Advice Worth Taking

The guest-speaker at my undergraduate convocation was a relatively-famous* radio personality and science popularizer. He had some advice for the gathered students:

Get the heck off of North America. Throw a dart at a map of the world and just go there.

Now, of course, the obvious problem with this bit of advice is that seventy percent of the world is covered in water. But I agree with the general principle, which is why it galled me that this was never really an option for me.

Not until now, that is. You see, there’s a certain multi-disciplinary summer school in France which specializes in the study of everything to do with space; not just the science of astronomy, or the engineering used in space travel, but the economics, sociology, literary significance and so forth. It seems that, on the strength of my research, writing ability and interest in many different fields, the European Space Agency is willing to fund my attendance to the tune of eleven thousand Euros. Unfortunately, the rest of the tuition is still rather steep, but I’ve decided that I’m going to get a loan and just bloody do it.

I cannot turn down a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this.


*The old joke is that Canadian celebrities have to wear name-tags. This pretty much applies with the individual in question, but I recognized him.


About thevenerablecorvex

I have the heart of a poet, the brain of a theoretical physicist, and the wingspan of an albatross. I am also notable for my humility.
This entry was posted in Academics, Personal Stuff, Science and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Advice Worth Taking

  1. ChrisCQC says:

    Yeah, I’ve felt that sentiment every time I think about queer issues. Or liberal arts funding. (I can’t help liking dead poets who wrote in Latin!)

    • The sad thing is I am one of the very few physicists who made it all the way through my master’s program without being sent off to Switzerland or Japan: theorists really don’t get to travel much, because of course, work on theory can be done anywhere, so it may as well be done all alone in a windowless basement.
      As for the queer thing, I should say that the summer school was initially supposed to take place in Brazil. While I did apply for it, I was always nervous about going because, of course, Brazil is the murder capital of the world for trans women. I was honestly relieved when it was moved to Europe.

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