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Canonical New Quarter Musings

How could I miss something so important, like the.......

Canonical New Quarter Musings? I am in fact taking one honest course, Functional Analysis. I was a little late in taking this sequence, since the last opportunity I had to do it was when I was up in Berkeley. More argument for sticking around until you've settled on an advisor, I guess. I anticipate a very hard quarter in general. The pressure is on to really try to produce some result by the end of it. Reading papers in general has not been going well. It isn't improved one bit since the advisor fallout situation. I simply don't have the tolerance for long, evil, nasty calculations as I used to. Either that, or research-level long, nasty calculations are longer and nastier. The number of omitted steps simply boggles the mind.

As for TAing, this will also be be quite a nontrivial endeavor. I'm doing upper division Differential Equations. Its focus has been quite different from the focus of the upperdiv. DiffEq's that I took as an undergrad. The good thing about this is that that this particular focus, namely on dynamical systems and their qualitative behavior, is something I wish had been the focus of my DiffEq's class. The bad thing is, well, I'll be learning a lot alongside the students, so that the process of preparing for section, doing the homework, and grading homework and exams is going to be quite tricky to get just right. I also realized the class was about twice as big as I originally had thought, since there being no homework due at the first meeting, fewer people came.

Socially speaking, the goal is to continue working on that shyness, and what goes hand-in-hand with that, assertivity (the A in the MRAES, the long-forgotten goal of grad student life mentioned on my lj userinfo...). Which, rather amusingly, might be accomplished by fake strawberry drinks at the new Tapioca Express on campus, since after I had one, I was insanely talkative for a couple of hours. I don't know what they put in it, I thought an "icy" was a non-caffeinated drink. The fakeness of the strawberry was a little too obvious, despite fake strawberry being one of my favorite flavors. Perhaps I'll try the fake watermelon next time.

And, about that nice girl I'd been hinting about, well, we'll just stay friends. But she was very nice about it though, heck, one of the nicest people I know in general, and I still like her... It didn't go over like a lead balloon, but I'd been thinking lately: can a sufficiently large lead balloon float? And also not experience structural failure before then---surface area (the lead surface of the balloon) scales up as the radius squared, while volume (the helium) scales up as the cube of the radius, so that would seem to answer the problem in the affirmative, which assumes we do not thicken the lead as we increase the radius. But we may have to increase the thickness to increase the strength of the surface so that it doesn't self-destruct [i.e.: what is the sound of a lead balloon popping?].