A very exhausting winter semester is over. I think I'd like to teach the same class again, because it would be much more enjoyable without having to prepare everything from scratch again. This spring semester I don't have to teach anything, since I'm on a fellowship to just do research. Hopefully with so much time to devote to my research I can make a large amount of progress. I think I've had my fill of grad school. I'm ready to be done with it and get a real job. Goal for 2014 (if I didn't already say this): finish dissertation research. Ideally, finish dissertation as well, but I'll take finishing enough research that I can write the thing and graduate in spring 2015. There, now that it's out there I have to do it. Then I can go get a job.
Oddly enough, I think I prefer teaching to research. I thought that teaching would be boring, especially teaching the same thing more than once. Actually, I like trying to help people understand stuff, so teaching is interesting for me. I also like figuring out the best way to explain things, refining how I teach each topic each time I teach the same class. I'd like to see how well I could teach a class on the 7th or 8th try. I think by then I'd be really good. At any rate, hopefully I'll be able to find a place where I can do some research, but my main focus is on teaching. I like learning new things, especially new math. It's really interesting. I just don't enjoy so much the constant feelings of you-must-produce-new-research-right-now-at-this-very-moment. Maybe it gets easier over time, but at this point, it's not really my thing. I'd prefer research to be the enjoyable thing I do on the side to keep my brain stimulated while I teach.
This all got me thinking about the future. I tried to picture my life in 5 years and here's what I came up with. I imagine in 5 years or so we'll be all settled into a real house with a real yard somewhere in semi-rural Pennsylvania, maybe a dog running around the yard and a few little munchkins running around the house. I'll be a professor at some nice little school and I'll get to spend plenty of time with my little family at home.
In my head, when I tried to picture my life in 5 years, it was much more descriptive than that. Apparently on paper I'm just really fact/list based. Trying to get complex thoughts and feelings onto a page is not really easy for me. For example, this paragraph is also starting to sound like a list to me. But I do have thoughts. And feelings. Even though I'm a dude. I don't think I'm even out of touch with them. I just don't describe them well. Anyway. The future looks pretty good to me, even if I can't quite capture in words what I see there.
with our hands lifted high