Tuesday, September 24, 2013


ye gods, i hate asking for money.

it's clearer to me now that there is a "rat race" to academia in general and to the sciences in particular. more and more i envision a future where i'll never stop writing grants and there will always be another meeting to sit in, another memorandum that i should have read (but have skimmed over, at best).

for a while i've wondered if i was cut out to be a mathematician, but i've made my peace with it now. it's been long enough that i wasn't going to cut it, then i would probably be doing something else by now.

i'm starting to wonder, though, if i'm cut out to be a professional mathematician.

the research is fine and the teaching, though time-consuming, is also fine and often enough fulfilling (if not enjoyable). as for the grants .. and the applications .. and the meetings, and so on;

i can see why many faculty "give up" upon earning tenure.

these professional aspects of the job were never advertised to me, as a ph.d. student; maybe the advisor was deliberately putting it in the background, if only so that we could have a greater focus, when working together. as a postdoc there seemed more and more of it, when discussing the nature of work with my colleagues.

who knows? maybe i've just always been naive;

my colleagues, near and far, seem quite able to maintain research as their primary focus and if anything, shape their other duties to complement this one singular priority. more and more i find this admirable.

maybe i'm just too new to this position, that these are all just growing pains, and that these shall pass with time and enough patience and a little humor. i don't know and it's hard to say.

i'm not giving up. it's just that i can see why others do.

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