24 May 2006
As though she might say, "I came here from whatever unspeakable distance and from whatever unimaginable otherness just to oblige your prayers. Now say something with a little meaning in it." My sermon was like ashes on my tongue. I baptiszed two infants that day. I could feel how intensely she watched. Both the creatures wept when I touched the water to their heads the first time, and I looked up, and there was just the look of stern amazement in her face that I knew would be there even before I looked up, and I felt like saying sincerely, "If you know a better way to do this, I'd appreciate your telling me." Then just six months later I baptized her. And I felt like asking her, "What have I done? What does it mean?"
more from Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
More classes have been researched. I signed up for a math class, tentatively: the math department is much more tightly conjoined to the computer science department than the Interactive Telecommunications Program is (which I looked at a lot last night, but can't sign up for classes in it easily: it's part of the Tisch School of Arts, not the Graduate School of (Mathematical) Arts and Sciences).
But doesn't this look fun!
ALGEBRA I: Basic concepts of groups, rings and fields. Symmetry groups, linear groups, Sylow theorems; quotient rings, polynomial rings, ideals, unique factorization, Nullstellensatz; field extensions, finite fields.
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I'm a little distracted lately with something I've struggled with for years: the disinclination to find a way to combine the creative & aesthetic with the scientific & mathematical. I was put off time and again from my computer science studies at GT because of how rarely anyone gave a damn about the beauty of Things, the beauty in a precise description and interaction with the world, the beauty of the world.
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A rainbow is falling upon my neck as I sit in the pew of a church. That tall boy is playing the drums. The dusk is about to fall; the light is something amazing, as it usually is through church windows.