16 February, 2009

beards, not bombs

Since becoming the editor and writer of the UNC math department's newsletter, I have spent an unusual amount of time in Phillips Hall. Right now, I am trying to kill time in the Alfred Brauer library, on the third floor of Phillips, before going to photograph and cover this year's Brauer lectures. It is a strange world, this mathematics orb, and one that I would certainly never know without this job. From my outsider's perspective, I have a hard time communicating with math people; we seem to be speaking on different planes. They speak a language that I have never heard and sometimes look at me for a full minute, trying to figure out what I am asking them.

I have been tremendously busy and all the time I had last semester for reading and writing is gone. I've only read three books this semester. It's taking me forever to get through To Siberia--and certainly not because I don't enjoy it. I enjoy it immensely, but I simply don't have time for it anymore. My days are filled with e-mailing, reporting, interviewing, calling sources, dashing from building to building, wondering if I am living a full life if the most exciting part of my day is sleeping and eating. I will endure. At least I know now that I don't think I have the temperament to be a great reporter. I can be a passable reporter. I just don't have the drive or bitchiness or aggression to be a great one.

We had a bomb scare last night. The Union and the libraries were evacuated when the police received a call from a man who said he was going to detonate a bomb in the Pit. The police did not find a bomb and the university told us today to "resume normal activities." Reassuring, I suppose, but it's still jarring. In the words of Grace's favorite T-shirt, "Beards, Not Bombs."

Emily is sick and hasn't had a voice for the past few days. While I hope that her throat resumes its normal levels of health, I will admit that I am really going to miss her froggy laugh. It cracks me up.

Photos coming soon of the veritable florist's shop that we have in our room. This guy that I'm dating is consistently remarkable. Guion surprised me on Valentine's Day with a huge bouquet of lilies in a glass milk jug (my favorite, and his characteristic floral gift) AND an absolutely stunning pink orchid in a blue-and-white china pot. If I was rich, I would have books and flowers in every room.

Time to go listen to a lecture that I can't understand. Jacobian curves, what?

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