Well, let’s give this a shot, eh? I’ve been procrastinating long enough.
In terms of blogging, my recent efforts have concentrated on my poetry blog, which is really little more than an indulgence. I’m enjoying it, although I’m not finding that my ability to critique my work has improved at all, which was partially the point of the whole affair. I am also growing in my feeling that my enthusiasm for the art far outstrips my ability in the area. Still, that’s a topic for a different post.
In things more concrete, I have started an MSc. in Mathematics in the last few weeks. Particularly, I am working on “numerical aspects of finite group theory”. Wonderful stuff. I would like to write a post soon about why I love group theory. The MSc. is through research and the life of a researcher is a completely different thing to the life I’ve lived over the past four years as an undergraduate. It is wonderful to not have to worry about exams and, for the time being at least, deadlines. It is very difficult to discipline myself to actually do any work when there are so few immediate expectations of me. It is also difficult to feel that I’m making progress when I have very little idea of how I should be measuring my progress. On a Monday I might prove something and be happy, on a Tuesday I might spend the entire day working to prove something and fail to do so, on a Wednesday I might spend the entire day reading. Each of these days was worthwhile but it can be hard to recognise each of them as worthwhile.
Then, of course, there are days like today where I do absolutely nothing of any merit whatsoever. This has been one of those days, although the decision to do nothing today was conscious. I needed to try and get some rest. Over the last few weeks I have been waking feeling very, very tired. This is despite the fact that I have been getting more sleep than I have for a long time. I am at a loss to explain this. The prognosis of most people is, of course, “stress”. Yes, stress, the modern zeitgeist. I certainly don’t feel stressed and I refuse to believe that I am, in fact, stressed without my knowing it. The MSc. is only in its infancy and so there is very little pressure on me. I have a comfortable part-time job which, apart from the odd occasion for panic (such as deleting all of my work in the progress of creating a backup, which I had to then reconstruct from memory), is not giving any cause for stress. My friends are all being wonderful at the moment, in particular my girlfriend who seems to spend her nights lying awake thinking of new and unexpected ways to be nice to me. None of this implies that I would be stressed. Yet still I’m tired.
So, stress or no stress, I have taken today to sleep in a little, avoid cycling to university in the rain by staying home, take time to write in my blog and surf the web a bit, and do only the tiniest bit of work. Perhaps it will help.
Well, this has been my first diary-like non pre-prepared blog post, as promised. I will not even read over what I have written, I will just publish. I’m almost proud of myself.