Tuesday, April 06, 2004

I'm More Than My Blog, After All

And I haven't posted recently on my actual life, as opposed to the things that happen inside my head.

I recently received in the mail two well-printed yellow textbooks, and this means another step into adulthood: my very first graduate books required for courses. Ireland and Rosen's Classical Introduction to Modern Number Theory and Hartshorne's Algebraic Geometry. So far, so good.

(Sample problem from the first Algebraic Number Theory homework: Prove that 1/2 + 1/3 + 1/4 + ... + 1/n is not an integer for any value of n. Stumped me for a week.)

I'm trying to decide which four out of my five current courses I'm taking for a grade. I'll either leave out Algebraic Number Theory, Differentiable Manifolds and Integration, or my class on Durkheim's Elementary Forms of Religion. It's really a tough choice, and depends on how well I can handle the work for three math and two non-math courses.

Speaking of my Durkheim class, I was sitting in Judd this afternoon waiting for class to start, when one of the other students opened the Chicago Maroon to find a picture of the professor, Jonathan Z. Smith teaching a class under the headline, "Professors and their fan clubs: What's behind the peculiar emotional attachment to our local celebrities?"

It was a weird moment. And it seems to be true that some students adore this odd old man, to an extent far beyond his current lecturing ability. Maybe they've read his books and revere him; maybe I've just failed to be duly impressed by his manner of speaking; maybe I never pay the teacher quite as much attention as the text any more.

Oh yeah, and I had my hair cut this week. I want it back.

It's going to be an extremely eventful Triduum, even if I don't have to substitute for Brother Michael as a cantor (let's all pray that I don't; I'm not that good, and his is the high octave, and there would be more cracking sounds in the chanted Passion than in a bag of Pop Rocks if I had to try it). I'm nervous about meeting Alice's parents, excited for her as she enters the Church, falling behind in my work already, having tough times in prayer, trying to work out the details of the summer, and- drat- I've forgotten to speak to my family this week.

And there are only four days until Easter Vigil.

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