Monday, May 5, 2014

5^3: Worcester wrap-up letter to myself

Well, I'm sitting in my office at WPI, waiting for the students to come ask me questions before their final exam. I have a million other things I should be doing. But I want to write this before we move on out of Massachusetts, to get it out right now before it slips away into the changes.
It has been a tough couple of months, for reasons that have and have not appeared on this highly incomplete list of moments. I want just for a second to think only of the good bits, to make sure these aren't forgotten. It is too easy to focus on how hard things are. So here a little run-down of positives, a dose of loveliness-classic for your Monday:
- Our nanny here in Worcester was amazing. She was so thoughtful, thorough, reliable and fun. I really don't think we could have done any better, and it is so obvious that childcare is a bit of a minefield for a bunch of different reasons. So yay Jennifer!
- Although there were problems, our house was actually pretty fantastic in the end. We lucked out. For one thing, there was the lake (walking distance to work, and on a lake - excellent). We will miss the lake! It is beautiful and also presented us with the opportunity to observe birds and wildlife everyday! Our most recent excitement is the resident muskrat. We've also seen herons, migrating ducks, turkey vultures, and all kinds of lovely sing-songy birds. It has been great to share this with Heiko (who may be the only two year old who knows how to identify a grackle). And I also love seeing the moon, which is easy to do over a lake.
- On a related note, I grew to love my crazy commute, even in the wild winter weather it was nice to embrace the outdoors, bundle up and get a little exercise and mental clarity in my day.
- And there was work, of course. Work! I was dreading it so much, looking for an excuse to back out of my postdoc commitment, to retreat into the comfort of being a housewife forever. But it turned out to be great. Teaching was fun, and research was fun too. Getting paid to learn new things? This is a dream job. My brain feels a tiny bit bigger.
- Related to work, I was super excited to finally be working with a woman (my advisor here at WPI). This comment is worthy of its own post, so I won't say much. But I had a few opportunities here to receive some really inspiring mentoring from several senior female mathematicians, including future-me! I'll tell you about her later. The summary is that I'm feeling inspired and connected!
- I frequently complain about sleep on this blog. But guess what? It is going better. Frequently Heiko only wakes up once all night, which is fully manageable. It comes and goes of course, depending on what else is going on, but on balance, it is improving.
- Now that H is finally talking (a little bit of a late bloomer on this front I think), it is amazing to hear his stories and jokes.
- And finally, isn't spring that much sweeter after a long, bitter winter?
There, I feel happier just for having written this.
LOVE and loveliness.
Thanks for reading!
xo e


  1. How many more days? Back to TO for a bit and then FC? brian.

    1. Yep, that is the general plan. Plus a trip west, sometime in July probably. Just five more days here in W.

  2. Yay! I am sorry we didn't get a chance to visit you while you were east coast-ing. Maybe if you visit Hali in Princeton we can do a mini reunion!

    1. I know! I can't believe how little touring around we were able to do, we only made it into Boston once! Are you going to be in Toronto at all over the summer?

  3. Yeah man, 4th of July weekend. You around?