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05 December 2015 @ 07:58 am
Are you one of those?  
If I reacted to other people’s careers the way they react to me becoming a mathematician

Thanx to andrewducker
Marissa Lingenmrissa on December 5th, 2015 01:03 pm (UTC)
And man, they can go on for half an hour about how they hate physics and could never be a physics major, but if they're an el ed major and all you say is "better you than me"--after HALF AN HOUR of the physics major rant--then you are a terrible person who hates children and should never have children and probably should just go live in a hole somewhere and also you have never experienced life.

Because physics is not part of life.

But the artificial division of children into units of thirty instead of the far more natural units of 1-3 for teaching them things. That's totally part of life.
browngirl on December 5th, 2015 09:55 pm (UTC)
SO much word. *agrees and agrees*

I envy and admire mathematicians -- I wish I were conversant in the language the universe is written in. And I've found throughout my life, as someone with a foot in each camp, that the vast majority of the shots fired in the supposed "science vs humanities" war are coming from the humanities side.
Young Geoffreyed_rex on December 6th, 2015 06:00 am (UTC)
Uncles and booze
Well, one uncle. A professor of mathematics, no less.

Uncle Walt is a consummate host, a generous spirit, a cynical story-teller and a loving husband and father. One of my favourite people, no matter that he's a relative. But he had one peculiarity ...

One drunken evening, probably (god help us both, probably close to 30 years ago now), I confronted him. "Uncle Walt," I said, "why don't you ever talk about your work!?!"

"Are you serious?" he replied, and I nodded enthusiastically. Yes. Yes, I was.

I nearly took me by the hand and dragged me to the room he was staying in at my other favourite uncle's place (the polymath, Marcel), and pulled from a piece of luggage a Hilroy lined notebook.

"Do you see this notebook?" he asked me, nearly making me swallow the stapled work-book I recognized all to well from grade school. I nodded, and he opened it up to the first page.

On which were scrawled maybe a half-dozen to a dozen mathematical symbols or equations. "Do you see that?"

"Yes, yes I do."

He turned the page. More obscure equations, scribbled large and (to me) signifying nothing. "And those?"

"Yes sir, I do."

He turned the page and showed me more.

"And what, Young Geoffrey," he asked me slowly, careful not to let the beer we'd been drinking slur his words, "do you have to say about all that?"

"Um," I said. And "Um," I repeated. "Er, I guess I don't have anything to say about that as such," I tried.

Uncle Walt smirked, and closed the notebook, then slammed on the sideboard closest to him. "And that's why I don't talk about my work!" he shouted. "Do you want to grab another beer?"

I did, and we did. No wonder specialists feel the need to attend conventions and conferences.