Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Primate at Peace

Heavy-duty construction is taking place on the street the math building faces.  Power, internet, water, the works.  The torn-open street will be closed until August.

Due to the construction, it's loud on the bottom and second floor on the front of the building.  Hence, the department booked rooms in other buildings and scattered across campus for summer classes.  While it's a small chore for the professors, it makes for a quiet building.

I don't hear students dragging their feet down the halls.  I don't hear them blabbing too loudly to whomever on their phones.  The building smells like books and paper - like a library with freshly waxed floors - instead of like summer b.o.

The professors I meet in the halls seem...more relaxed, even happier in some cases.  Maybe they are enjoying getting out of the building, walking the campus before the day gets too hot.  Trapped in a classroom or an office all day, it's easy to forget how beautiful the grounds are and how lucky we are that the tornado missed the university.

Before long, we'll miss the sounds of the vending machines, the elevator, the flipflops, and heavy sighs, but for now, it's peaceful.    

Friday, May 27, 2011

My neighbor's gardenia bush is blooming.  It perfumes the entire street, and when I walk by, I close my eyes and feel as though I float.  I want to bury my face in the blooms, absorb the scent and take it with me, keep it with me.  It's just not possible.  In another week, the heat will take its toll, but come autumn, it will bloom, and again my street will smell heavenly. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Like to Graph It, Graph It

You may have done The Worm, The Robot, and maybe even The Macarena, but have you ever done The Graph?  Kudos to Mister x2 + y2 for thinking outside the box.  He's the only identified dancer who isn't a function.  (x2 + y2 = constant is a circle.)  While he's not mathematically significant, Mister Crap gets a point for flexibility and reach. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Industrious Apes

I've seen commercials for "Go Build Alabama," but I had no idea that Mike Rowe was devoted to a country-wide quest to encourage young people to go into a craft or trade.  This is amazing, and he's absolutely right.  College isn't for everyone, and we badly need skilled craftsmen to keep the world we enjoy working.  Being a craftsman isn't a "boobie prize."  One day soon, it will be a prestige. 

For more information on his programs, visit www.mikeroweworks.com

Friday, May 13, 2011


It's not as funny, if I have to explain it, but her tan lines are part of the graph of the tangent function.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Aimless Ape

I'm in the 'tween stage where spring just ended, though be it in an unorthodox manner due to the tornado, and summer hasn't begun. I'm not working, and I'm not working on anything.

Dr. C is apparently incommunicado. Maybe on vacation, maybe just avoiding me. We all need a break. We all need to recover.

I'm not writing so much lately. I can't get in the right frame of mind to be creative. I'm just not interested in any of my current projects.

I've been gaming a lot lately. I think it saps my imganative juices as well as giving me freaky dreams. However, it is something I enjoy tremndously, and something fun L and I do as a team.

I'm tired for no reason, and I hate feeling like that.

I'm just hoping Dr. C gets in touch with me soon.  I need to get my brain back in gear. I think that, once I do, the rest will come back online, too.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dr. E said...

"I can use about half of my house."

He has five trees on his house.  His neighborhood is demolished. It's the worst of times in Tuscalosa, AL, kiddies.  So many people have lost so much across the entire state.  The mile-wide tornado that tore across the middle of town stayed on the ground for over 70 miles. We're pulling together, assessing, and preparing for clean-up.  I can't even begin to tell you everything that is lost, including so many lives.  I still haven't heard back from some students.

The tornado came within 1 mile of L's sister's house, and the one that destroyed Sipsey and Cordova came within 1/2 a mile of his brother's house. His cousins, aunt, and uncle in Huntsville were narrowly missed as well. 

My immediate family got lucky. We've only had to deal with power outages and phone issues, but all my cousins, aunts, and uncles in Pleasant Grove lost their homes.  One of my cousins and his roommate rode out the storm in his closet and came out to find the rest of the apartment gone.

Three grad students lost their homes, but amazingly, no one from the math department or their families lost their lives.  For that, we are all so thankful.  Tomorrow night, the algebraists and topologists plan to hold Aftermath as scheduled.  I think we can all use a drink.  We need to talk about it, to commiserate and to toast survival.  I think it's just what we need.