20 March 2010

Seeking silver linings while going through peaks and troughs

Life is indeed a series of peaks and troughs, and I have just experienced a lot in last two weeks. While every cloud has a silver lining, I wonder if some of them would show up to me.

05 March My son was born.

06 March My laptop kept freezing itself and therefore had to be forced quit again and again while I was busy preparing lectures for the next week in the hospital.

08 March My son was diagnosed with neonatal jaundice and thus had to stay for another two days in the hospital.

09 March The laptop couldn't even start up when I had to revise powerpoint slides for the next day's lecture.

10 March An Apple retailer in Taipei replaced the motherboard for me with no charge, because there was a design fault.

11 March My son was discharged after two days' treatment for jaundice.

12 March The DVD-ROM drive collapsed in the morning (No joking, the spindle did break). The retailer came to the university, collected the laptop and replaced the damaged drive within one hour. However, they charged this time, but fortunately the University paid it.

16 March I was told that the grant I requested for attending a conference in Philadelphia, where I would present a paper in a panel, was denied—seven days before flight.

19 March Another panellist's grant was rejected by the National Science Council, the same funding authority as mine—even worse, four days before the flight.

The panel we had been planning for since last June is falling apart now, as two of the four members of the panel will be absent. How could they send us such a short notice that we didn't even have two more weeks to seek alternative funding?

Well, it seems that my less-than-one-month-old son would like me to stay in Taiwan with him. Fine, then I stay.

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