Monday, October 27, 2003

1. Fun With Irreducible Characters
My instructor for "Representations of Finite Groups", Mr. Alperin, is visiting his father for the time being, so we’re being taught by Mike the grad student. Today was probably the most I’ve laughed in any class for a long time. Of course, very few people would have found it so funny.

Example: “Okay, now the first extra-credit problem is to write out the character tables for a few groups you like.”
“I call the trivial group!”

Yeah… maybe the citation leaves a bit to be desired. But if you were there, and if you were me, you’d have laughed too… because you would have been me… and I laughed.

2. De Gustibus Disputandum Est
In general, I have a problem with my own nerdiness. The worst kind of social outcast, mind you, is the one who is ashamed of not fitting in, the one who tries and fails to adapt to the people around himself or herself.

No, I’m not as bad with this as I used to be, but I’m still ridiculously self-conscious in contexts like musical taste. I become extremely flustered whenever someone praises or criticizes my music to my face. It’s particularly evident now that my tastes and my standard computer playlist are changing.

Concrete example (names deleted to protect my ego): I’m deleting song x by artist X because X’s instrumentation isn’t really that good or creative, and because the lyrics to x are written to sound profound rather than out of any honest meaning. But I also can’t shake the knowledge that I’m embarrassed about having liked X as well, seeing as those who know anything about music dismissed X long ago. Similarly, I get a CD by Y because Y is a legend and, on some level, I ought to enjoy Y’s rock and roll. But I just don’t, and I’m $15 poorer for trying.

I really need to stop thinking about commentary and enjoy the music. But I don’t.

3. All Things Must Change
I’m recognizing that the nature of this blog has changed significantly in the last few weeks, from a journal/series of updates to a sort of forum for my opinions, mostly my opinions on matters theological/ecclesiastical/sacramental. And although not everyone who reads this can relate to my beliefs, I think this is just the natural evolution of this blog. That, and my life just doesn’t seem as eventful now as it did during the carefree summer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very glad to be in the thick of things again. But there simply isn’t enough to report without delving into the life of the mind these days. So this will probably become in general more of a series of reflections and less of a sequence of vignettes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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