Last week I was in a depressed state. I was upset because Prof said that my draft on subset simulation was unfocused, too conservative, and unclear in some parts. Really, as long as I remember, he never gave such an unsatisfactory feedback on my works. However, this is the first time almost the entire paper was my idea…so I guess that’s one of the reason he is not satisfied even with the outline 😦 Furthermore I myself did not think that draft was the best I can do; but my time is limited. Another reason is that I misunderstood his suggestion: I thought he suggest me to write on the whole subset things; while he actually expects only the part discussing the modified algorithm. He was nice and not sarcastic at all; yet I still felt very upset. I met him on the last Friday of September. I knew that I have to finish the revised draft by the week after (which means last Friday, 3 Oct). There was also an assignment on seepage (the module which I take this semester). I was worried because it seems that we need to use PLAXIS, a software I never used before; while other students (most of which are geotech students) may be very familiar with it. The assignment is due on 10 Oct.

On the following weekend (27-28 Sept), I spent my Saturday afternoon grading undergrad tutorials. I planned to watch Sound of Music on Stamford Garden but then too tired to go; and Chris also had to meet his prof. On Sunday we join the pilgrimage of our RCIA class. We visited the Carmelite nuns. I wonder whether doing research or becoming a good professor may be as meaningful as their prayerful life. This visit answered one of my question some weeks ago about faith and conversion.

Starting from Monday, I revised my draft. On Thursday, I was feeling so depressed that I stop writing and start praying. I always start any of my works with prayer; but those regular prayers are more like conversation. I usually pray that my works will be somehow meaningful to Him; I do not pray that I can accomplish my works– I was always feel the latter is a certainty! On that Thursday afternoon, I think my prayer was more like a helpless cry. Helps, that’s what I prayed.

And helps were given me. Not long after that my older Prof came and asked me what feedback I got on that chapter. When I told him that Prof P did not find it good enough; he smiled and said consolingly, “Don’t worry…that’s a process everyone must go through. Try to revise it”. I could not help saying, “I start worry now! It’s already October!”. Again he smiled and said there will be a grace period if I happened to need it. And on Friday, the lecturer said he wants us to solve the problems using manual flownets, not with PLAXIS. I felt so relieved.

As I am writing about helps, I remember the hymn by Henry Francis Lyte:

Abide with me, fast falls the eventide;

The darkness deepens, Lord with me abide!

When other helpers fail and all comforts flee;

Help of the helpless, o abide with me!

Lagu ini pertama kukenal melalui terjemahannya di Kidung Jemaat 329:

Tinggal sertaku, hari tlah senja;

G’lap makin turun, Tuhan tinggallah*

Lain pertolongan tiada kutemu;

Maha Penolong tinggal sertaku.

* berdasarkan permohonan Kleopas ketika Seorang yang mereka temui di jalan menuju Emaus hendak pamit.


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