Three months ago, everything seemed just fine: Wake up at the same time, jog the same route, stop by the same coffee shop, go to the same office, lunch with the same colleagues, hear the same jokes…

It was just too fine, like Phil lives the same “Groundhog Day” again, again, and again—tomorrow never comes.

That is numbing,  that is suffocating, and that is terrifying. Others may be just fine with it. But that is killing me, bit by bit. I am just that boiling frog: unless jump out, he is cooked, slowly.

In hindsight, that frog cannot be happier about the jump. After all,

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”


[Jasper, Canada, Oct., 2015]

Day 95, 3pt, 12.21M:

jog: 3m;
learn: 0;
swim: 20r;
TYM: day1, read Justin J.’s paper, Pelican, 10am-12:30 pm;
GC: fill out the form, unproductive, 4pm-5pm;

For Day 96,

GC: get it done!
TYM: start writing;

It won’t be a big hit. Write up what you have now, submit it, and move on to real deals.

[T’s application]
Last week, T got the offer from LA area. She then pushed SD for the decision. The result is not what she hoped for: they give the offer to her senior.

It’s a huge let gown. She called me and let out the frustration: it is her dream place, and she is younger with better record. Why do they choose the lesser?

True, T is better in every dimension. But life isn’t always fair. Just wish she can work out in Michigan.

[Detroit airport, July, 2005]

Naked Self-Promotion

From my collaborators,

AP: “BTW, your writing style is excellent and I had very little to add to the last section you included.”

IV: “The new numerical section is great! Who did all the numerical analysis? I would be curious to see the model (in Mathematica or MatLab?)”

They made my day :)

[Zion, Utah, Sept., 2011]

Fairness: why I delayed the letter

“But even the most cynical secretly admit that success exists; that achievement counts for a great deal; and that the true myth is that the actions of men and women are useless.”

After three months delaying, I finally finished T’s reference letter. It need not be so: Half day is enough.

So why the delay? Excuses abound: hectic moving, busy schedule, etc. But these would not matter if I were convinced of her merit.

Our profession is largely meritocracy. Like any other professions, it has its dark side of dirty politics. But if you are talented, if you work hard, you will succeed.

Unfortunately, T is more into the political rather than meritocracy side. All she cares is the comfort of living, rather than the excitement of the profession. Despite my constant reminding in the past five years, I have never seen the sparks of burning curiosity or ambition from T. On either talent or effort ground, I am not convinced.

It is disappointing.

With two publications, I have already helped T on top of her cohort. To be fair, now I’ll let the matter run its own course.