the story so far…….

As usual, there has been a bit of a time lag in my blogging. I’m working on getting more regular at this people. Until then please forgive the absences. I assure you I am actually working (most of)the time I am not here.

Anyway, as far as school goes. I am almost done with the lectures segment of my course. Although to, be honest, their idea of lectures has mainly involved getting us to read and figure out stuff on our own as much as possible and get back to them when extra direction is needed. My research project has been picked though, so I shall be working on nothing else from about the end of march until the end of September when I turn in and defend my thesis.

As for what its about, well, I shall be using the finite difference time domain method to determine the electromagnetic field distribution in the vicinity of silver and gold nanoparticles and find the localized surface plasmon resonances of a range of nanostructures(copied almost directly from the proposal I was given. The links will help explain it but basically I shall be using a FORTRAN program developed as someone’s Phd to run some simulations. I may end up making some modifications to the code too, depending on how things go.

As for Judo, I went for my first competition this weekend At the University of Sheffield International Student Teams competition. The ‘A’ team from my club came in second and our women won the drinking challenge later that night. I didn’t do so well. I fought in the ‘C’ team in the weight class above mine against predominantly better competition. And I made some mistakes I shouldn’t have. Hence I got, thrashed. Still, I have a feeling I shall not be repeating those mistakes again. And, barring any surprise schoolwork, I’ll be fighting in another competition this weekend at my proper weight class against less seasoned opposition. I’ll let you know how that goes. And hopefully I’ll have pictures.

Until then people………….

Another step on the path

Looks like I am about to be on the move again. I’ve been back in Ghana for a little over a year now spending time with the family, working at an interesting and intellectually fulfilling job and getting back to scratching my martial arts itch with Judo (In the process of which I also began to eat properly again and shed about 15-20 lbs of accumulated fat from being sedentary earlier)

In that time I’ve

  • Seen my grandmother dance at her 90th birthday
  • Seen my father turn 60
  • Connected with parts of the family I didn’t know as well as I wanted to
  • Started to find the physical and mental discipline I used to have
  • Started writing again (more on that soon)
  • Become a much better coder

Now its time to move on. Starting in a little over a month I return to graduate academia, this time in the heart of London(back to Physics too btw). I’m really looking forward to this. I’m a lot more prepared for this than I have ever been and it’ll be nice to put my brain back on the high speed treadmill and see what happens. With luck I’ll still get to hit people on the side. Maybe get someone to teach me the basics of parkour too.

Wish me luck people

In which I return to the world of hitting and throwing people

Today was my second Saturday at a makeshift Judo training hall in a classroom at the Prison Officers Training Center in Accra. It would have been my third but I missed last week because of the competition. Ghana has a tiny but pretty active community in certain martial arts. Most notably Judo, Tae Kwon Do and Karate. Since I’d always wanted to learn judo and had recently had my interest stoked by seeing Johnny To’s Throw Down(great movie by a great director btw) I was pretty interested in finding a school.

Luckily for me an old friend(ok, at one point a bit more than that) was in town after Christmas and happened to know someone who trained with this particular club. Hence, I got the phone number of the coach and showed up at the club.

In continuing with my recent run of amazing luck, I ended up at the school run by Ghana’s national coach and containing a  bunch of the guys who make up the national team which recently competed in Mauritius. These guys are far from amateurs. They are very athletic and very skilled. The coach drives everyone hard and classes are physically exhausting even to those who have been with the school for over a decade. By the time they are done with me my general strength and fitness will be levels above what they are now. And I’m having a blast.

For some reason I tend to enjoy situations where I am thrown head first into huge challenges. I guess I like the opportunity to grow and learn more about me. Plus I’ve always been a fan of Martial arts and hard training. Both of which I am definitely getting here. For now I’m starting at the bottom, learning the break falls and school traditions. The akido experience definitely helps here. Plus I’ve been the junior student more than once. The standard protocol never really changes. Work hard, learn, be polite to seniors. Not really excessive for someone born into typical Ghanaian large family politics.

I’ll keep you updated about how thatworks out, but for now its great to be back in that environment again. I didn’t realize how much I missed it.