Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Mental Health of Physicists

I'm in a bit of a funk. A paper of mine got accepted recently which serves to thoroughly kill the high from getting it written. So while I'm coming down from that, I'm also passed the mild excitement of encountering new students. This crop has less wonder than previous generations, and boy do they look young (which makes me feel old)! I'm on the verge of some cool new physics that I can just barely see, but every effort to really see it keeps failing and I'm starting to lose hope that things are robust enough to get me there. Plus, I think my allergies and the upcoming change of seasons is taking a toll on my mood as well.

Anyway, hopefully it'll pass, as they have in the past. At least I'm better off than some others who have had nervous breakdowns.

And Andre Agassi finally lost (his nasty comments on Sampras so long ago really turned me off him), Lindsay Davenport and Andy Roddick won. Of course, trying to find any coverage of tennis is pretty difficult...PTI has hardly any coverage, and if you got CNN's sports page, you've got to first click "more sports" and then "tennis". Can you believe that during the U.S. Open they can't even give a link on their main sports page?

Jaffe links to a quick piece at the NYT (free reg. reqd.) on why professorships are so desirable:

But we academics do have something few others possess in this postindustrial world: control over our own time. All the surveys point to this as the most common factor in job satisfaction.

I'm not sure I buy this as the most important or even common factor, but once when I was interviewing for an "industry" job that paid quite a bit more (but nowhere near the double pay mentioned in the article) than my faculty job, I quickly lost interest for two main factors: prescribed working hours and prescribed research topics.

You know, one thing that did cheer me up a bit came from an unlikely place. Usually reading Clifford's posts just makes me jealous...all the hiking, traveling, eating, etc. But I liked this post, and was amazed at the resurrection photos, and enjoyed the pun in the title.


Anonymous said...

My wife and I were in downtown Ottawa today (UW is on the quarter system, so we have one more month) when we saw the local university leading tours of new students around. Both of us were very confused because we could both swear there wasn't a person older than 15. Nope. All 18.

ajax said...

I noticed the same thing back in my high school, every year the kids entering high school got smaller and smaller and looked like they still belonged in elementary school.

What was really weird though was coaching the junior bantam community football team with Grades 6-8. When I played in Grade 8 there was a lot of big guys playing in the league bur when I coached there wasn't a single big player in the league.

I don't really understand it, why are the kids smaller and younger looking than a group a few years older. I thought puberty is coming earlier on average.

Btw no it's not that I've gotten bigger, I've only grown 3 inches since i played junior bantam.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to hear that I helped cheer you up a little.