Today was… something surreal. Something special. Today I handed in my honours project. At the start of the weekend the anticipation began – the feeling that I am so close to putting this entire experience behind me. As the hours dropped away, I became more at peace with myself and less worried about what had to be done. When I dotted the last i, I no longer felt worry; only tired elation.
My project, “Fast Regular Expression Matching”, had the misfortune of being associated with some terrible experiences. Not only had I to deal with emotional problems, but the sheer scope of doing your honours completely reeled me. Before I had started with my honours, many people had told me that I am going to enjoy myself. I was even told that I am being envied, because I remind people of the pleasure they had had doing their honours. My experience of doing honours was not exactly pleasurable. The workload was very heavy and it was difficult to get to everything, let alone keep your sanity. To the agony of my readers I have repeatedly lamented 2007. The good news is that this project hand in, for me, is the last chain cast off from that period of my life. Now there is only looking (and moving) forward.
I had very high hopes for my project. The potential was there to do something really stunning (al be it not ground breaking). I envisioned a complex, by elegantly executed, heart surgery in the clinical environment of a Californian private hospital. In stead, my project ended up as a hurried back alley abortion in Mogadishu. When I proofread my report yesterday, I was satisfied with my write; I’m am not concerned about my style. Rather, it is what I wrote about that scares me. Some of the results are very shaky. They are not necessarily incorrect, but rather not up to the academic standard which might be expected from an honours student. But, I had worked through the night and by daybreak the hours were falling like autumn leaves from a tree. Then, all worries and concerns dissipated. Perhaps it was temporary insanity induced by fatigue, but I did not care any more. I tied up the loose ends and with a push out chest and a head held high I handed in my project – I passed on the gremlin which rode on my back for a year to a person who will judge whether my carrying around of it was an adequate effort. Then, I came home and slept.
Honestly, I don’t know what is going to happen now. All I want is a pass (well, 54%, actually), so that is all I’m hoping for. It certainly seems like all I aspired for. Next week sometime I still have to give a presentation on my work. While I know I’ll feel like a neon pink deer during hunting season, I have been assured that we are practically graded on the report alone. So, as far as I’m concerned, the hardest part is out of the way.
Now I can look forward to getting my life in order and doing my masters. The difference between my masters and my honours is going to be that, while the honours was an end, the masters is a means to something else. Where this journey is going to take me, I do not know, but I’m excited to get on the road.
But first, I’m going to go get some more sleep.