My name's Nicolas. I was born in Montreal, back in good old frozen Canada. This makes french my first language, but I think I do manage a pretty accent-less english, if I do say so myself.
I moved to Ithaca a year ago to pursue a PhD in theoretical physics at Cornell. I love my job, which seems to be taylor-made for a thoughtful, absent-minded person like myself. I also get to pretty much make up my own work schedule, which I'm told you can't do when you have a real job.
I'm a pretty easygoing person; there's little I enjoy more than sharing jokes and stories with good company. I'm also very enthusiastic about the things I like, which include but are not limited to, books, musics, movies, pets, food, science, sports (Go Habs Go!) politics, arguing, and people! I hope to meet someone who will enjoy being enthusiastic with me about these things, and hopefully about many more; if you think it could be you, don't hesitate to send me a message!
When not working, I usually pass the time by hanging out with friends, reading books, watching movies and listening to music, or discussing books, movies and music with friends. On weekends I do volunteer work at the SPCA, which mainly consists of playing with cats; it's a harsh job, but someone has to do it! I enjoy running and cycling, but I had to put that on hold after I tore a few ligaments in a silly (and entirely self-inflicted) accident back in May. I'm back on my feet, but I'll probably give it a few more weeks before I try getting on a bike!
In the future? Who knows? I don't feel like I need to have long-term plans about the rest of my life: as long as I feel like what I'm doing is interesting and is keeping my options open, I'm happy to just do my best to take care of the present and to tackle the future when it arrives. I'm with John Lennon: “Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans”.
I'm pretty good at learning and teaching stuff, I think. I'm a pretty introspective person, so when I learn something new I like to think about it a lot and consider it in different ways, which usually helps me understand them better. Likewise, I think it helps me communicate with people and make it easier for me to make them understand new things, because I can approach difficult concepts from different points of view. I won a couple of prizes for teaching back at the University of Montreal. The fact that they were awarded by the students made this an immensely rewarding moment for me.
So how did I do? I hope that wasn't too obnoxious.
Books: Catch-22 (Joseph Heller), 20 Years Later (Alexandre Dumas), Lincoln (Gore Vidal).
I feel like this limited list is pretty unfair to many of my favorite authors, like Isaac Asimov, Stephen King and Neil Gaiman, but since space is limited I had to make some painful cuts.
Movies: The Big Lebowski, Fargo, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail.
Again, some hard choices, but if I had only three movies to bring with me to a deserted island (as well as a portable DVD player and some sort of power supplies, obviously) it would be these three.
Shows: The Simpsons*, Monty Python's Flying Circus, The Wire.
*I'm going to be a bit of a snob here (though not a very original one) and say that the pre-2000 seasons of the Simpsons are the only ones truly worthy of the name. The later seasons are still entertaining, but it's just not the same.
Music: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Flogging Molly.
This one was pretty easy, because I'm pretty passionate about liking these three.
Food: Vietnamese, Chinese, Sugary Stuff
Yeah I know, the last one isn't very descriptive, but I have quite the sweet tooth: cookies, cakes, jelly beans, ice cream, if it's there I'll eat it.
-Learning new things