Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Georgia (Tech) on my Mind

Barring thunderstorm or maintenance problems, I'll be setting down tomorrow evening in Atlanta, on my way to visit Georgia Tech for the weekend. Georgia Tech is one of the five places I've applied to grad school. From west to east, the University of Colorado at Boulder, Texas A&M, Purdue, and MIT round out the pack.

The offers are already coming in, giving the prospect of grad school a giddy sense of reality. It feels a little bit awkward, after the years of climbing step by step, one homework problem, one lab report, one staff meeting at a time, toward the nebulous goal of understanding how to make an impact in this field, to suddenly be courted by these institutions. I suppose that was the payoff I was looking for this whole time. Still, the feeling of suddenly being wanted at places where I've never even set foot is a little bit disorienting.

My choice really comes down to this: do I stay at A&M or depart for one of the other schools? The fernweh that drove me to Texas from Arizona is still alive there down in my heart, but it's sedated by the fact that I've really grown to like College Station over the last four years. I'm keenly aware of all the faults and flaws of this little town, but all the little nice things about staying are also vivid in my mind. If nothing else, this jaunt to Atlanta should help give me a baseline with which to compare College Station to my other options. For that, and because I like flying in general, I'm looking forward to this weekend.

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