Monday, June 25, 2012

Notebooks redux

I am in a country thousands of miles away from home -- the annual migration to the land of my ancestors. (As a guy I was chatting with last week said, "You guys are like wildebeests or something!") I forgot my research notebook.

My spouse said, "That's a Freudian slip if I ever saw one."

I did remember my personal journal, and it's been co-opted now for mathematical purposes. This is one reason I know that I'm still in the right field: I can't stop the mathematical itch. Can't stop! Maybe I get tired out by "parenting" students, maybe I get tired out by committees, but I can't stop wanting to know how this combination of group actions acts on my geometric object of choice. I got a nice couple hours in on the plane and have some cool ideas. I can't wait to find out if my crazy insight is correct. There's a nice and clear combinatorial correspondence between the things I'm looking at but I don't know if the geometry will hold up.

Now if I ever get famous enough to have a biographer write my biography they'll read all my grousing about all my neurotic thoughts... combined with math.

The difficulty, though, is that I'm with the family. There is going to be a whirlwind of social activity, from yardwork to running to coffee-drinking. I need a vacation, Lord knows, but I also want to find the answer to my question. How will I find some time? Do I need to beg off with jet-lag induced need for alone time?

Also started reading "Quiet," a book about introversion, which may be lending me some insight into why my last year at a liberal arts college stressing student interaction was, well, rather stressful. Maybe with such information I could do better in the future.

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