austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Sunset that's small as the sea waves

Odd news, while I'm away, on the job front. I got an e-mail from an upcoming conference on applied mathematics and computing -- for which I qualify, certainly -- kindly inviting me to deliver a one-hour lecture, or to join the Scientific Committee for the conference, or to be chair for a section. While the focus of the conference means that my specialty would technically -- even if barely -- qualify me to do something organizational there, although I'd have to do a great deal of new-to-me work. And, of course, I wouldn't have a college or university sponsoring my travel to a former outpost of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, hotel (``approximately 300m'' from the conference building), or entrance fee. Still, it couldn't hurt to add to my resume -- currently being scattered to the winds in New England -- that I had some current participation in a multi-continental conference.

The one nagging thing is the e-mail says I should express my interest one way or another no later than September 20, 2006.

My aunt and uncle took me on the tour of the metropolitan region, and I got what should be a healthy number of pictures. My aunt was also not quite subtly pointing out how very well-suited I'd be for a job in the area, and how many colleges there are to which I could apply -- and universities, of course, and for that matter private academies, and so on -- to the point that my uncle said that was enough. I don't mind, and to be honest the feel of the city is a rather comfortable blend of the things I do like. I even know where the Borders book store is, and spotted an Imax theater. (I've seen two Imax movies in the past decade, one of them Apollo 13.) And wandering around the river was comfortably home-like. Of course, I still insist on some employer offering to pay me money before I'll come and work for them.

Another piece of discussion lead my aunt to ask me if I still did any regular writing, like I used to on the campus paper. I haven't told my family about the Livejournal yet -- basically, I don't want them to explicitly know I'm writing about them until I can show I'm being paid for it -- so I denied writing anything specific other than attempted mathematics books and papers. She said that was odd; she somehow had the vision of me as a science fiction writer. I had that vision of myself too, around the time I was writing for the campus paper, and one time I even got a custom-written rejection letter from Fantasy and Science Fiction, until I noticed that I really wasn't any good at creating character, plot, dialogue, background, or exposition. All I'd have is a couple of vaguely genial people on a bare stage to whom nothing much happened. I should probably give it another try now that I'm older, slightly less foolish, and have lived through more anecdotes on my own.

Trivia: A meteorite fell through a shed roof in Red Bank, New Jersey, on 14 March 1936. Source: Rain of Iron and Ice, John S Lewis.

Currently Reading: From Alfred to Henry III, 871 - 1272, Christopher Brooke. It's kind of part of a series.


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