Sunday, July 08, 2007


Why is it that we sometimes have to look backward in order to move forward?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

More of My Photography

Who needs grad school when you've got a digital camera?! My camera gives me the opportunity to try on new perspectives, think in new ways about familiar things, discover new ideas, explore intellectual insights, share that understanding with others, and express the "real" me in new ways--all things a PhD is supposed to do for you (or so I'm told). Click here to see more of my photography (which is a lot more fun to produce than the writing I'm supposed to be doing right now)!

Why can't they?

(Note: The poem will make much more sense if you click on each individual photo--or save yourself the trouble and view the slide show.)

It started with half-formed thoughts.

Celestial scribbles . . .

. . . smeared with cosmic paint on the canvas of her mind.

Until, with a sudden flash of inspiration,

powerful ideas

ignited possibility.

A concept exploded into existence,

producing cosmic confetti

that filled her soul

with light.

Why can't THEY?

Why CAN'T they?

WHY can't they?

Feel the fire?

See the exquisite entities emerging from the flames?

Hear the harmonies?!

Perhaps it is a question of perception?

Maybe her scintillating conversations . . .

. . . are inconsequential specks to them?

Maybe her galaxies . . .

Are their fuzzy poodles?

A post that ends with a poodle doesn't impact the reader with much of a bang, does it?!

Or even a sizzle, really! :-(

More like a fizzle, if you ask me!

Poem & Photos by Cherice Montgomery - July 7, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Vital Statistics

Can I just say my stats class is going to kill me?! It is nearly 3:30 a.m. and I am sitting here waiting for my take-home quiz to print so that I can go to bed. How many hours does a person have to invest to understand the stuff?! I sit in class for 6 hours a week (and actually pay attention and take good notes for the entire 6 hours), do about 3 hours of homework for each class, plus 2 hours of work with a homework group, plus the additional hours on the quizzes. AGGGH! This one, 3-credit class has become the equivalent of about a part-time job! Literally!

What is SO incredibly frustrating is that I am starting to "feel" how the numbers work together. I can see that the equations are all related and that they build on one another (which tells me that they are just describing different facets of what the numbers are doing/representing--like saying the same thing in different words so that you end up emphasizing different aspects of the thing). Unfortunately, the class moves at close to the speed of light (gotta cover everything, after all) and the relationships among the concepts are NOT clear.

The instructor does a great job given the institutional constraints on the course/her teaching. It is just so frustrating to realize that I am actually at a point in my relationship with mathematics where I could actually understand and BENEFIT from it, and can't because something gets lost in the translation between the words and the symbols. I soooo need a good translator. I may just sit down and make myself (and all the other poor students who have to endure this torture that SHOULDN'T be torturous) a chart . . . if I can ever get enough sleep to think through it clearly.

As I hear parents say, "Use your words" to their 2-year-olds, I think of mathematicians who haven't yet learned to use THEIR words to explain their symbols to me.

I did have to chuckle when I realized that the symbols really are all Greek (at least, so far)! The phrase, "It's all Greek to me" has a totally new meaning to me now! I'll have to ask my colleague from Greece tomorrow if the symbols mean something else in Greek, or if math is just naturally easy for him!