I've been quiet here for a few days I see. I'm busy. Friday, I had a morning meeting (followed by lunch) with a nearby professor to consult about possible future collaborative projects. I had first met him a couple weeks ago, but finally with a non-disclosure agreement in place, we were free to talk more openly. After lunch, I had another meeting with the local coordinator for the entrepreneurs network, who agreed to help me out a bit with my grantwriting.
I feel really good off of those meetings. On the one hand, local prof (let's call him Mark Johns) was supportive, but cautious. He's an engineer, trained in one domain of the discipline in which a large part of my current efforts infringe. He validated my view both that what I'm trying is novel and valuable. Next, it actually pleases me a bit his skepticism on some points. The reality is standard practices in Applied Research Field were established long ago when different problems appeared. Those problems led to certain directions in the research. Generations of researchers have tweaked and plumped those techniques, but a few of the fundamental assumptions (in large part determined by the needs of those original questions) fail to go challenged.
I believe the skepticism on Mark's part derives from those assumptions. I fully expect there may be greater complications to what I'm attempting. But I see them as hurdles to climb over, rather than roadblocks. I think, from the vantage of his training and experience, he simply can't see that. It's a good feeling to be so confident in what I'm doing, knowing full well that there is much in his knowledge base that I lack, having not been trained in that discipline. But I'm on to something, I know it, I feel it, I'm validated in that when I get someone like Mark excited about the novelty of it.
And I also know that my ideas are not all that complicated, not all that inspired, not all that spectacular. It's simply, coming at this field from a new direction, with new eyes, I've noticed a stone left unturned. When I turn it off, it's marvelous to see [--I suppose if I were a real academic I'd have written mirabile dictu--] that there are creatures under that stone yet to be catalogued.
The afternoon meeting was exciting as well. Let's call my local entrepreneur coordinator Dick Lindt. Dick's another engineer, but from a quite different area. I've met with him twice now, and talked on the phone and emailed numerous times. He's got great energy, and seems to really believe in what I'm doing. He thinks this first grant should be in the bag. We'll see.
Coming off those two meetings, I honed a bit of the proposal on Friday. The weekend was mostly for the family and the garden. We've gotten a good start on that. I've been edging the yard, setting off small planting areas along the walkways. Hopefully this week we'll decide where the vegetable garden will be, and get started on that. Saturday night we joined some neighbors for a camp fire, to drink and talk. That was really nice as well. It's a good place for us to be, all around. It feels like HOME!