Gratuitous California Photo, North of Bodega Bay.
Possibly the worst and yet most common way to begin a blog post to to apologize profusely for not blogging frequently or recently. As you notice, I’ve done neither. If at all possible, it could be because as of late I’ve been too lazy and self absorbed to write here (strange, because blogging is typically the perfect outlet for me in a lazy and self absorbed state.) In the last month I’ve been to Madison and Vancouver, trying to decide where I want to live and work for the next six years or more. My visits to these schools seem to transport me into some alternate, bizarre, reality in which professors and graduate students try to win me over with promises of exciting research, excellent resources, a few fancy dinners, and the glamorous allure of student half price season ski tickets to Whistler.
And tomorrow I’m headed back up to Berkeley to receive the same kind of treatment from the department which over the last five years has not only given me access to every opportunity in Physics I’ve had so far, but also made me cry and bleed (no joke) on several occasions. I’m not quite sure what to expect, but admittedly I am a little nervous to re-encounter professors and graduate students to whom I’ve groveled, cried* and begged for homework help, practice problems, and basic explanations of highly abstract ideas in the very recent past. Am I ready to become, myself, one of them?
I was planning to continue by saying that I wouldn’t offer you a verbose apology and explanation for not blogging, but now I realize I already have. Whoops. Anyway.
As everyone knows, of course, there is a cycling metaphor for every shade of human emotion and enterprise: A great way to get back into cycling after somewhat of a hiatus is to go out and find the highest mountain in your vicinity, one that you’ve ridden before, and spin up it in your lowest gear. You’ll feel heavy, slow, and out of breath. You may or may not be taunted by rosy hued memories of shifting up, getting out of the saddle, and racing gleefully up similar peaks. You may or may not feel like crying as you realize you don’t have the energy to stand up and you begin to regret not having mountain bike gearing even if your road bike, somewhat embarrassingly, still has a triple.
I am going to re-approach writing, and writing here in this way. At least one post here a week, at least 250 (unpublished) words a day. My blog here is undoubtedly a bit old fashioned (original WordPress theme, not linked to any other form of social media, sometimes I use the word ‘whilst,’ etc.). I don’t really plan to change it that much, apart from possibly being a little less cryptic since apparently colleagues, mentors, and friends read this blog already. Actually using it again seems to be a good place to start.
* Yes, on one occasion I did cry in front of a graduate student instructor at Berkeley. I’m not particularly proud, but it is what it is.