A Fresh Start

Well, I had a Xanga blog, but since all of my friends on there have quit posting, I have moved to this which I find to be much simpler, cleaner, and provides a nice fresh start on it all. I have made this blog primarily to chronicle my epic journey through graduate school.

Let me introduce myself. My name is James Prather, and I’m a Christian. I graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in April of 2006 with a bachelors degree in computer science. On Tuesday August 14th, 2007, I was accepted to graduate school at the University of Texas at Dallas. I am in the Masters in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience program, and I seek to enter the doctoral program after a few semesters of getting my feet wet in the course material. My main short term goal in this program is to better understand human-computer interactions so that my current job as a software developer will be positively impacted and I can do my job better because of it. My long-term goal in this program is to maintain a 4.0 GPA. My undergraduate GPA was not so hot and it’s haunted me, and now I’m ready to get rid of that and have a GPA I can be proud of. My eventual, really long-term goal (7-8 years from now) is to enter into the cybernetics field and make prosthetics for amputees that are just like real arms insofar as the subject can think about moving their arm and it moves, just like their real arm used to before it was lost. To attain this, I must learn how the brain works so that I can research ways to interpret brain patterns and signals that mean “move arm up” or “rotate left arm”, etc (very rudimentary example, but you get the idea).

My first class starts this Monday, August 20th, and it is Human Functional Neuroanatomy. To be honest, I’m quite scared because I don’t come from a biology or chemistry background. I didn’t even take biology or chemistry as my science courses in school. In fact, I vehemently stayed away from those classes and instead took geology and earth science just to avoid them. These decisions were of course before I knew what I wanted to do and now I am slightly regretting it. However, my adviser assures me that this is a great class for someone with my background to start out in. To top it all off, I’m working full time (the company I work for is paying my way through school, which is a tremendous blessing). It’s going to be interesting to see how everything meshes together with school added on top of my already way too busy life.

As I mentioned above, this blog is primarily for chronicling my experiences as I go through graduate school. And thus, I am going to try and limit my posts to things that at least vaguely concern grad school. I might take the opportunity to discuss my faith, but I’d really like to keep those discussions somehow related to cybernetics and/or neuroscience. I am positive that as I discover more about the brain, I will be even more in awe of God’s work.

Well, that’s all for this post. I will post an update after the first meeting of my first class ever in graduate school. Until then.

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