I do my best to keep my zone if influence small. That way, outside forces can’t impede on my carefully patched together sense of stability. The realization that has been creeping up on me for a while finally hit home – this is the Big Time. I’m going to be asked to do some really fucking hard physics and I am terrified that I am not (and never will be) ready for this challenge. It’s time to become reacquainted with my old neurosis – impostor syndrome and refamiliarize myself with the rigors of academia.

Quantum Physics by Eric De clercq

The best course of action now, today, is to start an online class on Quantum Mechanics. I took an introductory course over a year ago with Dr. W. Also, I am enrolled in the graduate school level quantum course at UVM. Before that starts, there are like 10 or 11 weeks during which time I can get my brain functioning at the necessary level. Lord knows I have enough physics books and, specifically, books about quantum mechanics around me. They, like all my books and other living stuff, are still in boxes awaiting the arrival of my furniture.

I still feel like an impostor though. When things got really hard in Quantum, and even more so in Advanced E&M, I managed to get by without completely understanding some of the reasoning or mathematical gymnastics involved. In my mind, everyone else understands this dense and often intractable material. Everyone that is, except me. My voice of reason whispers that it’s pretty unlikely that year after and course after course, I have performed among the best in my group and don’t know how to do this stuff. it’s these different perspectives that I hold simultaneously that are at odds with one another and cause so much indecision and unnecessary dread in my life.

Stray thoughts

A ladybug landed on my computer and is walking the perimeter of the screen. I think I read or heard somewhere that ladybugs portend good luck. At one time in my life, I thought it was cool to believe in the occult, Chinese mystics, and all manner of pseudoscientific balderdash. I am considerably more level-headed now.

It is said that if a ladybird lands on you, your wish will come true. Others believe the brighter the red coat, the stronger the luck, and the number of black spots on the creature’s wings will be the number of months you’ll be blessed with lucky intervention.

While I was hunting down that quote about the virtues of ladybugs, another prime target for a google search came to mind. It occurred to me to wonder if the stereotype of the executioner with his black hood and big axe is accurate.

Clearly, executioners from olden times were more than just blood-spattered brutes. Instead, the history books paint a picture of regular people forced into a job that nobody else would do — and in a time when execution was deemed essential for keeping the peace.

One last item from my weekend observations was the fighter jets flying overhead, low and loud, yesterday when I was at Lowe’s. I could the rumbling from way off and they tore the sky overhead. It was an impressive show of force. My instinct tells me it was the Air National Guard and after looking at military installations in the area, I’m probably right. Except for Burlington Airport, there’s no place that those types of aircraft could have come from. At least someone’s keeping us safe from those nasty Canadians.

My spartan accommodations.

I got a bunch of stuff done today so I am not totally idle. I got the keys for my new PO box, closed out the old one, and started a change of address. Then I went home and updated the addresses for all of my banks and credit cards. That was no small feat! The next bits of bureaucracy are going to be more difficult. I need to obtain a Vermont driving license and register my car up here. While I’m doing that, simultaneously, I will figure out how to get food stamps up here. According to some websites, that shouldn’t be too difficult because, at heart, it’s a federal program and I’m already in the system. There are other items on the agenda like getting a picture taken for my school ID, finding a therapist, and getting a doctor to provide me with prescriptions.

Those are all the busy day-to-day stuff of life that take up so much of my time. Apart from the online Introduction to Quantum Mechanics class I signed up for on MITx (it’s free), I have begun practicing my python coding again. Those ore the hobbies that will sustain me through this summer and during the long cold Vermont winters.

Author: earthling75

I'm a student and teacher of physics. This site began in 2018 as part of my recovery, but I keep it around for some reason still.

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