My four week long winter vacation back home has come to end, and so I flew back to the small town where I am pursuing graduate studies. Obviously, I wish I could stay home longer, but I have work to do and classes to attend. It’s the life of a graduate student. I am already fortunate that my adviser was nice enough to let me return home for so long, so I can’t complain too much. My time at home wasn’t quite as productive as last year’s winter vacation, and so I’m sure I have plenty of work to do.
So what have I been up to during my time back in Vancouver? Not much as usual. In terms of research related things, I had some assigned reading to go through, but I don’t think I really understood anything I read. I don’t think I was that productive with my projects either. I mostly just stayed home and relaxed, and I didn’t go anywhere far. I went shopping a few times, and also hung out with some friends from college. Since I was back in Vancouver with its excellent selection of Chinese restaurants, I couldn’t resist eating out. The area that my grad school is in has some Chinese food places and they aren’t horrible, but they are not comparable to what Vancouver has. The fact that I ate more while at home in combination with less exercise meant that I gained around 10lbs during the break. It’s not that I didn’t exercise, but I didn’t exercise as often or as hard as when I am at school. I did play more badminton while I’m back, but that wasn’t quite enough to make up for extra intake. I don’t think my badminton skills has gotten any better or worse than before, and I probably need to train a bit to become better.
In terms of things that I actually accomplished while back at home, I helped my father replace a heating element on my family’s flat top stove. The element burnt out some time during the year and my father didn’t get around to fixing it. I am no handyman, but in this age of the internet it’s easy to find information online on how to fix stuff, and replacing the element wasn’t a particularly difficult task. I also helped my dad’s trusty but aging Toyota Echo pass its emissions inspection. I bought a car diagnostic trouble code scanner back from the States to investigate the check engine light on the Echo. The Echo is getting a bit old and has high mileage, so it’s not really worth it to spend hundreds of dollars to fix anything. The check engine light was a persistent problem though, and I thought the car would have trouble passing even if we turned off the check engine light with the scanner. However, by some stroke of luck, our trusty little Echo managed to pass its emission check against all odds, and now my dad can keep on driving it for two more years.
So that’s all for my boring little winter vacation. Staying at home over the break has been very nice, but I still have a Ph.D degree I need to finish. It’s time to get back to class, get some research work done, and also to work off the pounds that I’ve gained during this vacation.