Doing Whatever I Want

I’m still contemplating Saint Augustine’s, “Dilige et quod vis fac.” (“If you are loving and diligent, you may do whatever you want.“)

Right now, I want to get high and go for a run. I have a whole bunch of work to do though, specifically work for my adviser. Right before the break, I spent a couple weeks digging into the code I inherited from work over the summer. I probably spent sixty hours or so starting to clean it up and get it ready to support the KSU IED search interface.

That’s all fine and good since I’ve agreed to do this interface as my job. The thing is, once I got back from break my adviser decided that she wasn’t happy with the a decision made in the summer on how to separate the KSU project and another project we’re working on with MIT. So, all my work is thrown out and I am expected to start again.

I don’t like doing this work. The system my adviser is trying to use for a framework across all the projects is a QT-based C++ library designed by one of my labmates. The system isn’t bad by any means, but it’s no marvel of systems design either. The structure and relationships of the components are not well documented, nor is the build process at all straighforward. My job is the computer science equivalent of filing — something requiring time and attention, but without any real challenge or creativeness. Definitely not the sort of work that I enjoy.

So the question is, “when, if I am loving, diligent and doing what I want, will I ever work on this project?”

My answer right now is that being loving and diligent necessarily entails being honest. The traditional wisdom is that sometimes you lie to someone to be loving to them, but I don’t know that is true. I said to my adviser and myself that I would have a certain amount of progress done before our meeting on Tuesday. Keeping my word, I assume, is going to motivate me eventually. I guess I’ll find out after my run. ☺

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