I am DVDKOURIL. This is my blog.

I got my master’s degree!

…and Gabi did as well!

I still can’t really believe or grasp the fact that I’ve successfully finished the school and I’m done with it. If you read back through the blog you can see that I’ve been working towards this goal intensively since October. Finishing my last course, writing the thesis, trying to pass my last math exam and then studying for the final state exams. It wasn’t easy. I could motivate myself at the beginning because I was looking forward to getting on with my life but towards the end it was harder and harder. And now it’s all over.

The question is what’s next. I’ve been given an opportunity to go for a PhD at TU Wien and I want to go for it. Which means that I will be moving to Vienna. That’s kind of the big thing that’s going to be happening in the next few months. I should be starting in March, provided that I get an apartment until then. Gabi should move to Vienna month or two after me. I’m scared a little bit of course, but on the other hand, there’s probably not ever going to be a better time to try living abroad. We’ve finished school, have no commitments here, and we’ve both always wanted to try this. And Austria is still relatively close.

I also have lots of ideas I want to try and things I want to learn. My time is probably going to be occupied with the moving for a while, many things need to be researched and dealt with. But I’m looking forward to having weekends again for spending some quality time with my girlfriend and working on side projects.

Also, I stopped drinking coffee. At least for a while. I was drinking so much coffee before the defense/exam that I’m kind of sick of it. I also don’t want to be addicted to anything. So I’m trying a little detox. I’m probably fine with one cup from time to time but I don’t want to make it a daily thing at least for a while. We’ll see how long it will last.

A week from now…

…it will be over. We finally won’t have this big thing hanging above our heads. We will be done with the school and we will be able to move onto other stuff in life. Hopefully.

I need to stop daydreaming about it. I get excited when I realize that I’m this close to finishing. But I need to keep studying for now. I don’t have a problem with overworking myself in this regard though. Maybe I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve found out that it doesn’t matter how well you study for school exams. There’s a thin line between A and E, but you need to put in more effort. You need to go the extra mile. But in the end, at least that’s what I found out, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you had A’s, C’s, or E’s. What matters is that you passed. Maybe that’s a bad attitude but that’s what I believe. But I can’t deny that there were times where grades were super important for me. When I started on this university, I wanted to get the best grades possible, and it was for one reason. I wanted to get involved with course preparation and teaching. I knew that professors picked students that did well in their courses. So I tried to get an A in courses that I was interested in teaching. And it worked.

You need to have good grades to get past a certain threshold. You need good grades to get into a good school. And you need good grades to get noticed at the school, to make yourself visible among all the other students. But once you get at a certain point, good grades lose all their powers. Once you are in contact with the right people, you have no use for getting straight A’s.

That’s the position I’m in right now. I only want to pass the finals, no matter the grade. Sure, there is this feeling that I don’t want to disappoint somebody. But I think if somebody would judge me for not learning every single detail on a computer graphics technique from 1980’s, then it’s not telling something about me but about them.

I am way more practically oriented at this point. I want to work on actual projects. I want to finish stuff. I want to learn in order to make.

My defense is on Wednesday, February 8, 8am. Wish me luck!

Thesis is submitted. What’s next?

A lots of stuff that’s what!

We both submitted our theses and now we just have to wait for the reviews, to see what people who didn’t spend several months looking at it think about it. But in the meantime, it’s not like we have a lot more time to do nothing. The only think that kinda changed is the pressure. In one month, we will be having our final examination and thesis defense, and that’s something you really need to prepare for. I also still need to pass an exam for my last course. And I have a lot of tasks to finish for my job at TU Wien. So no, I’m not slowing down after the thesis submission.

But it feels a little bit different. After writing something for so long, it feels good to have it printed and submitted. It’s kinda like I’m done with it (although I will have to talk about it in the defense of course). But after writing for so long, I like to get back to programming. In programming, you don’t primarily focus on making everything look perfect. You focus on getting things to work. Or at least I do. I guess I’m not a perfectionist, but I like to make stuff, see that it works, and move on.

I think I’ve already mentioned that I’m reading Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans. I really like this book. It’s pretty inspiring and contains great advice for living a life in general.

This week, I also decided that I probably should think about my goals and what I’m going to focus on in 2017. I wrote it down. The summary is something like this:

  • I want to keep myself as healthy and fit as I can. I will keep working out, maybe try new stuff. I want to focus more on my diet.
  • I want to keep writing, I want to keep blogging. This blog is primarily for me. There are several reasons why I started, but the two biggest are that I wanted to get better in writing in English, and that I wanted to capture my progress from basically nobody to somebody. I don’t know what that ‘somebody’ is, what the goals are, but I have so many things that I want to try and see what I can get out of life. I think my life is extremely exciting, I can’t even imagine where I’ll be next year, what I will be doing. But that’s very exciting for me and I want to capture this chapter of my life.
  • I want to put out more stuff. Mostly visual. I want to finish small projects—like some interactive computer graphics thingies with Cinder. I want to draw and paint again. I want to learn how to model in 3D. I would like to learn to take better pictures. I will publish all of this either on my Instagram or Tumblr. But I want to finish and publish more stuff!
  • I want to figure out how to make money other than from a job. This is a very complicated topic and I know that I’m already overcommitting with all these goals and this is a big one. But I just like to have control. Money is something that controls the whole world. My goal would be to break myself away from this. I want to make money something I never have to worry about and instead have all the time and resources to explore and experience what I’m interested in.

That’s about it. I can’t wait to get going in 2017. But first, I really need to go study for my exam…

A break from thesis writing [week Dec 5 – Dec 11]

No, not in a good way. I wasn’t slacking off this week. My break from writing my thesis was only because I had to work on some other stuff. On a project that I’m employed for at TU Wien. We had a deadline this Friday/Saturday and I spent the whole week working on that. So the last time I touched my thesis was last Sunday. I’m not very happy about that. It’s getting serious.

I can feel the stress on me and Gabi (she’s also submitting this semester). There’s no such thing as weekends for us anymore. And I think we won’t have very relaxed Christmas as well. It’s kinda depressing time period – the deadline is always on our minds and I truly can’t appreciate the winter weather. I wouldn’t say I hate cold. I hate that the day is so short and even throughout the day it’s dark as if it was evening all day long. I get a little bit depressed before Christmas every year and this year all this pressure is not helping.

But…on the bright side – I’m learning so much! This week I’ve implemented something that I wouldn’t even think of trying a year before. I’m really enjoying the feeling that I understand something and I feel like I can create anything I can think of. I want to start all kinds of projects and I’m looking forward to finally submitting the thesis and having time to actually try all that.

I am still going to the gym pretty much every week day and it’s helping me to keep the mood and motivation up at least a little. Well…I actually think it’s helping a lot. Sometimes I really have to force myself but as I’ve already said on this blog – I never regret going. And even when I feel like shit some day, I still know that I’m doing at least this thing right.

Just for this one week… [week Nov 28 – Dec 4]

It’s a motivational technique. Whenever you don’t feel like doing something, you just tell yourself: “I’ll do it just for this time, just for today or just for this week”. When you frame it this way, it’s easier to stick with it because you think that it’s just for this time (although the point is that it never is just for this one time). It’s supposed to work through the barrier of starting something. And once you force yourself to start it’s easier to get hooked on it.

I’ve used it for working out this week. I’ve wanted to start going to the gym every weekday and maybe once on the weekend. But I couldn’t make it three weeks in a row because of traveling. So I said to myself that just this one week I will do it. And I did it. It wasn’t easy; It was actually always sub zero temperatures in the morning when I go to the gym and you don’t want to get out of the bed into this weather. But I said that I’m doing it only for this “perfect” week so I was able to push myself. And I’ve never regretted going. I never ever regret going.

I had a pretty good week overall I would say. No more traveling so I was able to focus on work. I feel like I’m slowly starting to really “get” some stuff that I’ve been studying for over a year. I mean some OpenGL concepts. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been trying to learn it for so long or because I’m finally working on something practical, something where I actually use this knowledge. Hard to say. I’m just really happy that I’m finally getting it and I’m able to create stuff with it.

I’m really getting into writing of my master thesis. It’s not my favorite thing to do but I’m learning a lot about the field and I think I know what the story that I need to capture is. I just hope I will be able to put it together. There’s not a whole lot of time. I thought I could make it before Christmas but as I see it right now, I will for sure be working on it throughout the holidays. It sucks a little but what can I do. In like 2 months it’s going to be all over (hopefully).

Christmas is in like three weeks and that’s crazy. Lots of stuff to finish before that. I just need to really bite into it and try as hard as I can. I’m really excited about all the possibilities and opportunities that are showing up right now and I’m looking forward to acting up on them. But first I really need to finish the school.

Let’s get back into that.