Tuesday, November 30, 2010

fatalism is freedom.

there is a certain illusion that conferences cast,
a suspension of reality.

for my own part, i spent a week hearing lectures, discussing a little mathematics with colleagues, and having a bit of fun.

reality set in, once i boarded the plane back to the states:
i have to write a caΙculus lecture for tomorrow,
wednesday is the next big deadline for job applications,
what other promises do i have to keep?

it's been an unproductive few months, due to bad planning: between NSF grants, job applications, and traveling, i've had little time to sit down and think through ideas, cut a path through a decent theorem.

i've been ill at ease, most of the time, mostly because of jobs. everyone i talk to: they feel the same way. it's crippling! sometimes i feel like half my mindspace is lost, because of these stewing, festering thoughts.

maybe that will change in december. by then these matters will be out of my hands.
maybe i'll get a job with plenty of time for research, maybe i'll find a job where i'll never do research again. maybe i'll disappear for a while.

regardless of what happens, why not make the most of these final months of my (first) postdoc?
i never realised how much time i had, as a student, to learn new things and to work on projects that didn't seem a good fit for what i knew (or not knew).

all things being equal, i'll probably feel that way about my time as a postdoc. i might as well try and stop history from repeating itself.

besides, what do i have to lose? (-:

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