added burden that I may have too much on my hands to satisfactorily complete the paper. Perhaps my advisor or a fellow student will go above and beyond what previous coauthors have.