November 1st, 2007

nanowrimo: end of the world

LJ Idol, Week Zero: Introduction, or My Chapter Zero

"To begin, begin."
-William Wordsworth, also seen in the beginning of my abstract algebra textbook

I took an introduction to proofs course the fall of my first year of college, and the assigned textbook was Carol Schumacher's Chapter Zero: Fundamental Notions of Abstract Mathematics. It's one of those books that you despise the first time you go through it because it has very few examples and worked-through exercises, forcing you to work through the proofs yourself at a time when you're trying to wrap your brain around this notion of proving something. At the end of the semester, though, you feel really accomplished because you did so much of the work in the text yourself. My professor was right about using the text as a reference in future semesters--I still look up set and function properties in that textbook when they've temporarily escaped my mind, and one of my abstract algebra classmates who took the class the next year carries her book in her backpack.

But as the introduction to the text says, Chapter Zero is a preparation for greater things, and it prepares you by introducing you to many mathematical topics. For those reading this journal for the first time--perhaps through therealljidol, or through a link on NaNoWriMo, or any other place, this introduction is similar--one entry containing tidbits of many topics.

Let's do just that. I'm Sujin. Some people call me that, some call me Sushi, and some call me other things altogether. Now let's get on to the promised many topics.

I'm a third-year college student in Atlanta. If all goes well, I'm planning to graduate in May 2009 with a B.A. in mathematics (as you may have gathered from earlier) and if I finish the classes, minors in French and astrophysics. At the moment graduate school in math is sounding like a really good idea. Eventually I hope to do some combination of teaching, research, and spreading my passion to others.

Math is a fraternal twin of my pride and joy. The other twin happens to be writing. I've kept a paper journal since I was eleven, and I've participated in and completed NaNoWriMo since 2002, meaning that I have five unedited novels sitting on my hard drive, along with countless short stories and unfinished novels. Despite my ability to write at what seems like lightning speed to the untrained eye, my editing speed is quite the opposite.

I spend far too much time on the Internet and can blather about Internet culture for hours on end. Last year I even wrote a paper on the Internet community's reaction to the Pluto debacle for an astronomy class and presented it at my school's research symposium. Much of my knowledge of Internet culture comes out in everyday conversation, leading people to the conclusion that I either have no life or know far too much random stuff about the inner workings of the Internet. I like to convince myself of the second.

I'm an introvert, though I'm good at fooling people in this fact. I love being around people and I enjoy their company, but at the end of the day, I just want to curl up in my room with my paper journal and a nice pen, and unleash all the stories I couldn't tell for lack of time or audience.

Books are my art, for I read them and I write them. I've still yet to publish one, for I haven't edited any of them yet. I'll immerse myself into a book and not come out for hours. I've been known to skip meals because I wanted to finish the next chapter of a book. When I finished that chapter, I wanted to finish the next chapter. And the next...

I must be insane for doing LJ Idol this time of year. As Chris Baty from NaNoWriMo said, the best way to get something done is to ask a busy person to do it. I definitely fit that condition. But we already knew I was insane, yes?

therealljidol, here I come. Join me on my journey, won't you?

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
-Winston Churchill, also seen at the end of Chapter One of my abstract algebra textbook
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