Friday, November 2, 2007

Getting my head back on

I sit here, trying to get back into thinking about my research. It's been nearly a month since my meeting with the programmers. I think we're going to hammer out an agreement, but they've been somewhat dragging their feet. They'd like to set themselves up as independent contractor/consultants, and are trying to put together an agreement according to their plans. I talked with one of them last weekend, about where things stand, and such. He seemed eager to say that he was sure we'd be able to work out an arrangement that made us both happy. But this is all new to them (trying to build a business of their own), thus the delays.

But, truth be told, I've been bogged down these past couple weeks with grading, and being sick, and applying for jobs (in particular this interdisciplinary post which I'm excited about). It's proving tough for me to slip back into the research, especially since the immediate task for me is figuring out the hardest part of the algorithm for the toolset I need to develop. It's really the crucial element that will allow me to accomplish much of what I'm planning the proofs-of-concept to prove. It's just not been done before. And while I have a handle on the outline of how to do it, working out all the specifics, the order of steps and such, and being sure that I've got it right, takes all my energy, something which hasn't been available for use.

I feel myself still holding on to my desire to struggle, to fight injustice, to standard-bear for the cause of education in this country, push to have it on the political agenda. I'm torn between my desire to fight the good fight, and my desire just to be the best I can at what I do well. There is a logical part of me that thinks it's better to be successful now, and trust myself that I will do good in society with my success, than to expend my energies feeling indignant and self-righteous (at the risk of never accomplishing that success which might lend more import to my opinions and actions). Protest is easy. Change is hard.

It's a difficult choice for me, to let go of that. I've never been the quiet tinkerer behind-the scenes. I've always been out front, on the stage, never the set crew or on the lights. Stars come and go, but the crew often remains, making show after show a success.

I believe in my research. I believe in its worth, not only commercial, but its value for society. I also believe in myself, that should I be allowed financial success, I would do well with it.

The flames have died down outside; let my heart catch fire again!

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