My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

Your holiday relaxation program commences in 3, 2, 1...

It is snowing outside. This is both wonderful and terrifying. Wonderful because snow is awesome. I love living in a country, and a part of the country, that experiences all four seasons in vibrant technicolour and Dolby Digital surround sound. Winter here means minus forty below, winds, snow in the air and on the ground, and plenty of shovelling. Terrifying because this means I may have to shovel in the future--I like shovelling; I hate contemplating the future acts of shovelling. Once I'm doing it, I'm OK.

School is over now, for two weeks. I had my last examine a week ago. It went well, I think, though I don't have my marks yet. I feel good about it (Complex Analysis), and I feel good about the one prior to it as well (Medieval and Tudor Drama). The rest of the week could have been relaxing in theory, but in practice it was consumed by invigilating an exam on Thursday and then helping the instructor to mark said exam on Friday. Oh my. Six hours of that--and yes, I know, I will have to do this when I become a teacher. But I'm not a teacher yet.

As I tweeted on Friday, some of the students have very creative answers:

"The interior angle of a regular polygon with 15 sides is..." Student answered "octagon." WTF.

My friend Vivike and I have decided that "octagon" is the new answer to everything. Octagons and cats. Together they will take over the world. Or they would if my cats didn't spend so much time sleeping.

My cats spend so much time sleeping that watching them sleep makes me sleepy, but at the same time, it reminds me that no matter how tired I might be some days, I don't want to spend so much time sleeping. I genuinely enjoy being awake and experiencing the world (through my comfortable Internet connection, obviously).

I'm on break now, as I said above, nominally for two weeks. It isn't really a break, however. I still have to work. Also, this year I am doing an honours seminar project, and the first draft of my paper is due at the end of January, so I need to start reading about the Banach-Tarski paradox and see if I can comprehend the proof. My game plan is to spend this week relaxing, playing Mass Effect 2 and reading Umberto Eco. Then I will spend a few hours every day next week focusing on this project.

Next term I'm taking Advanced Calculus, Aboriginal Education, Philosophy of the Internet, and hopefully Topology. With only one education course and an online philosophy course, I'm hoping this term will not be as stressful as last term (which wasn't really that stressful, except for that week in November). By which I mean, I hope I have more time to do other things in between. Because I also have to think about applying for an NSERC USRA again. And my supervising prof from last summer has asked me if I'm interested in giving my talk at a conference the university is hosting in January, so I'll need to put some time aside to prepare for that if I decide to do it.

I tried tofu last night for the first time! With Vivike over for dinner, I bought tofu (without even asking her if she liked it first). My dad prepared it, as well as pork, so I had both meat and protein-providing substitute. I must say it's pretty good. The texture is very unusual, and I can't say I like it better than real meat. But it is not as icky as some people find it, for sure.

After dinner we watched Pirate Radio, talked about books and writing, exchanged gifts (I received a very nice copy of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections), and even played a bit of DDR. Oh, and many chunks of dried papaya were consumed, because dried fruit tastes like candy but is marginally healthier.

It is still snowing, but the wind has granted us a temporary reprieve. I am going to finish this cup of tea and prepare for work, which is an eight-hour shift today. Hopefully I shall return later this week with more posts about Android and Christmas holiday musings. Until then, stay warm.

About Me

I’m a 27-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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