Monday, October 26, 2009

suddenly civilised.

my girlfriend is visiting me for two weeks, so life now feels orderly and civilised. i suppose this means that, earlier, i was living an 'uncivilised,' but research productive lifestyle.

granted, both she and i are academics.
we have the usual 'workaholic' habit that academics do.

on the other hand, our work styles, even hours, are different:

before: i used to wake up, make coffee, and get right to math. i'd eat breakfast while drafting out work notes or reading a paper. somehow, when half asleep, it's still possible to weigh a few research ideas -- and when the coffee kicks in, so do better ideas.

now: we sit down, eat breakfast together. i drink coffee, try to make conversation, slowly wake up.

there is also the fact that we work in different disciplines.

for a mathematician, mιcrosoft word isn't terribly useful. most people i know use LaTeχ when they have something worth typing up. so as long as a computer operating system supports LaTeχ [1], any will do.

on the other hand, my girlfriend isn't a mathematician. she needs ms word. openoffice is a good start, but formatting issues persist.

so i learned yesterday afternoon, as we tried to hunt down a windows computer before a job application deadline. (my department essentially runs linux exclusively.)

also, the relationship: when you're one person, your schedule is what you want it to be. when you are two people, then suddenly scheduling matters.

i have to think about when i'll go running, or if i can go running; maybe i agreed to run errands, and suddenly it's 9pm ..

there's a word for this: compromise. those of you who have been in long-term relationships for a while, sure: feel free to laugh.

like i said, i've been living an uncivilised life for a while. (-:

for now, i think i am half as productive as i usually am. give a few more days, and perhaps i'll be back up to speed.

[1] then again, there are web-apps for this, such as monkeyteχ. others readily appear on a googlε search.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like to think that my wife is simultaneously the greatest help and the greatest hindrance to my work. You've already listed the obvious hindrances. But you also get a live-in encourager on those days when proofs aren't working. And on really busy days, she can pick up the slack on chores at home. That's just a few examples. I've found that the benefits of teamwork frequently outweigh the inconveniences.

On the other hand, my daughter isn't carrying her share of the load yet!