Saturday, June 15, 2002

Had lunch with my math friend Mark at Planet Thailand yesterday. Love that place, as it is cheap and tasty and healthy and fun and bad music is always playing. Mark is the uber-genius of my math group, arguing horrendously complex problems with Al, the other genius. The rest of us are trying to just survive the program, these two are redefining reality or something. I could swear I saw them generating a black hole under the table yesterday. I've looked at the equations they play with, and I start to get dizzy.

Regardless of what you might say about Teaching Fellows organization abilities, or their funding, or ability to kill us in the first two years, they are quite good with naming things. Each group of university students is classified as a 'cohort'. When they first told me I was in the math cohort, I pictured myself wearing a mongolian doppa, riding a horse across the Russian steppes, leading an attack on some fortress. Being a math cohort, we would be able to use sine, cosine, and tangent to precisely launch catapults, or something.

So our group is a cohort. Back to Planet Thailand, and my conversation with Mark. We are observing a group of about fifteen hipsters, and I suddenly ask Mark what a group of hipsters is called. You have a murder of crows, a pod of whales, a short bus of republicans, a cohort of teaching fellows. My immediate ideas were a comb of hipsters, or maybe a thrift of hipsters, but then I had an epiphany- an angst of hipsters. I'm quite proud of that.

Friday, June 14, 2002

Damn. I’ve had one of those no good, horrible, everything is wrong kind of days. Come to think of it, more like a week. My organizational abilities are shot. I had no idea my ass was genetically bred to be spanked by math. I looked in the mirror to see where I had the math lobotomy, but the surgeon skillfully concealed the scars. I keep losing things, like my month-pass for the subway, or the ticket for some teaching event on Monday that I must attend. I would have liked to lose some weight, but that isn’t going to happen. My roommate Dan and I both have sweet teeth, and we have a psychic link that coordinates who will buy the Krispy Kreme donuts or the Magnolia Bakery cupcakes. We can’t keep unexpired milk in the fridge, but we will never run out of insulin drainers. At our combined rate of contribution, I estimate both of us will be in diabetic comas within six months.

I can summarize it this way: WHINER! I’ve been a spoiled slacker for the last year, and I’m whining about it. I don’t like waking up before 8am, my coffee schedule has been disrupted, and I will never get a tan for the next two years unless our sun goes supernova. I’ve grown accustomed to instant gratification over the last year, and my first payment stipend won’t materialize until July. The donuts seem to be a quick sugar reward, but cash would be even better.

However, I have survived the worst two weeks of the summer program. At least I keep telling myself that. The math immersion program will get better. It's better than huddling in the corner of the room, rocking back and forth. Plus I'd like some hot cocoa.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Went to Metamorphoses tonight. It wasn't my first play here, it was simply the first play at full price. Will bought the tickets, as his cash flow is much greater than mine. I had seen an Albee play last summer, but it was simply too odd, and the production was lacking. I was awestruck by the simplicity and elegance of the set tonight, and will never make comments about the expensive tickets again. Well, I won't comment unless the show was crap.

I'm torn about being a gentleman on the subway. I really feel compelled to surrender my seat to women. This is not a sexist issue, it is a shoe issue. I don't rate this on age, merely on cruel shoe status. I observe those poor women with great looking shoes that clash with the grimace of pain on their faces. However, with my own knee problems, I feel less generous , as I didn't choose my knee problems, and they chose their shoes. Plus I see all the guys sitting down, assiduously contemplating their belly buttons. I've swung back and forth on this moral swing, I'll probably make some hideously complex equation that allows me to decide. But I'll do that tomorrow.