Tuesday, November 28, 2006

what do I want for this Christmas?

Christmas is a day to remember Jesus Christ's first coming more than 2000 years ago. It represents God's gracious gift to mankind. Jesus - who is the Son of God - gave up his glory in heavens and came to earth in the form of a human babe (that's the first Christmas). In the later part of His time on earth, He ministered to the people and eventually suffered and died on the Cross for our sins (on Good Friday). But He rose up 3 days later (on Easter Sunday) and later ascended to heavens. Therefore, Christmas signifies the first step that Christ took for the redemption of our sins. And hence when we give and receive presents during Christmas, we are reminded of the Gift of Life that God gave to us.

So, what do I want for this Christmas? Well, I already have the best gift in life - the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. I also have the 2nd best gift - a wonderful and lovely family with my wife and daughter. And I already have my 2 front teeth. So what do I want? What do I really want?

How about an early admit? From a Tier A school? Is this too much to ask for this Christmas?

Monday, November 27, 2006

daily routine

1. Check email - see if any updates or interview requests from the schools that I have applied to.
2. Login to schools' application system - see if any changes to the application status.
3. Check forum discussions on PhD programs

To think that the deadline for schools have not even passed, I'm already doing all these at least once or twice per day. Come Jan/Feb, I may just go insane...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

will it or will it not?

November is crawling by really slowly... and I think it will be the same for the next few months, until March 2007. No news; no developments; nothing at all. (Still have 1 more application to submit.) Thankfully there are Christmas and a holiday trip in mid-Jan to keep me occupied and distracted.

2 of my friends (unrelated to each other) encountered little setbacks recently. One submitted a request for a transfer within his organization months ago, and just got the Dinged. The other went for a 3-round interview but was not shortlisted for the position eventually. I'm pretty sure these friends were somewhat hopeful as the events unfold in their respective lives. Yet ultimately, their hopes did not materialize in ways that they had hoped for. And this got me thinking: Would the same outcome happen to my applications and plans?

Although I don't think I am the strongest of the strongest applicants around, my gut feel is that my application is strong enough for some serious consideration. As I have previously mentioned, over the last 12 months, many doors have been opened which helped me to overcome certain weak points - e.g. opportunity for RA, getting strong recommendations, linking up with potential faculty, etc. These doors have not been opened forcefully by my might - for I'm not strong or good enough to open them. Instead, I have always acknowledged that it is by God's hands that these doors opened for me. This acknowledgement of God's presence has been a strong encouragement for me over the last few months as I prepare and submit my application. I know - if the Lord so will - that my family and I will be going somewhere some time next year to do something.

So, as you can see, I'm in a dilemma. On one hand, when I see what happened to my two friends, I am discouraged somewhat. On the other hand, when I see God's leading throughout my journey thus far, I am greatly encouraged. Human vs Divine intervention. Visible vs Invisible. All I can do now is pray, hope and wait.... and what a slow and painful wait this is....

Thursday, November 02, 2006

nov is here...

Just submitted my 6th app (Tier A school) today. One of my recommenders finally managed to resolve the online submission of my reco. With that, I have submitted to all 4 of my Tier A schools. Now only left with 1 to 2 more schools to apply.

The last 2 weeks have been pretty low key for me. With most of the key applications submitted and essays drafted, there wasn't much for me to do. Spent most of my time hanging out at other forums and reading the exciting developments of MBA applicants. Other than that, I'm also preparing an application for a scholarship. Although I'm not putting too much hope in getting this scholarship, I'm still trying to give my best shot for it. Put in my best and let God takes care of the rest.

Must find something meaningful to occupy my mind for the next 3 to 4 months.