Saturday, January 9, 2016

Start your engines!

So I'm finally ready to begin my actual PhD this next Monday after months of preparation, waiting, and lots of anxiety. These past couple of days were especially tiring, as I had to complete the documentation required by the university. A complicating factor was that I hadn't formally requested my Master's degree, which is a prerequisite for applying to the PhD program. Since that takes time, it's necessary to request several special permissions and extensions, as well as filing the paperwork for the actual degree.

So when I got to the CUCEI campus this Thursday, on the next-to-last day to get all the paperwork done, I found the admissions office with several dozen people already there, waiting in line:

Unfortunately for me, I had to make a stop at another office to turn in my files for my Master's degree first, which meant I would have to wait to get into the admissions line for a while. However, when I got to the degree office, they told me I needed a certificate from my undergraduate institution, which is ITESO. Also, I needed a more recent birth certificate, since the one I provided was more than three months old. And so, I had to leave and head to the Archivo (the Archive), as it's known by all in Guadalajara, and get a new birth certificate. It's one of the busiest public buildings in the city, with all kinds of people trying to get all kinds of documents for all kinds of purposes:

After that, I headed to ITESO to get the certificate, and I stopped to take some pictures along the way. It's one of the most peaceful, beautiful campuses anywhere in Mexico, and it was even greener than I remembered it from almost ten years ago, when I got my engineering degree there (click to enlarge):

When I finally got back to CUCEI and turned in the documentation to the degree guys, the admissions line had multiplied in length, and there was no way I would be able to turn everything in before they closed for the day at 3:00 p.m. (it was 2:30). I resolved to get back early the next day (the last day allowed) to finally turn all my documents in. Here is the line, pictured from left to right as it wraps around:


I finally turned in my documentation to the admissions office yesterday, after only a couple of minutes of waiting in line, and without any further requests from the staff. So I am now free at last to focus entirely on physics.

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