I am quite satisfied with the events of this past year. Besides the hospitalization of my grandma, everything has been positive. Getting into the University of York has brought me the greatest joy of all not only because I am back in academia, but because it has introduced to me a group of great friends who contribute significantly to my life. I now better understand why some people choose not to live far away from home. One's quality of life really does improve when one has a good support network.
Regarding my plans for this year, they are simply to do well in my program and to score high on the GRE. About a month into my studies I decided that I wanted to pursue a PhD. I am not sure if I mentioned this before, but the main reason why I came to England in the first place was because I was not sure if I wanted one. Many people were warning me that I truly had to be certain before making the decision so I decided on a Masters instead. Having said that, even though now I am positive that I want a PhD, I do not regret coming to York.
I should also mention that although I occasionally express disappointment of how little I have achieved in my life so far, I do not regret taking those few years off after getting my Bachelors. I know for a fact that it was because of those years spent in China that I came up with my theory of natural diversity. If I had gone straight into my Masters program, I would have had no idea what to write about. Similarly now, even though I sometimes cringe at the idea that I will be at least 33 when I get my PhD, I know deep down inside that the decisions I made in the past were the right ones.
Speaking of my theory, I have recently developed it a step further. I now argue that natural diversity would result in a somewhat even distribution of pursuits. I do not want to elaborate it fully in this entry, but suffice it to say that I am very excited about this new development.
I fly back to York tomorrow evening and I am greatly looking forward to it. I know I will be leaving my grandma, which makes me sad, but the good news is that her physical condition has been improving. I actually heard her voice today for the first time since I came back. They have taken her completely off of the ventilator and are now just supplying her with oxygen, and because of this they can now occasionally plug the hole in her neck, allowing her to talk. Unfortunately, being dependent on the machine for that long has made her vocal muscles very weak so she needs to regain her strength before she can speak fluently. I look forward to having a conversation with her over the phone.