The last few weeks of the quarter went pretty well for the most part, but this next week is going to be completely horrible. Many other people seem to dislike finals week because they have finals they need to prepare for at the last minute, and I have certainly been guilty of that myself on numerous occasions. But this time I have no finals to prepare for (just one take-home final for differential geometry that I expect to pose no great difficulty) and a week with nearly nothing to do except count the minutes. Why am I so bad at being bored?
Jeff and I have been doing pretty well with our paper. We were disappointed to find that someone else (Szafraniec) already wrote a very similar paper (in 1983 even!), but we still have some things to say that Szafraniec didn’t. Mihai seems really competitive about this paper. (He keeps saying things like “Szafraniec is strong, but you can beat him.”)
Then I inherited another research project. It’s something about representation theory and combinatorics. So this is the third time a professor has requested that I do research without having asked first. I don’t believe that would happen to me at a lot of other universities! Now surely I can justify getting a copy of Serre’s book, which I had been considering for a long time.
One very sad thing that upset me probably a lot more than it should have is that my first fountain pen died on Wednesday. There were lots of problems with it, but I thought I could fix them with a $5 part. It turns out that that was not the case, but I didn’t understand what was wrong with it until it broke.
I was anticipating having another final in algebraic number theory, but the professor never mentioned anything at all about exams during the quarter, so I suppose that it is not to be. I was wondering how he was going to give us anything resembling a reasonable exam, and so it appears the answer is that he simply isn’t going to. I wouldn’t mind having another one, especially since I don’t have much else to do, and preparing for it would take quite a few hours that will probably otherwise be spent twiddling my thumbs.