(Fall 2009) Going back for a second year of grad school in Indiana.
The first year was hell on a stick. Destroyed my ability to
concentrate. Relentless "context-switching." It took me three
months to recover. Part of the therapy was listening to Kraftwerk
, the most
monotonously boring music ever typed into a sequencer.
Why am I going back? Hmm, maybe I did something horrible in a
previous life, like write Nicholas Bourbaki treatises. No, it's
because my dream is to be paid to indulge my curiosity and teach.
That's what (some of) my professor friends tell me professoring is
all about. The curiosity is about the unwritten rules of rhetoric,
mathematical discovery, obviousness and obscurity, simplicity and
complexity, causal cascades, conceptual vocabularies--you know,
that sort of stuff. Now you see why I want to be an academic?
Software development was fun and paid well, but important itches
are not yet scratched, and scratching these is something I could do
I made some changes this year. I switched departments. I moved to
an apartment with wood floors. I chose a schedule with no math
classes. Last week, I crashed the Informatics department's
orientation, and may finally have found my native country and
natural home. I talked with some professors I hadn't talked with
If this second year is anything less than wonderful, though, I'm
putting the cat in the carrier and driving back to the city I love,
. If I have to, I'll find another way to get paid to
indulge my curiosity and teach. Maybe, er, pretending to be
P.S. UPDATE (Sep. 1, 2009, 1:21 a.m.): I think a mouse has just
entered my apartment through the dryer vent.