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Back to normal life

The massive flurry of curriculum development has died down. The course is running better now -- I still wouldn't say "smoothly", but certainly "better than before". It's time to move on.

I'm gathering an large list of items to fix in the course for next year. Some of them were predictable (I mean, I should have predicted them, and consider their unfixed states to be personal failures), but most are just conclusions from observing the exercise-experiments. Any new set of exercises are going to have weak points; finding a problem in new material isn't a failure. The only failure would be in not learning from it and not fixing it for next time.

Last weekend, I turned my attention back to my research. After a day of figuring out where I was (I was in the middle of various projects, but dropped everything in my race to fix the programming course), I got back to work. A few days later, I happened to check one of the conference websites while my computer was compiling stuff, and discovered that the deadline was less than a month away. I thought I had an extra month or two. Oops.

I think it's a good thing, though. Close deadlines have a wonderful effect of concentrating one's mind. I'm hopeful that I can send two papers. I can definitely do one of them, and I'm confident that it'll be accepted. The conference is in the Netherlands, which is quite close to Glasgow. I'd really like to go to that one.

I'm also starting to think about mundane issues: what acommodation I might have for next year, my summer plans, etc. Still nothing definite, but I'm gathering information.

Finally, I had the oddest urge a few days ago. My room was getting quite dry, so I tried putting a jar of water near the radiator (a cheap attempt at a humidifier). It occurred to me that my room would look a lot better if I had some flowers or a plant in that jar.

Plants? Flowers?!?! Is this what going old does to you?! I didn't think I'd be going senile quite yet... maybe this is a UK thing? Gardening seems to be bigger here than in North America, so maybe I'm subconsciously picking up the culture...? Whatever the reason, this was definitely an odd urge.