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Long entry is long.

Last night I dreamed that I was in elementary school as my current self. The star roll and honor roll lists had just been released, except the honor roll was labeled Brights and the star roll Super Brights. I was on the Super Brights. There was a celebration for the Brights and Super Brights in the cafeteria. I walked toward the cafeteria, which looked exactly as I remembered it. Students were in line waiting for treats. I waited in line for a bit and saw an envelope sticking out of a stack of soft drinks. "The Ten Commandments," the writing on the envelope read. I walked around the cafeteria and found several other envelopes with religious messages on them. I took all of them and stormed the table at the front of the cafeteria where several teachers sat with a money box. My kindergarten teacher was among them. I showed her the envelopes and asked her what they were about. She said that they were prizes for Brights and Super Brights. I protested this on the grounds that this school was a public school and woke up.

The symbolism isn't lost on me--in fact, the first thing I thought of upon waking up was the Brights movement. Mix that in with my kindergarten teacher's inability to deal with my sheer boredom during that year, and it's clear that my subconscious was having a party this morning.

Oh, and despite my elementary school being public, this didn't stop a missionary from coming by every month and telling Bible stories to everyone in the cafeteria. You had to have a note from a parent to get out of it, and I know of only one parent who wouldn't let their kid go. I know of no kids who outright objected.

Lately I've been thinking about the future and what I want. I've been editing the novel, and it's great, but I miss math. A lot. I miss playing with ideas and proofs and everything that makes math so sexy, and I've been thinking about who I am. Am I a mathematician who writes or a writer who maths (and makes up words, apparently)?

The answer is, as you might have guessed, neither.

It's both.

I can't see my life without writing in it in some form. At the same time, I love math, and writing is the reason I got into math in the first place. That story is still floating around my head, and I'm still sketching out plans for it.

I've devoted four years of my life to higher education, during which time I honed my mathematical knowledge. During my almost-year out of school, that knowledge has leaked out of my brain. I can feel myself getting dumber every day.

Grad school has been on my mind as well. I keep telling myself I'd take at least two years off: one to see what life outside of school is like, and a second to see if I like that kind of life. Given that I haven't found a job in the last ten months, I have no way to compare an academic life to a non-academic one. Instead, my idea of a nonacademic life consists of pinching pennies to make sure I have enough to eat and poking around for jobs, knowing that no one's going to hire me even to sweep their floors. A pretty pitiful nonacademic life, if you ask me.

But I'm not sure if I want a Ph.D. Sure, there's the thought that dating someone with more degrees than I have freaks me out, and having a Ph.D. would at least give me some security against that. It's dumb. I know. It's the dick size comparison for insecure academics.

If I do go to grad school, though, I'd really like to go outside the U.S. The experience of living in a different country comes first, and for someone who has lived in the same state her entire life, it would be quite a trip. The only thing is that finding funding might be even harder. We'll see.

And now for some things that weren't worth an entry on their own.

Mum bought a GPS with her tax refund money. She wants to take up geocaching. No, I didn't tell her about this activity.

Grandmother is on Facebook. I brought her soup yesterday, and she proceeded to talk my ear off. She then told me about her Facebook account, and I just smiled and nodded politely as she told me about everyone she has found on there and Jeffrey's protests that Facebook is for young people. She hasn't found me yet. I'd like to keep it that way. She has other ways to contact me.

I have been jobless for ten months. Two more months until the one year mark. I am not looking forward to it.

I'm less than an hour behind on NaNoEdMo. Woo. I've been pondering rewriting it for the rest of the month after getting the timeline straightened out and then letting it rest in April while I do Script Frenzy. If I can write the first draft in two weeks, surely the second draft can be written in two weeks with some kind of outline, yes?

Hey, speaking of Script Frenzy! Did you know it is next month? Well, it is. So go sign up. 30 days, 100 pages, any kind of script you please. If you have a NaNoWriMo username, you can use it there.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 12th, 2010 11:40 pm (UTC)
I would only discourage you from going to grad school w/o having some real life job experience between that and undergrad (because that was my path) because, while grad school was incredible, trying to get a job that's not in academia afterwards is a giant suck. Of course things suck even more right now, so that advice might just be pissing in the wind. I'm hoping that this is just a result of the job situation now, but I know a couple of people who did the same thing a few years ago and they had the same problem with trying to find a job. And the economy was better then (sorta). But grad school is awesome; I used my thesis as an excuse to go to another country (Argentina!) and it was fabulous. Even better, grants covered all of my expenses so I didn't have to pay for anything. :DD

I have been jobless for ten months. Two more months until the one year mark. I am not looking forward to it.

Ugh, I'm on month 8 and it sucks donkey balls. We can commiserate together. *vodka* On the other hand, it's given me lots of time to work on my nano. I haven't been logging hours on Edmo (I suspect I've already hit 50+ editing hours since I started in December), but I've gotten most of the way through the plot type revisions. Fortunately, most of those edits had to occur in the first half of the novel, so the last part should be easy, just making sure stuff links up correctly. Next it's on to characterization consistency. T_T
Mar. 15th, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, there is also that, since I'm undecided on going into academia, what with my writing and all.

I'll take some of that vodka. Maybe it'll help with the editing/rewriting.
Mar. 18th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
I have actually found that vodka helps with my writing, so I endorse this idea wholeheartedly.
Mar. 13th, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
I hear grad school in South Korea is really cheap. You'd have to learn Korean first though, but they have programs for that too. Of course, it's been awhile since I last researched this, but I am aware of a few schools there that waive tuition for foreign grad students.
Mar. 15th, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
Ooh, going to Korea would be cool, and I do have family there, soooooo. We'll ignore the fact that I know no Korean at all, yes?
Mar. 15th, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC)
*is also insecure academic, dating one with more degrees anyway*
I'm restricting myself to only NaNoWriMo, nigh arbitrarily.

I fear that mathematical ebbing out of the brain myself! I'm still giving the Calculus a try, though. Maybe it will be okay. Hopefully.

my parents also found Facebook & won't go away D: it's become weird sheiß, anyway
Mar. 15th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
Re: *is also insecure academic, dating one with more degrees anyway*
Script Frenzy is fun, though, but hey, whatever works for you.

That mathematical ebbing is no fun, especially when you're trying to remember something or read a math article and realize that the math part of your brain just doesn't work the way it used to, and where did the knowledge of that theorem go again?

And calculus is fun. I don't know your math plans, but the fun only starts there.
Mar. 15th, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC)
Re: *is also insecure academic, dating one with more degrees anyway*
Fun, but I want to dedicate more time to stuff like music theory, with which I've not been doing so well.

D: We must work to stave that off!

Officially I want to take Calculus to get into the level of Physics that requires it. I seem not able to take Calc next semester, though.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )