A friend and regular blog-reader called yesterday to chide me over the lack of postings since we moved. He said that I left everyone hanging with my postings about the movers and all of the house nonsense. He also noted that one of the hazards of having a blog is that you develop a regular readership (all three of you) and then those readers expect regular postings. So, I’m back, though it may be a while before I resume my prior posting frequency.
The move and the house closing went extremely smoothly, but it is taking us much longer than I expected to get our boxes unpacked and get settled in to the new house. Having a house has been really great, though. At some point, you get tired of living in an apartment, and Becky and I hit that point about 2 years ago. As you may recall, though, it’s an older house, and I suspect that there will always be things that need to be done. We’ve got a couple more minor projects to complete, and then we are going to finish the laundry room, which is currently unfinished. It shouldn’t be too hard to add drywall and put down a floor of some kind, and it will make it much easier to keep clean — an important consideration with my allergies.
I am also loving my job. I’m staying extremely busy, but I’m enjoying every moment of it. The students in the class I’m teaching are outstanding, on average. In fact, I dare say that they are better students than those I taught at Vanderbilt (as an undergraduate TA) and Cornell (as a TA and as an instructor). That’s not to say that they are more intelligent, but they definitely work harder, and that makes them more enjoyable to teach. (Note: If you are in my class, you have googled my name, and found my personal website, then I don’t want you to get the big head. I’m talking about averages here, not about individuals!)
The research freedom is also a breath of fresh air. My advisor was extremely tolerant and let me work on whatever my heart desired. Nevertheless, I wanted to finish my degree in a short time, so I worked single-mindedly on a single project until I finished my Ph.D. Hence, there wasn’t a lot of time to try out different research topics or follow whatever caught my fancy. Now, I have the freedom to broaden my horizons and seek out new and interesting research topics.
To summarize, I wasn’t sucked into a wormhole between Ithaca and Blacksburg. I’ve been really busy and haven’t had much time to write, but I’m loving it here…