Tuesday, February 14, 2012

a talk, a flight, another flight .. another talk.

ye gods, i'm giving another talk. by the time this is over, it will be three weeks in a row of giving talks. there's a bit more pressure for this upcoming one, though.

it's a job talk.

i feel overwhelmed.

my interview was moved up one week. so instead of 1.5 weeks to settle everything, meet my commitments, and prepare for the inteview, it's instead become a few days. part of me wonders how fair this is, but i'm not holding the cards in this game.

i came back from spain on saturday afternoon; today i fly out.

i feel unprepared.

my talk's not finished yet, not by half. with 3+8 hours of flight time, though, i'm hoping to have it finished before the captain announces to us "to turn off all electronic devices before landing."

that's not a problem. i've been under tighter spots before. it's everything else.

i'm tired from the conference, from meeting and talking to new people all the time. i want to go back to work, finish that preprint, resubmit another preprint, start on the new things that i promised others that i would.

i want to be a mathematician again.

by tomorrow i have to be on my best behavior: friendly, receptive, ready. it's not that i consider myself a degenerate -- not a complete one, anyway -- but like many mathematicians i'm an introvert. it takes me a great effort to be outward and actively be nice to people. it's getting harder, every year.

i'm dreading the onslaught of questions -- both those that they will ask me and those that i'm supposed to ask them. i don't know what to ask, other than the obvious ones. i'm already amazed that i made it to the shortlist and their department deigns to talk to me ..!

i'm tired and i want to go home.
 the problem is that i don't have a home anymore.

 i haven't had one in a very long time.

i also misread my flight times. i thought my flight today was 4pm, but that's my return trip. it was 11:30am that, printing out my itinerary, i realised that takeoff is instead at 1:55pm ..


so if i'm lucky, i'll arrive to the airport 45 minutes before takeoff. i don't know if they'll let me board, but the first leg is within Europe and maybe they won't be so picky about intercontinental rules.

i have to try;
i don't know what i'm doing anymore,
i don't know the odds of success,
but i know i have to try.

it's the only thing left that i can do.

epilogue: they checked me in with 40 minutes to go, before takeoff .. which was anyway delayed because of the plane's late arrival ..

.. so i guess it's time to finish that talk ..!

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