Heute ist Samstag, der erste Dezember.
If that’s correct – and it’s quite possible it isn’t – I just said “Today is Saturday, the first of December”.
Well obviously, you say. So what? Well – it means that today I took the Putnam today. It was a lot of fun. I think I got five questions correct (out of twelve). Not bad for a freshman, if I say so myself.
But now I won’t get to participate in any math contests until next December, when the Putnam comes around again. That’s one thing I miss about high school – we had various contests every few months or so, and if you didn’t do well on one of them, there was always another one coming up. I’m going to get to take the Putnam just three more times, and then I’ll be done with math contests. Yes, that’s three years away, but still – I don’t think I’m going to want to stop doing these sorts of things in three years. They’ve been a major part of my life for quite a while.
That sentiment seems to be one I’ve had a lot recently. Other freshmen are already talking about their plans for getting a job after college. My current plan is to go to graduate school, get a math PhD, and then teach math for the rest of my life (doing creative writing on the side, of course). In other words, I want to stay in academia for the rest of my life. I want to keep doing what I’m doing now, forever. (In fact, I had originally considered graduating from college in three years – I could do so fairly easily, I think – but now I wonder, why the heck would I want to get out of college and into the real world sooner rather than later?)
This sounds like a character from Orbivm to me. Who? Ptolenai, the mathematician. He isn’t in any campaigns, for a number of reasons – he lived in the Age of the Spear / Saecula Gentorum, he was a philosopher/mathematician not a political figure, and his story is not particularly dramatic. He lived in the Dardanoi version of the Academy his entire life. His main accomplishment, from what I’ve written so far, is his mis-calculation of the radius of the earth, which indirectly leads to the Apocalypse. Perhaps that’s a clue as to how my subconscious views academia – in which case, perhaps I ought to consider a different career path…
The astute among you will notice that Ptolenai is quite similar to the historical figure Ptolemy, though with several important differences I won’t go into here.