The Globetrotting Meghan

The Globetrotting Meghan

Monday, December 3, 2007

My Weekend

So let me tell you about my weekend. As if the food poisoning on Friday wasn't enough (it kept me up well past 3 am), I woke up Saturday morning to a glorious snow storm. Now, I was supposed to go get a piano on Saturday with my friend Lisa. I had previously discussed how this might not be the best idea when all of the Midwest was in the middle of a winter storm. But her enthusiasm could not be held back. So I put on all my snow gear and went to go rent the U-Haul. After putting $40 worth of gas in her so that she would make it to and from our destination I proceeded to drive to our meeting point. Normally, I would have made someone else drive, but they were picking out a Christmas tree and so I was meeting them. I planned on making them drive after that, however. Of course, I only made it three blocks before the truck got caught in the snow. Turns out rear-wheel drive and snow don't mix well. I managed to get it to the side of the road (a one-way that is quite busy at all times) and called for help. By the time the two boys got there, I was freezing. After over an hour we finally managed to get it out. This involved backing the truck down the street (of course moving in the wrong direction) through one of the worst intersections in downtown, and turning around in the middle of the intersection. We then drove it back to U-Haul and left it for them (halfway in the parking lot as it got stuck again-but that is their problem.) Of course, Lisa is still devastated. Apparently a snow and ice storm wouldn't have stopped her. I told her next time she can drive the truck. So I spent the next 36 hours determinedly camped out in my apartment. Luckily Church had already been cancelled. I didn't even go down to campus to pick up the rest of my exams so I could finish grading them. This morning I was coming down early to finish my exams, and in the process of trying to catch the bus fell on the ice. It took me an hour to convince myself I hadn't actually broke my finger. It still hurts. A lot. Anyways, my weekend, thankfully, is now over. Hopefully life will get better soon...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

As forced by my sister...

I absolutely refuse to perpetuate this ridiculous tag, but Jenny absolutely demanded that I at least post seven things about myself. So to appease her...

1. The first thing about me is that I absolutely adore my kitten, Inkling Erdos (named after a very famous mathematician who happens to share her birthday). I cannot tell you how amazing it is to have her around. And I love that she can be both playful and cuddly. She tends to get very playful at night, and seeing as how that tends to be when I am home we play a lot. And she has developed the adorable habit of vertical pounces. But when she is in a cuddly mood I just love it. She is even getting into the habit of cuddling with me while I knit without eating the yarn.

2. I am absolutely addicted to books. I go through these moods where I only like to read certain kinds of books. Sometimes it is fantasy and science fiction. Sometimes it is classics or Jane Austen. And sometimes it is sappy romances. Sometimes I even go on fanfiction crazes. I put on my iPod, curl up in my big chair, try and coax Inkling into my lap, and read for hours.

3. I love to write, even if I'm not very good at. I gave up on the idea that I could write poetry when I was 15, but writing stories has stuck with me. I have three stories (one finished) posted on a Harry Potter fanfic site, one story (or almost 80 pages of it) that I have given up for my sanity, and one that I recently started and am quite excited about. It has long been a secret ambition of mine to have a book published. As a side note, I also have begun work on a math book, but I figured most of you would not think that qualified.

4. I am addicted to movies and certain television shows. I have so far been able to prevent myself from actually buying a TV. I do this because I don't want the temptation of getting cable. But this hasn't stopped me from owning a rather large amount of movies that I watch on my computer (though I do try to shop the previewed movies at the video store so that they are much cheaper). I also regularly watch several TV shows that are posted online (namely, Numb3rs, Heroes, and Life) and re watch Charmed (of which I own all the seasons on DVD). I like watching these shows because most of them I have seen and I tend to either work on math or knit while watching them.

5. I am sickeningly addicted to weird weather. Well, weird from the Arizonan point of view. I love snow and thoroughly enjoy walking in it. Which means I nearly freeze to death, but at least I'm happy. I also love fog. Yesterday was an extreme fog advisory and I loved it. It was like walking in a cloud. And it is one of my dearest wishes to get lost in a forest when there is a lot of fog. I also love thunderstorms. In this respect, at least, I sometimes miss Arizona. No other place has storms that even compare. I get really excited when there is even a little lightning here. But generally I really like the weather here. And I am very excited that tomorrow is supposed to be the first big snowfall. I plan on taking Inkling out to play in it (she's going to freak out, but I'll be sure to take pictures).

6. I love spending time with family and friends, and it kills me that I don't get to see my family all that much anymore. In fact, it has been so long since I have seen Jenny and her family that I'm going to skip out next semester to go visit them (don't worry Mom, I'm going during spring break, not skiping classes). I also spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone with them. And as for keeping up with friends, I pretty much have something almost every night during the week because I love them all so much. Even if it is just sitting at home and watching Charmed (for some reason that tends to cheer a lot of my friends up). But I love my friends here. And the ones from the department are really great about respecting my standards. You should have seen their faces the one time I got a daiquiri (virgin, of course). I got many cries of "Meghan, it's not worth it!" before they figured out it was virgin. I also really miss my friend Beki. She just started her mission in Canada last month. But at least I finally get to write to a missionary (something I really need to do today, come to think of it).

7. Am I done yet? Okay, one more thing... have I mentioned that I really like Math yet? I even read pop math books (books about math in the real world that are written to be accessible to the general populace). Often I have been questioned about what I wanted to do with math in the world. The short answer is that I want to teach. I love helping people finally get a difficult concept. But I like math for itself, not for what I can do with it. The best way I can put it is to quote a great mathematician, G.H. Hardy. "No discovery of mine has made, or is likely to make, directly or indirectly, for good or ill, the least difference to the amenity of the world." But lest you thing my life's work will be completely useless, I offer one more quote, this one from John Tierney. "This is the remarkable paradox of mathematics. No matter how determinedly its practitioners ignore the world, they consistently produce the best tools for understanding it." As examples, the math that Einstein used to formulate the Theory of Relativity was produced 50 years before with no concept of the uses it would be put to, and the math that enabled to computer to be built was produced beginning several hundred years before to answer as simply question with no apparent value outside itself.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Halloween Madness

Well, after having been called to task for not posting often enough (and all I have to say is that I have been crazy busy, not to mention sick) I wanted you all to see what craziness I dressed up as for Halloween. I dressed as green, as in the color. Nothing special. Basically I just had fun putting as much green as possible on my body. And can I tell you, it took forever to get the glitter and hair spray off. My bath water was solid green. And I'm pretty sure I still have green residue in places. I even painted my fingers and toes bright green. It was great fun. And Jenny, I hate you right now. I'll answer you crazy tag, but it will stop with me... and you'll have to give me a few days.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The New Do

Well I've been contemplating this for a long time, and I finally just bit the bullet and chopped it all off. But I really like it, and it certainly is different. I had to take the pictures myself, so sorry if they aren't the best. I didn't tell anyone I was doing it, and no one has seen it yet... tomorrow should be pretty fun.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Saturday Night Fun

This is what happens at a typical math department party. I arrive, find the ginger ale or sprite before someone uses it all for mixers, and generally end up sitting somewhere talking to Nicos or some such until such time as I decide that I need to leave (generally an hour later, or when they run out of sprite). But Nicos did ask (more like beg on bended knee) for me to post this picture. He seemed to think it hilariously funny. Come to think of it, I did too at the time. What can I say, giant pillows are just really comfortable.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My apartment

Since no one has acutally seen the place that I call home, I thought I would give you a glorious look at my small but amazing apartment. As you can see, I didn't have any trouble filling up the space in it, and this was before I went to Ikea and got Inkling a 4 foot tall climbing tower. (A six month birthday present that she absolutely adores. Now she can actually see out the back window, though I did have to take my curtain down so that she didn't ruin it.) But this is not to say that there isn't room for more pictures on that fridge of mine, so if you all want to send me some I wouldn't mind...

The Craziness of Office 418

I realize that this is not a complete picture of my office mates, but that is besides the point. One day during the summer the three of us showed up to study for the qualifying exams and discovered that we all picked out matching outfits. Thinking that this was too funny to miss, we had a picture taken to record the moment. These are the type of weird things that happen quite often in our office. Recently we have started leaving messages for each other using the phrases on Dove Promises. And then there's always the laugh when Nicos shows up in a t-shirt with a slightly interesting phrase on it and they all laugh at my reaction. But in actual fact, my office is always so much fun that if I seriously want to get work done I have to listen to my I-pod, loud. But that's why I love them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The life of a mathematician

Because I don't already have enough to do... You know with school and church and teaching and researching and all of that, not to mention that story I am writing that none of you knew about it... No, I need something else to eat up all my nonexistent free time. Hence this messed up attempt to avoid having to communicate with the world by actually picking up a phone and calling someone. Really, I think that I just make up excuses to not do what I probably should be doing, and creating a webpage all about me seemed like a pretty good excuse for today. Because we all know that I really should be working on my seminar talk or that geometry homework that is due tomorrow, or even something as mundane as cleaning up my apartment and finally cleaning all the dishes in my sink.

But really, I lead a very boring life, so I have no idea what I am going to find to entertain you on this page... seeing as how you probably don't all want to read the talk I am giving in the number theory seminar (that is assuming of course that I ever get around to writing it). But nonetheless, here it is.