Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Some progress

Bought a little school-notebook (not too many pages) in which to do some examples. Wrote out a few things -- should now type them up. No ground-breaking mathematics, just writing out explicitly a few proofs that are needed for a project. One of them was very easy and the other needs a few references from previously published papers.

Intended to get to some of that typing today but was pulled away by other projects, weather, and visitors. It's vacation, after all, so I should spend some time with people I only see once a year. Priorities! I enjoy doing some math in my free time. It is for pleasure. (I am certainly behind on the less-pleasurable projects I'm working on.) However, it is also important to go swimming and do some yard work and visit with the neighbors. I am taking time for long walks and that sort of thing too, as well as a run or too.

I had a realization: on vacation in this other country where no one knows me professionally I feel very different. I don't measure myself by my success or failure in the profession of academic mathematics because no one understands that profession or really gives a flying flip about it. To others, I look reasonably successful: I am going to interesting places next year and doing interesting things and getting paid reasonably well. They don't know that I didn't get any tenure-track offers or that getting these positions for next year took some scrambling. And aren't they right?

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