the grad school manifesto

I’ve come again to the point of beyond caring.

Fine, Whatever, skip it.

I kind of like being here. Clearly, I am not going to make this work the ordinary way. I can’t catch the bus or legally park my car, I don’t understand holes in rational functions, I choose breakfast over avoiding the risk of being towed, I’m apparently going to be sick for at least 2 months a year, and the idea of participating in high school “community outreach” programs gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Fine. Whatever.

So I’m going to do it my way.

Which is what? Well, apparently I’m going to ask questions like “I don’t understand that diagram” in the department Colloquium. I’m going to swaddle myself with a shawl over my head to ride the bus, and ya’ll in the back seats can just laugh if you want to. I’m going to sit at home, swilling my nice hot diluted apple juice, and sing along to the radio.

If D.N. wants to fire me, excellent. Teaching is taking too much time anyway. I’m going to pick “History” as “what makes my teaching statement stand out,” and skip all this “I assisted in fancy summer mini-courses for high school students” nonsense. I’m gonna make me a web page, and it’s going to include a quiz: match the major math development to its historical context. I can do that. I can spew relevant sounding stuff about the history of math anytime you like, and moreover I would really enjoy actually knowing something about it.

I don’t know how I’m going to get a PhD in math. Guess I’d better put in a darn good 10 months worth, if I’m going to spend the two lying on the couch. Heck, and I’m going to put in some of that 10 lying on the couch too, to ward off illness. You know what, scrap it. I’m going to learn some stuff, and it’s going to be cool, and all these other idiots people who know so much more than me still know statistically nothing relative to what there is to know. And you know what, it’s going to work out. Why? Because I like it, and it’s what I want to do, and I’m not half bad at it, when I’m not sick. And somewhere out there there’s an organization who wants a half sick, half good, historically minded mathematician who may or may not ever learn to teach accurate useless information and would on the whole rather speak up than not.

Fine.

Great.

And now it’s time to go fight with slant asymptotes, holes, and polynomial long division again. Ugh.

 

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1 Response to the grad school manifesto

  1. VickyLynn Haynes says:

    Dearest Kate, You express yourself so well! I’m sorry to hear of the struggle, but applaud your means of dealing with it. Keep being all that is “you” – there is no better answer. I’ll continue to pray on the health front as well. So difficult! Very sad you seem to be caught in that cycle, though I trust God can meet us there in our need as our Comfort. Updating my records, I realized I may still only have your old physical address. If you could pass on your new – hopefully, “long term, warm and working wonderfully” home, I can get things updated. We need warm here, being rainy and much cooler these past days. My body isn’t taking the transition too well…sound familiar?:o) Keeping you in prayer and loving hugs ~ Dorothy

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